Digitizing audio cassettes and extracting the contents of digital cartridges.
Linux for blind general discussion
blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon Sep 11 23:35:51 UTC 2017
Here's the announcement I was referring to earlier. I saw it posted on
the NFB in CS list, but it was forwarded to that list from another list.
I had some trouble with the cutting and pasting, so hopefully the
formatting comes through.
Perkins Library Product Sale Program
The Perkins Library, a division of the renowned Perkins School for the
Blind, is now selling several products to assist and support your use of
"talking books" and BARD (The Braille & Audio Reading Download Website)
through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress, in cooperation with state
Through the use of Amazon Marketplace, several products are being made
available for sale to individuals, organizations and agencies to support
the "talking book" reading experience.
Listed below are the products that we now have for sale, including our
pricing as well as links to purchase them online directly from Amazon.com.
Until recently, only 4 gigabyte cartridges were available for the NLS
Talking Book Player. This limitation kept people from putting all their
favorite music, books, or their favorite book series on one cartridge.
But now, Perkins School for the Blind has broken down that capacity
barrier and will soon be offering cartridges in an 8 gigabyte version as
well as a 16 gigabyte version. The 8 GB version will be able to hold a
whopping 768 hours of audio, and the 16GB version will be able to hold
over 1536 hours of audio. This means not only will you be able to put
all your favorite books on one cartridge, but now most people will be
able to store every single book from all of their favorite authors on
one cartridge. Of course, every book is different in size, but we have
found that a 4GB cartridge can hold 35-45 average sized books. This
means that with our 16 gigabyte cartridge, on average you will be able
to store up to an amazing 180 books on one cartridge!
* 4GB Blank Cartridge for Talking Book
Price: $9.99 Each
* 8GB Blank Cartridge for Talking Book
Price: $10.99 Each
* 16GB Blank Cartridge for Talking Book
Price: $13.99 Each
These 4, 8 and 16 gigabyte cartridges can hold audio content in the NLS
talking book format, play books that are downloaded from the NLS BARD
website, and will play on the NLS Digital Talking Book Player. To
download books from BARD (the NLS book download website) you must be an
authorized "Talking Book" patron. DAISY, MP3, and WAV files (often used
for music) can also be placed on digital cartridges.
Cartridges will work with the APH (American Printing House for the
Blind) BookPort DT, and APH's Joy Player (Note: the APH Joy Player is
not enabled to play NLS Talking Books). Digital cartridges are also
compatible with Humanware's Victor Reader Stream (adapter or cable
It is important to know that in order to load data onto a cartridge, it
requires a data transfer cable to connect it to your computer. This
cable will work with any computer that has a standard USB port.
* Belkin Pro Series USB 2.0 Transfer Cable from Computer to
Digital Cartridges <http://www.perkins.org/cable>
Price: $4.99 Each
This cable can be used to transfer data, audio books, mp3 files, and
more, from any computer with a USB port to the cartridge.
* Container/Mailer for the Digital Talking Book
Price: $1.99 Each
This custom-made light gray plastic mailing container also doubles as a
protective holder for the cartridges. Each postage-free container holds
a single cartridge, can be used to safely send cartridges through the
mail, and comes with the imprint: "Free Matter for the Blind or
* Travel Case for the National Library Service (NLS) Digital
Talking Book Player<http://www.perkins.org/travelcase>
Price: $54.95 Each
Made from a soft, water-and-stain resistant, black, durable Italia faux
leather, this form-fitting case is custom made to fit the National
Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped/Library of
Congress Digital Talking Book Player. Its soft, leather-like material
fits the Talking Book Player like a second skin and makes it easy to
carry. No need to ever remove the Talking Book Player from this durable
case. The unit can be carried on a comfortable shoulder strap or a hand
carry strap. The case is designed to allow easy access to load your
cartridges, access all of the buttons, the USB port, and the headphone
jack. It comes with a zippered pocket/flap that can accommodate up to
three cartridges, or other accessories. The pocket/flap can be secured
in an open position by fastening the flap under the unit. In the closed
position, the pocket/flap protects the keys, covers the cartridge area,
power cord area in the rear, and protects the overall unit. This case
fits both the standard and advanced NLS players.
