Talking Books

My ‘talking books’ player came yesterday. It was ordered several weeks ago. One more incident of the wheels turning much too slowly for me, but at least it is now here. I am an impatient sort but I can still read regular text with my CCTV and handheld reader. Hopefully they served some other poor, impatient soul without my resources while I was waiting.

But I kvetch too much….

The player is this cute little thing with all sorts of big colored buttons. The first time you press each of them it gives you a description of what it does. After that, it is supposed to work normally. I suspect I will remember about half of what it said to me. There are some Braille directions but nothing else printed about the player.

I am thinking the visually impaired are supposed to have great memories. Either that or there is a lot of trial and error.

But again I kvetch. Not really complaining, just noting rather judgmentally, which I am not supposed to do a la DBT.

I just started to read the booklet they sent me. Not a lot of authors I recognized but then I read the explanatory page – when all else fails, read the directions, right? – and discovered what they sent me was the new titles for March and April. Access their website and there are tens of thousands of offerings. Click here to go to that site.

I just checked that link and it is good. Maybe even better than good. It contains all sorts of info including who is eligible and how to sign up for the service. Check it out if you can.

Another thing I want to check out is BARD. That stands for the National Library Service Braille and Audio Reader Download. I had seen the App for this in the Apple App Store but this was before I was a registered user and I was not able to download it. The lesson for you there is this: don’t waste your time on BARD until you are registered. It won’t let you on.

According to the literature from National Library Service (NLS), BARD can be downloaded not only from Apple but from two other sources. These sources are Google Play (Android) and Amazon’s App Store. I know it is free on Apple and I suspect it is free the other two places as well.  Click here for links to both versions.

But back to talking books. The player is easily portable. It has a battery if you are away from a power source. You can speed the voice up or slow it down without distortion. If you also have hearing loss in a specific range, you can alter the pitch of the voice. James Earl Jones to pretty much Mickey Mouse.

I also have to compliment them on the packaging. I got the player out of the box by slicing one piece of tape and opening the lid. No playing around trying to get the accursed thing open, breaking something or accidentally slicing yourself.

Also, the tape boxes are cool. They are hard plastic with simple latches. The tapes will only go in one way. Ready to send a tape back? Flip the address card on the front and slide it into the slot. The card even has a hole punched in it. Upper left hand corner punched? Return address is up. Good going packaging people!

So that is it for now. My habilitation person is coming tomorrow. If she can get me on BARD, I will pass on the info about how it was done.

Next:VISION LOSS

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