Are You a BARD? The Long-awaited Switch to Digital Talking BooksBy Corona, Guido D.; Access World, Vol. 10, No. 4
Publication Date: July 2009
Article traces the history of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) Talking Books, and describes the NLS’s newest digital download service. The development of Talking Books is discussed from their original format of recordings on analog audiocassettes, through conversions to digital media such as CD-ROM, the DAISY Digital Talking Book (DTB) standard, and MP3 audio compression. Also outlined is the testing and launching of the newest format of the service, the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website (http://www.nlsbard.loc.gov). The author, who was one of 5,000 blind consumers pre-testing the Digital Book Player program prior to the April 30, 2009, launch of BARD, describes how to navigate around the website, browse the library of over 14,000 titles, search for a specific book by keywords, and download a selected title. The article reports that the service, which is free to registered users, offers unlimited downloads. Titles can be downloaded to a computer for temporary storage or directly to a digital talking book (DTB) player, which is free on loan from the NLS. Starting in 2010, NLS plans to add 2,000 new titles to its DTB catalog per year, and approximately 125,000 new DTB players will become available to its patrons by the end of 2009.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw100403