Talking Books Without Green Boxes?

Talking book readers are now able to download their favorite talking books instead of waiting for green boxes to arrive through the mail. Library of Congress now offers an expanded test site with over 11,000 recorded books and 37 magazines. Active borrowers of the Talking Book and Braille Service can sign up for this free service if they have access to 1) a computer with email; 2) a high speed connection (sorry, dial-up is too slow); and 3) a digital player that is equipped for the talking book special format, plus a digital card. During this expanded test phase, individuals may sign up, but not facilities, including schools. Facilities will be able to sign up later on, probably by next spring. Eventually talking book readers will be loaned free digital players, in the same way they are being loaned free cassette players from the Talking Book and Braille Service. But right now, and for at least the next few years, readers would need to purchase a digital player and card in order to access the online books and magazines from Library of Congress. At this moment, there are three models of digital players which can be purchased: 1) The VictorReader Stream. 2) The LevelStar Icon. 3) Braille Plus Mobile Manager. We wish we had a free Library of Congress digital player to loan to all talking book readers; and that will happen later. For now, if a reader cannot afford one of the commercial players listed above, they can still borrow the very same new books and magazines on audio cassette from us. Individuals who decide to purchase their own digital player should give us a call, so we can tell them how to sign up for service from the Library of Congress direct download web site. We will also keep current information about any new digital players that could be purchased for use with this site.
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