Friday, December 21

VR Stream goodies

Greetings. HumanWare has been busy today, for they have released a couple of notable things. Note that you can know about releases and other Stream announcements when they are initially made by subscribing to the Stream News Wire on the VR Stream home page. This is an email announcement only list that is used whenever any announcements need to be made. I'll make the effort to inform you when these things are released, but I might miss things, either because I'm busy myself, or because I don't think they're worthy of a post here. So subscribe to the News Wire and stay up to date.

Here are a couple of things that are worthy of a post. The first is a tutorial that HumanWare has put out for the Stream. The tutorial is hosted by Jeff Bishop, from Main Menu fame and other things. The direct link to download the tutorial as a zip file is There is a Stream Tutorial folder within this zip file that you can copy to the $VROtherBooks folder on your SD card and play within the Stream. If you're like me and are a bit more selective, you can open the folder on your computer and select and copy only the files you want to put on the SD card. Either way will work. The tutorial covers topics from the basic (bookshelves, navigation, etc), to the advanced (using NLS digital books, BookShare material, and Audible).

The other announcement is the Companion Software that will start to be included on all CD's that come with new Stream orders. The software allows you to use a file transfer utility that HumanWare has developed to move files back and forth to yourStream, and to convert the proprietary audio note files into Wav format. Incidentally, the transfer utility is covered in the tutorial mentioned above if you want to know how to use it. The download link for the Companion Software is Or you can download the Stream Companion Software User Guide in DOC format.

One other quick note. We learned from the Stream presentation on this week's Tech Talk, from the Accessible World website, that the Tom synthetic speech male voice of the Stream, for reading non-Daisy files, should be released within the next week or two. You cannot have both the Tom and Samantha voices on the Stream at once. You have to choose one or the other. This Tom voice is the same Tom voice that came with the SAPI 5 voices that FS released for JAWS 8, if that gives you a reference. There will be a download link on the Stream page from HumanWare when the voice is ready. Or, you can be notified from the Stream News Wire. Frankly, I'm looking forward to installing this voice on my Stream since I don't like the Samantha voice as much. Its this female voice that has prevented me from reading as many Book Share books of late. The Tom voice version of the Stream software can be installed just like a software upgrade. If you're interested in this voice, then follow the instructions from HumanWare on how to perform the upgrade.

Merry Christmas and enjoy all these new goodies! Here's looking forward to the future software versions from the Stream in 2008!

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