Tuesday, March 31

Stream and Companion software version 3released

Greetings. Wouldn't you know it, a prediction of when a software package was going to be released did not come true; technology. However, it's out now. Below find the emails for the VR Stream version 3 and then the newly named HumanWare Companion 3 software. I'm putting them both here for convenience, but as mentioned before, your use of the Companion software is purely optional. There are some features in the Companion that you might want to check out though. At any rate, enjoy.

***Victor Reader Stream version 3***

Dear Victor Reader Friends:

HumanWare is please to announce the release of the new Stream 3.0 software. Stream 3.0 is a major release with exciting new features and numerous usability improvements. Version 3 responds to popular requests received from many Stream customers. New features include:

- Optional multi-level bookshelf navigation for Other Books, Podcasts, and Text. Now you can optionally organize these bookshelves into multiple levels of folders and navigate at those levels.
- Optional multi-level folder navigation within Music files. For example, now you could choose to organize your music by levels such as genre, artist, and album and navigate at those levels to more quickly find your desired music.
- Further you can now instantly create temporary playlists of a subset of your music collection and limit Random play to only that portion of your music.
- Text Search. Now you can enter words to search for in your text files or text portion of DAISY books.
- A new Bookmark alert feature can be enabled to notify you when you pass over a previously bookmarked position during playback. It will even automatically announce your audio bookmarks.
- Two text-to-speech voices. The English versions will now include both a male and female text-to-speech voice.
- Optional voice label for your SD cards

Usability Improvements:
- A 30 minute Time Jump choice has been added
- Single hotkey (#9) to toggle music random play on or off
- Book title is included in the delete confirmation prompt. Also, after deletion, the next book on the bookshelf is announced.
- Press key 4 in music to repeat the current song
- Go To Percent added to Other Books and Podcasts
- Automatic removal of the UPG file after the software upgrade

and more. Please see the Release Notes for full details on the new features and instructions on how to use them.
Both the software and Release Notes can be downloaded from the Stream support page at:

Select the Software link on that page. You will find the Release Notes at the top and the English 3.0 software download links. You can choose from two English versions one with Samantha + Tom text-to-speech voices and another with Samantha + Daniel (UK) voices. You can upgrade to version 3 from any prior Stream version. To install the new software, follow these steps:

- Download the software zip file
- Unzip the single UPG upgrade file from the zip file. You do not need special unzip software. Simply press Enter to open the zip file and you can then select the UPG file.
- Copy this UPG file to the root of your Stream SD card.
- Disconnect the Stream from the computer, connect it to AC power and turn it on.
- The Stream will automatically start the update process which takes about 2 minutes during which time it will announce intermittent "please Wait" messages. The Stream will power off when the new software is installed.

After the new software is installed, an html Release Notes document will also be available in a HumanWare sub-folder of your Text Bookshelf so you may read the Release Notes with your Stream. The html version allows you to navigate the Release Notes section by section using the 2/8 keys to select the level and keys 4 and 6 to move between sections.

With this announcement, version 3 is available in English only. As other version 3 languages become available they will be posted on the same download page. We also are releasing a new version of Stream Companion which will be described in a second email.

HumanWare values your continued support of the Victor Reader Stream. We remain committed to our customers to make the Stream the most powerful, flexible, and enjoyable product used for listening to digital talking books, computer files, and music.

Thank you,
The HumanWare Team

***HumanWare Companion version 3***

Dear Victor Reader Friends:

HumanWare is please to announce the release of the new Stream Companion 3.0 program.

It is available for free download on the Stream support page at:

or from the ClassMate Reader support page at:

Select the software link on either of those pages. The software has been renamed to HumanWare Companion because it now supports both of the HumanWare digital talking book players: Victor Reader Stream and ClassMate Reader. The ClassMate Reader is a DAISY and MP3 player with an integral screen. It is designed for people with learning disabilities who can benefit from seeing the text displayed while listening to the corresponding audio. It also has a built-in talking dictionary and many other features designed to help people with learning or reading disabilities. To find more information about the ClassMate Reader visit:

The HumanWare Companion is a completely new program. You do not need to uninstall the previous version of Stream Companion or ClassMate Companion. Those previous programs can remain on your computer along with the new HumanWare Companion. Once you are familiar with the new HumanWare Companion, you can then remove the old Stream or ClassMate Companion using the Windows Add/Remove option of Control Panel.

To install HumanWare Companion, download the executable (EXE) file from the above link and run this file.
The new HumanWare Companion Installation procedure will ask you to select from a list of available languages. English is the default. If you are installing for the first time, you will be asked to read and accept the license. You will also be asked if you want a Complete or Custom installation. Select 'Complete' to install for the Stream. If you are using the ClassMate Reader you should select 'Custom' to allow you to customize the Companion for that player. After installation you also have the ability to change either the language or player choices using the Options item of the Companion Tools menu.

After installing, you can run the program by selecting the HumanWare Companion icon on your desktop. Note that the desktop Stream or ClassMate Companion icons will still run the old versions of those programs until you decide to uninstall them.

The HumanWare Companion is optional software to support the Stream or the ClassMate Reader. There is no need to install this software unless you need its functionality. The Companion automates the unzipping of books and creation of folders on the SD card so many people find it more convenient than Windows for transferring books and files to the SD card. The Companion also lets you convert audio note files to wav files for use on your computer. The new features and changes for version 3.0 include:

- A complete new interface using simple pull-down menus instead of former multi-page dialogs. Now there is a Transfer menu with items for each of the Stream bookshelves.
- Five less controls in the transfer dialog windows making the dialogs easier to navigate especially for keyboard users. The Refresh button has been moved to the File menu. The About and Help buttons have been moved to a Help menu. The two controls for SD space before and after the operation have been moved to the status line at the bottom of the screen.
- The options dialog of the Tools menu lets you choose the interface language from a list of available languages. You can also choose which book player (Stream or Classmate) you are using.
- A new tree view allows you to view your music by folder and/or file.
- The Options dialog of the Tools menu lets you choose to sort your book titles or file names either alphabetically or by location (path).
- You can now append to an existing playlist in the Music window.
- There are single shortcut keys for each of the bookshelf transfer windows.
- There is a Tools menu item to create the new Stream 3.0 SD card label.
- Companion now supports the new Bookshare zip format. Select the check box to include zip files in the Talking Books transfer window and your zip Bookshare books will appear in the book list. Then just check the Bookshare books you wish to transfer. Companion will request your Bookshare password, unzip your books and transfer them to your SD card.

Also, with respect to NLS download books in the United States, we are aware that the previous Companion version 2 was not transferring some NLS books properly. These issues have been corrected in Companion 3.0.
After installing the User Guide can be read by selecting the Help menu.

HumanWare hopes you enjoy the new Companion 3.0 software.

Thank you,
The HumanWare Team

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