Archive for September, 2009

Useful BookSense Information

September 25, 2009

Since its release in early July, interest in GW Micro’s BookSense portable book and music player has been high in the blind community. Upon release, GW Micro released a comprehensive demonstration of the BookSense. Since then, several useful reviews have been produced.

Robert Carter demonstrates the BookSense, Victor Reader Stream, Braille Plus, Icon, Plextalk Pocket, and NLS player in the context of playing books from the National Library Service in a podcast he produced for Accessible Devices. Even if you have no interest in NLS, hearing basic features of so many players demonstrated back to back is useful. Features he demonstrates include loading a book, navigating by first and second level headings, and changing the playback speed.

Today the latest issue of Infotech was released. Infotech is an audio magazine providing detailed information and reviews concerning a wide variety of products. The September issue includes a two-hour demonstration of the BookSense. An annual subscription costs £30 or $70. You can also purchase an individual issue for £5; I’m not sure what the U.S. cost is.

With so many portable media players to choose from, both mainstream and specialist, it’s wonderful to have detailed information so as to make informed choices about which player to purchase. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed the BookSense.

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iPod Shuffle Podcast

September 25, 2009

I recently produced a podcast demonstrating the third generation iPod Shuffle. It shows you how to do the following:

  • Operate all functions on the Shuffle.
  • Configure iTunes when you connect the Shuffle to a computer for the first time.
  • Sync music manually via cut and paste and Autofill.
  • Sync music and podcasts automatically.

The podcast was created on a Mac, but I provide Windows commands as well, so users of either operating system should find useful information here. If you use a larger iPod, the information on putting music and podcasts on the Shuffle is relevant. Though a new version of iTunes has come out since I recorded this podcast, most of the information is still accurate. The main difference is that if you use Windows and you press TAB while your iPod is connected and focus doesn’t move to the right place, try F6; that should work. Enjoy.

RFB&D Individual Membership and Player Authorizations now Free

September 25, 2009

Thanks to the Department of Education and other funders, individual membership to Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic is now free to people with print disabilities. In addition, members can now register flash-based DAISY players such as the Victor Reader Stream and Plextalk Pocket online and for free. This sure beats the days of paying $20 and waiting for a CD containing registration information to arrive in the mail. CD-based DAISY players must still be sent to RFB&D to have authorization keys installed unless those players were purchased directly from RFB&D.

I tried to find out whether free membership applies only to people in the United States, but received no answer to my inquiry from RFB&d.