[Athen] Daisy Player that can take a beating

Pielaet, Jon jon.pielaet at mso.umt.edu
Thu Apr 29 13:07:20 PDT 2010

For the most part I agree with Pratik. However, I'm seeing a pattern
emerge. People who use demo units of these DAISY players are left with a
bad taste in their mouth but users of the players have better
experiences over time. Part of this the firmware development, and part
of it is just the different use cases. The PlexTalk PTP1 was a horrid
demo unit. It was slow, unresponsive, and lacked features but has begun
to improve with ongoing firmware updates. This pattern also applies to
the BookSense. When The BookSense shipped, the firmware was unpolished,
but has already shown great improvement.

(I still think the PlexTalk PTP1 is slow compared to these other

Additionally, both the PlexTalk PTP1 and the APH BookPort Plus use the
Nuance Text-to-Speech engine, which next to the NeoSpeech of the
BookSense is quite poor. I share the concern that HumanWare has poor
tech. support but they have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to
updating the firmware on the Stream.

It is a tough call. All of these players have advantages and
disadvantages. It just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

PlexTalk has just announced the new PTN2 , it looks like a tough as
nails follow up to the PTN1. We'll just have to wait and see how well
it's accepted.

Jon P. Pielaet

Program Assistant for Instructional Materials

Disability Services for Students

Emma B. Lommasson 154

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812


406-243-2243 Voice/Text

406-243-4461 Direct Line

406-243-5330 Fax

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Pratik Patel
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:48 AM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Daisy Player that can take a beating


I agree with ron in that the functionality of the Plextalk player is
significantly better than that provided by the Stream. Keep in mind that
the Victor Stream's hardware was designed more than three years ago and
is not as powerful as the Plextalk. I also agree that the Booksense is
more complex than it needs to be in its interface. Some have certainly
reported hardware issues with the Booksense though I did not personally
experienced these issues while I had it for testing. The Plextalk and
the Booksense have a better industrial design. The 4th option you have
available is the Bookport plus from the American Printinghouse for the
Blind. This player started shipping in early march. It uses identical
hardware as the Plextalk with APH's flavor of the firmware. Personally
if I had to choose from among all these players, I would go with APH's
Bookport Plus. I owned the first iteration of the Bookport three or
four years ago. It was very well designed. The software was quite
intuitive. From the demos I've heard, the new player caries that
tradition with new hardware. Plus, APH has a history of updating the
firmware quite frequently to meet the users' demand. I've also noticed
that GW Micro has updated the Firmware several times since the release
last summer. At this stage, the Victor Stream would be my last choice
as humanware is known to have significant support issues.



From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Ron Stewart
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 11:11 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Daisy Player that can take a beating

I have been playing with the PlexTalk PTN1 and I actually like its
feature set over the Stream. Both are very durable and have a small
wrist strap loop that could be used to tether them down as well though I
would worry about the strength of the security. For most users the
Booksense is overkill as a DAISY reader and not something that I see
checking out on a regular basis since it is really a mini-PC and
overkill for the average campus use. Odds on favorite for CD based
players is the Victor Classic X+ for durability and the ability to leash
it. As many have heard Gaeir and I say, " it passed the drop test, and
even the throw across the room test".

I must stay though in my visit to the RFBD and Humanware websites that
finding these players was almost impossible. Not a good sign for long
term continuation of the product. I am used to the lack of user
functionality on the HumanWare site but to find the "new" RFB&D site
totally almost totally unusable for access to the good pragmatic
solutions that I have looked for in the past really was a bummer on a
very long day.


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Kestrell
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:05 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Daisy Player that can take a beating

I have a Booksense, and I love it, but even though I only received it at
Christmas and didn't start using it until after New Year's, I have
already had to have it replaced. It has a known issue with the jack
where you plug in the power charger. I have had a similar issue with my
laptop--after a while the contact becomes loose. It was easily exchanged
because it is a known issue, but still, this could be a major hassle for

Also, the Booksense is pretty complex--I think one of the other Daisy
players might be much more straightforward to learn.


----- Original Message -----

From: Hausler,Jesse <mailto:jhausler at cahs.colostate.edu>

To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
<mailto:athen at athenpro.org>

Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 11:34 AM

Subject: [Athen] Daisy Player that can take a beating


I am looking to purchase a Daisy hardware player that could
survive as a loaner in a library setting. We have a Victor Classic plus
and a few Telex Scholars and they are finally nearing the end of their

Does anyone have any suggestions for a "work horse" daisy
player? Or would the Classic plus still be the one to buy? We use the
Victor Wave and Stream for direct student loaning, but are looking for
something a bit more sturdy for this purpose.


Jesse Hausler

Assistive Technology Resource Center

Colorado State University




Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20100429/8dd9a5be/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list