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by Tom Ley
Have you ever wished you owned an Apple iPod® that was easy to use without vision? How about a hand-sized recorder for taking down quick voice notes and for playing back important information you need to remember? How about both in one portable machine? Look no further; the Victor Reader Stream by HumanWare may be the tool for you.
If you have diabetes and vision loss, you may struggle to keep up with all the information you need to stay healthy and up to date on the latest diabetes information. It can be difficult to keep good records of what you have eaten, blood sugar readings, doctor’s orders, and medicine schedules, but you do not have to remain helpless and hopeless. Best of all, the tool which can help you stay organized with your diabetes also serves as a wonderful entertainment package for listening to MP3 music files and listening to digital books.
The Victor Reader Stream, often referred to as the VR Stream, or simply, the Stream, has just celebrated its first birthday. This device is the only MP3 and DAISY digital book player to offer so many features in such a compact size, and all at a reasonable price. In addition, the Stream can quickly record a voice note anywhere and at any time, which transforms it from being simply an entertainment device to one that helps you organize information and manage your life. An integrated microphone and automatically numbered recordings make the Stream easy to record, navigate, listen to and delete your notes.
As with the Apple iPod® and any other MP3 player, you must have access to the Internet to download all the songs and digital books you wish to read on the Stream. You can download your favorite magazines, books, MP3 music files—even daily newspapers—to your Stream and go mobile with your personal library in tow.
The VR Stream also plays the new DAISY digital talking books provided free of charge to users of the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) program. Many books are now available for direct download to the VR Stream. For more information on NLS and the digital talking book program, visit http://www.nlstalkingbooks.org/dtb.
NLS offers a large library of recorded books on a wide range of topics. Of special interest to Voice of the Diabetic readers is their comprehensive list of books on diabetes. Here is a sample:
American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes
American Medical Association Guide to Living with Diabetes: Preventing and Treating Type 2 Diabetes—Essential Information You and Your Family Need to Know
Beating Diabetes: The First Complete Program Clinically Proven to Dramatically Improve Your Glucose Tolerance
Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals, Easy as 1-2-3
Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes, America’s Biggest Epidemic
Conquering Diabetes: A Cutting-Edge, Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment
A Field Guide to Type 1 Diabetes: The Essential Resource from the Diabetes Experts
The First Year Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
The Joslin Guide to Diabetes: A Program for Managing Your Treatment
Mayo Clinic on Managing Diabetes
One Hundred One Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy with Diabetes
Quick and Easy Low-Carb Cooking for People with Diabetes
Think like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin
Even if the book you wish to read has not been digitally recorded, you can also use the Stream’s built-in text-to-speech functionality to read text versions of tens of thousands of books available for download from www.BookShare.org. See the Web site for eligibility requirements and fees. The stream also plays digital books from Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBND) www.RFBD.org, and from Audible.com, a commercial provider of recorded audio books.
Here is a list of Victor Reader Stream features:
• State-of-the-art DAISY, DAISY/NISO, MP3, player.
• Removable SD card for storing books and files.
• Compatible with NLS download books and NLS book cartridges.
• Portable (4.6 x 2.6 x 0.9 inches); lightweight (6 ounces).
• Convenient voice recording capability.
• USB port to transfer books and music
from your PC.
• Rechargeable battery providing 15 hours playtime.
• High contrast keys, easy to feel control buttons.
• Carrying case with belt clip.
• GO TO feature can jump to a specific page, heading, book or bookmark.
• Arrow keys allow navigation of multiple books, MP3 folders, and voice notes.
• Text-to-speech allows access to electronic text.
• Variable speed playback.
• Accelerated fast forward/rewind with audible feedback.
• Audio messages for battery capacity.
For more information on how to order your Stream, please contact HumanWare at www.humanware.com or toll free at 1-800-722-3393. The list price is $329.00.