* "Over the Ear" Style Earphone for Talking Book
Price: $8.99 Each
This "Over the Ear" style Earphone with a single-earpiece speaker may
look unusual, but is very comfortable, durable, and has great audio
quality. Used by many in law enforcement and news program listeners for
steadfast listening where dependable, crisp audio, and long duration
comfort is a concern. Fits ear without fatigue or pain after prolonged
use. It stays on your ear better than buds, and won't fall off. It even
makes for a comfortable pillow speaker while in bed. A great value for
the price with excellent sound quality, with a 5-foot length cord and a
3.5 mm jack.
Please visit the new Perkins Library Store<http://www.perkins.org/nls>
for links to all of our products.
To order our products in quantities of 100 or more, please contact Tim
McGrath by email at:
Tim.McGrath at Perkins.org<mailto:Tim.McGrath at Perkins.org>.
Q. Can people order the cartridges by phone, or is the phone number only
A. The phone number is generally only for questions. We set things up so
patrons will go directly to Amazon to make purchases. We do however
realize that a small number of patrons will not have access to Amazon
themselves, from a friend or from a family member. In those cases, they
can call us and we can buy products from Amazon for them, provided they
are willing to give us their credit card to do so.
Q. Can individuals also purchase products through the Perkins Library
Products web site as well as on Amazon.com?
A. The Perkins Library Products page is merely a portal leading to the
products on Amazon.com
Q. Your assistance with patrons and their credit cards, would this only
be for Perkins Library patrons, or patrons of any talking book library?
A. We will help anyone make purchases if they have no other way to do
it. This includes patrons nation-wide as well as any other non-patrons
If you have any other questions, please feel free to call the Perkins
Library at 617-972-7240 or email
Library at Perkins.org<mailto:library at perkins.org>
On 09/10/2017 10:08 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Okay, I'v managed to find Perkins branded Digital Cartridges on
> Amazon, but there doesn't seem to be any listings for the cables. Does
> anyone know if the cartridges include the cables? Either way, I'm
> tempted to pick up a 16GB cartridge as a stop gap for playing the
> encrypted files if I can't figure out how to play them on my Blaze ET
> or Linux PC, though considering how anemic 16GB is for storage this
> day and age, I find myself wondering if my digital cartridge player
> can play audiobooks stored on an SD card in a dongle-style reader
> connected to the USB port on the side of the player. *Tries it with
> the 256GB card from my Blaze ET.* Okay, its been beeping for a few
> minutes and the pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons just play a
> please wait message with no explanation. I can only assume its trying
> to scan the SD card for compatible files.
> Given a suggestion to use a standard tape deck to rip two of a
> cassette's four tracks at a time and do post processing to account for
> tapes having non-standard formats, I've been searching for a suitable
> one on Amazon, and while there are several rather affordable models
> designed specifically for converting cassettes to digital files, it
> isn't always clear which models are stand-alone, which rely on a PC
> and specific drivers, and which should work with any recording device
> with a line-in/microphone jack, and many sound like they're hardcoded
> to output mp3, which I deem completely unacceptable in this age of
> terabyte harddrives and 256GB memory cards, and even cutting record
> time by more than half isn't worth lossy compression when I already
> have a recording device with line-in and wav support, and there's no
> mention of sample rate or bit depth on any of the product pages I've
> checked. If anyone has any suggestions for cutting through the cruft,
> it would be greatly appreciated.
> I've only ever used sox for concatenating flac files, but I understand
> its one of the most versatile command line tools for manipulating
> streamed audio. Can anyone provide instructions on how to do the
> following tasks in sox or via another command line tool?
> -Reversing an audio stream in a way equivalent to playing an audio
> cassette backwards.
> -Altering the sample rate for playback without altering the samples
> themselves. Also, am I correct that, if your analog source is playing
> at double speed, you'd want to record at twice the target sample rate
> before slowing the recording down?
> -Splitting multi-channel files into single channels files or merging
> single-channel files into multi-channel files.
> -Trimming silence to a given length at the biginning/end of a stream
> or splitting a stream into multiple files in the middle of internal
> silence exceeding a certain length.
> -Anything else that might be useful for the task at hand.
> Oh, and my digital cartridge player eventually finished whatever it
> was doing, but still offered no explanation, not even a "no content
> found" message. The contents of my SD card seems unaffected putting it
> back in my Blaze ET.
> Jeffery Wright
> President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
> Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.
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