With such a wide range of DAISY players available it can be difficult to work out which one is best for you. Starting with the simplest and easiest to use DAISY players, this guide moves on to more advanced players with additional features which will be explained along the way.
We will also highlight some of the companies and organisations who provide books, magazines and other reading material that you can read using your DAISY player. Towards the end of this guide you will find a section explaining some of the terminology used.
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All the desktop players have built-in rechargeable batteries and mains power cables. All the Victor Reader Stratus players also have a sturdy built-in handle.
If you are looking for the most simple and easiest to use desktop player to read DAISY audio books, play music and MP3 CDs, then the Victor Reader Stratus 4 is for you. With large, well spaced buttons and simple operation, you'll be relaxing into your next DAISY audio book in no time.
The Plextalk PTN2 is simple and well designed and can play a wide range of content from CDs, SD cards and USB memory sticks. It is has a clear button layout and different shaped buttons which help their identification together with a removeable button cover that hides infrequently used buttons to further simplify its use.
The Stratus12 adds a number key pad to help you navigate through more complex books. It makes it easier to add and skip to bookmarks so it's great for education, particularly revision. It also has a highlight bookmark feature to mark a section of text so you can easily return to important information.
The "M" versions of the Stratus players adds a USB and SD card slot so you have a wider choice of content to listen to. As with the basic versions you can listen to DAISY books, music CDs and MP3 CDs. The additional slots on the "M" versions allow you to listen to content direct from organisations such as Calibre and Talking Newspapers. Their built-in text-to-speech (TTS) program further increases the choice of content from websites such as Project Gutenberg and Librivox.
The Plextalk PTR2 is a far more advanced model for making structured DAISY audio recordings rather than simply listening to them.
If you want to fit a large amount of audio content in your pocket the these small, lightweight players can be easily carried with you wherever you go. They all use SD cards for storage and you will generally need to use a computer in order to copy your content to the card. All portable DAISY players have these common features:
The Milestone is the smallest and lightest DAISY player on the market. There are three different models but all feature the same simple layout with five buttons arranged in a cross with a button in the centre and a mode button on the top edge. These tactile keys and simple layout help ensure you hit the right button every time.
The Milestone 212 is primarily a book and music player and is one of the easiest to use portable players.
The Milestone 312 Pro adds Speakout which enables you to record voice labels for items around your home and office.
You can also use the Milestone to work out what colour something is with the optional Milestone Fame colour detector.
Listen to web-based radio stations by using the built-in Wifi to connect to the internet. The Plextalk Pocket has a number key pad providing shortcuts to menu functions, bookmarks as well as arrow keys for navigation. The ability to record in DAISY format makes it perfect for education and work. You can add headings during a lecture so you can quickly and easily navigate the audio when revising. Available in two colours; black with white buttons and white with black buttons.
The Plextalk Linio Pocket is very similar to the original Plextalk Pocket both in design and adds a calendar, alarm and 8GB of internal memroy.
The BookSense is compatible with the widest range of formats enabling you to listen to content from the widest selection of providers. The BookSense range all have FM radio and a dedicated time button. There are three models available - BookSense T50, BookSense T50XT and the BookSense DS.
The red BookSense T50 has a number key pad and arrow keys for navigation.
The white BookSense T50XT has the same key layout as the T50 but also has four gigabytes of internal memory and Bluetooth so you can listen to your music and books using wireless headphones.
The BookSense DS also has Bluetooth and four gigabytes of internal memory but also has a high quality OLED screen. Its number key pad has well defined, tactile buttons.
The Victor Reader Stream 2 is roughly the size of a pack of playing cards and is the largest of the portable players. Its number key pad has well defined and raised tactile buttons.
AMIS is a software program that you can use to read DAISY books. It is self-voicing and open source so available for free.
If you are a computer user then EasyReader DAISY software provides a low cost method of reading DAISY books. For certain books it will also highlight the current sentence whilst reading. Choose from a range of fonts, font sizes and colours to suit your needs.
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