Though it was expected earlier but late appearance is always better than never. Its a real pocket power library within a MP3 player for those who are suffering from vision impairment of blindness.
Thanks to HumanWare for HumanWare VictorReader Stream for its specific unique design (not pretty though) which is claimed to be a would be satisfactory and useful item for blind and vision-impaired users.
It appears that apart from price ($349) which is of course bit unfriendly for the targeted customers, the other features of he device would be quite satisfactory.
The tricky part they says is remembering exactly what each key represents. For instance, repeatedly pressing the number one will cycle you though the Stream's main menu categories, each announced over your headphones or the internal speaker in a pleasant synthetic voice.
The Stream includes a Mini-USB port for connecting to a Mac or PC, an SD card slot that supports SD and SDHC cards up to 16GB, and a power adapter connection.
The battery reaches full charge in about four hours, offering up to 15 hours of playback time.
Recordings are made in a rare AMR-WB+ audio format, which can be converted to WAV using the included Stream Companion software.
The software also works as an interface for moving music, audiobooks, podcasts, or text files from your computer to the Stream. If you prefer not to use the software, drag-and-drop is also supported.
The Stream also supports Talking Book formats from the National Library Service, such as DAISY, NISO, and NIMAS, and can also accept NLS book cartridges with an optional snap-on adapter. Audible and MP3 audiobooks are also compatible with the Stream, and sorted into separate directories in the main menu.
It is also capable to place and recall multiple bookmarks up to 9,998 .
The Stream got the capability to directly convert any text file (txt, rtf, html, xml, brf) into speech using an onboard synthetic voice.Human recorded voice would have been much better though.
Oops ! it appears that the price tag is not that big after all. If it could make them smile then it is invaluable, what do you think?
For further details see GadgetOphilia [ blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/amazingly-useful-audio-player-for-the-blind]