[Athen] Sony and ePub and Daisy

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Mon Feb 8 15:41:52 PST 2010

Hi Jesse,

This can get confusing, so let me do my best to explain the differences. As
time goes on the overlap between the two formats may increase, because the
DAISY consortium recently agreed to be the standard maintenance organization
for ePub.

ePub and DAISY share some similarities but they are very different
standards. ePub is designed to be the format that the trade (Bookstore)
community uses for electronic books and is overseen by the IDPF
(International Digital Publishing Forum) The current standard contains a
DAISY book amongst its internal contents but is typically locked up in the
proprietary delivery format that the individual publishers and book
distributors use.

DAISY is the standard for accessible digital talking books. They may or may
not have DRM, but that DRM typically does not block the accessibility of the
material. RFBD DRM is tied to the device and that is why you need a player
from them to play their books. To play DAISY materials you need a DAISY
players and several of the commercial players play ePub along with several
other formats. Unfortunately the eBook reader manufactures have not
typically included a DAISY player in their devices or in their software, if
they did you could also play DAISY materials on them.

No the Sony eReader, or the Kindle will play DAISY formatted materials as
far as I am aware. It would be a simple fix, and with the recent litigation
around the Kindle it may be something we see in short order.

Ron Stewart

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Hausler,Jesse
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 4:12 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Sony and ePub and Daisy

Hey Guys,

I am doing research into book readers for students with learning
disabilities. I've searched this listserv and a few others, but am still
somewhat confused about ePub and Daisy. From what I understand, ePub is a
umbrella standard that consists of several e-book specifications. According
to the "all knowing" Wikipedia:

"EPUB internally uses XHTML or DTBook (an XML standard provided by the DAISY
Consortium) to represent the text and structure of the content document, and
a subset of CSS to provide layout and formatting."

If this is the case, why have I read in so many places (including the
listserv) that the Sony reader will not play DAISY? Assuming there is no
DRM (from RFB&D or otherwise), will the Sony Reader play a DAISY book?


Jesse Hausler

Colorado State University

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