MP3s and MP3 Players
Although increasingly there are assistive technology (AT) programs that generate speech from text, at this point there are only a few that take it the extra step to producing a digital sound file. Of those that do, the preferred format for the digital sound file is the MP3.
The MP3 is a format that is approximately ten times more compressed than WAV files, the other very common digital format. MP3 is the format in which most music on the web is presented. Due to this popularity of the format, the production of alternate text in MP3 becomes a logical alternative to audio tape.
AT programs that currently are capable of producing MP3 include such programs as Freedom Scientifics’ Open Book, (see Saving to Audio on the Help menu) and Text Help’s Read and Write Gold whose “Speech Maker” converts selected text into speech, which can be saved as an audio file (.wav, MP3, .wma) capable of being played on any suitable device.
There are programs that can convert WAV files to MP3 and there is an excellent program that creates MP3 from text. TextAloud MP3 is an inexpensive program that can make use of the new ATT Natural Voices. Purchasing both the Natural Voices and the TextAloud MP3 program will allow for good MP3 production, and both are available for less than $75. TextAloud is produced by NextUp - http://www.NextUp.com.
2668 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd
Clemmons, NC 27012
Text Aloud MP3 w/Natural Voices
Purchase TextAloud MP3 now for only $US 24.95!
Add 16 Khz (professional) Natural Voices 2 CD set for an additional $25 plus $2 for shipping.
Include extended Download insurance for $2.95.
There are several types of MP3 players available. Many “Walkman” type personal stereos now can play CDs in MP3 format. There are also mini MP3 players that are interfaced with SmartCards and mini USB cables. Increasingly popular are such specialized MP3 players such as the Telex. A nice site for looking at all book related models is http://www.tsbvi.edu/technology/dtb.htm .
The model the ATRC has decided to purchase is the Telex Scholar Digital Talking Book Player.
The Telex Scholar Talking Book Player is for blind/dyslexic users of all ages, the smallest DAISY CD Player in the industry also will accept standard CDs and MP3 CDs. Primary controls are easily identified by their larger size and tactile rubber construction, while secondary controls are smaller and feature a chrome finish. The Scholar talking book player will provide instant access to specific page numbers and chapters in the DAISY structure, and includes a full numeric keypad with bookmarking feature. An LCD screen displays disc details for "at a glance" teacher monitoring. Lightweight headphones are included.
Industry's smallest and most affordable DAISY CD player
Talking book player also accepts standard and MP3 CDs (automatic format detection)
Designed for blind/dyslexic users of all ages, as well as those with physical disabilities
Primary controls: volume, variable speed, play, rewind, fast forward, pause, stop, and undo/redo
Secondary controls: mark, go to, bookmark, set, and page
LCD screen displays disc details (i.e. teacher can walk by and see what page the student is on)
Talking book player is designed to provide instant access to specific page numbers and chapters in the DAISY structure
A USB interface anticipates upgrades and future products.
Four 4AA batteries provide hours of reading enjoyment
Sturdy, impact resistant case features snap lock clamshell design
Skip protection allows for smooth, uninterrupted reading
Battery pack is located inside the clamshell, to prevent battery door from popping open
Lightweight headphones are included, and also includes a line out for connection to external speakers if desired
AC adapter/wall wart is available as an accessory
Width: 5.25"/133.35mm, Length 6.0"/152.4 mm, Height:1.59" /40.4 mm
Weight: 0.65 lb/0.3 Kg
The Telex Scholar Digital Talking Book Player has a suggested U.S. retail price of $249.00. For more information, call toll-free 1-800-828-6107, ext. 7498 (952-887-7498).