Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

General Information on supported formats

Dolphin EasyReader is a software tool that not only reads DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 materials (including Bookshare material) it also reads HTML and text files. The EasyReader is available in more than 15 languages, including Spanish, Italian and German.

DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 materials contain multiple files.  Both formats contain a control file, NCC (DAISY 2.02) or NCX (DAISY 3), which keeps the material together. The text in the material is stored in an HTML (DAISY 2.02) or an XML (DAISY 3) file. The audio is typically streamed in MP3 format and the synchronisation between text and audio is controlled by SMIL files.

DAISY 2.02 materials can generally be protected by the PDTB scheme, however, the EasyReader can open materials that are protected with PDTB version 1.

EasyReader 101 ' How to get started

EasyReader must be installed on the computer in order to read your DAISY files.

When starting EasyReader for the first time the help file (in DAISY format) will be opened as the default book. Please take the opportunity to listen to this before using the software. You can always reach the help file later via F1 and close it again with Esc. The help file describes all the features in detail and the extensive list of hotkeys can also be found here

Using hotkeys is the most efficient way of using the Dolphin EasyReader. Hotkeys can always be found by using the Key Description Mode (Shift+F1), which will announce the function for the pressed hotkey.

The EasyReader interface, not being a standard Windows interface, is fully accessible via self voicing or a screen reader.

EasyReader 102 ' Getting to the point

DAISY books can be obtained from your school, a talking book library or a public library. Some organisations, such as Bookshare, offer books as downloadables.

Some organisations distribute HTML or Text files instead of DAISY materials. These can also be opened in the Dolphin EasyReader. To have these read out loud, the user will need a speech synthesiser installed on the computer.

To open any material, start EasyReader and click on the Open Book button or press Ctrl+O. The open dialog box is now shown. Select the drive that contains the material. If there are materials in the selected location they will be listed with the title and a symbol. If the material you are looking is located in a sub-folder, open the appropriate folder(s) until the material is found. Select the material and press the Open button.

If EasyReader is running and a CD with DAISY material is inserted, the user is asked if the material should be opened. However, if EasyReader is not running and the user inserts a CD with DAISY material, EasyReader will not be automatically launched.

EasyReader can open materials from all drives that are available on your computer. The main distribution unit for DAISY materials is currently a CD but some organisations have started to distribute it on memory cards as well. To be able to read such a card the user needs a card reader attached to the computer.

If the DAISY material is too big to fit onto one CD or memory card, a so-called 'multi-volume book' is created by the producer. Each volume of a multi-volume book includes the full table of contents but only a part of the material. For example, volume 1 includes chapter 1 to 6, volume 2 includes chapter 7 to 10 and volume 3 contains chapter 11. If volume 1 is inserted and the user tries to navigate to chapter 9 there will be an audio announcement: 'Please insert volume 2'. If the correct volume is then inserted the playback will continue on chapter 9.

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