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Reading a NNELS Digital Book

Reading Systems

To access the contents of a book, you will need to load it into a reading system. Reading systems can be standalone devices or an application that runs on a smartphone, tablet, or a desktop or laptop computer. If you are unsure of whether the book can be read on a particular reading system, or would like to look at other options, please check out our compiled list of reading systems. We have indicated formats and features where possible. We also encourage you to network with others, particularly in the disability community, to find out what they like.

There are numerous systems to choose from especially in the application arena. To help you get, started here are a few suggestions:

Reading System Suggestions
App Company Operating System Price Supported Formats
Thorium  EDR Labs Windows, Mac, and Linux Free EPUB, DAISY, and PDF
Easy Reader Dolphin Access iOS and Android Free EPUB, Docx, MP3, DAISY, and TXT
Voice Dream Reader Voice Dream LLC iOS $27.99 EPUB, PDF, DAISY, MP3, Doc/Docx, RTF, TXT, and many more
Legere Reader Voice Dream LLC Android $9.99 EPUB, PDF, DAISY, MP3, Doc/Docx, RTF, TXT, and many more

If you do not want to deal with touch screens, worry about battery drainage on your smartphone or tablet, and want something portable, you should consider using a standalone device. For example, the Victor Reader line of products from Humanware such as the Victor Reader Stream and the Blaze line of products from HIMS like the Blaze ET are popular options. Both support DAISY, MP3, EPUBs, Microsoft Word Documents, PDFs, and many other formats.

There are several ways of opening and transferring a book to a reading system. Due to the variety of reading systems available, we cannot offer step-by-step instructions for each one. However, we offer general tips for opening different formats in the sections below. We provide step-by-step guides for the most popular systems used by the disability community, on the website’s “Tutorials” section. If you do not find instructions for your system, refer to your reading system’s manual or contact your local library for assistance.

Reading Different Formats

Audiobooks

The audiobook you have downloaded from the NNELS repository will be a zip file if it is in the DAISY or MP3 format. if your player, such as Voice Dream Reader, has the ability to load a zip file, you can import it into the reading system without having to unzip the contents first. When you begin playback, the book will play from start to finish.

Otherwise use the software of your choice to unzip the contents of the zip file. At this point, you can play these files on your reading system, or transfer it to another device. You may find an M3U file after unzipping some books. This is a playlist file. Clicking on it will play the entire book from start to finish. If there is no M3U file, you will need to play each file individually or import the folder’s contents into the player.

There are several ways to transfer the book to another device such as from a computer to a smartphone or from a computer to a standalone player. You can copy the book from one hard drive to another via a USB cable, use physical media such as a USB stick or SD card, or upload the book to your cloud storage such as Dropbox and import it into the player. Remember, if the player does not support zip files, you will need to unzip it before transferring.

eBooks

Depending on the format you have chosen, the Ebook you have downloaded from the NNELS repository will most likely end in .doc for Microsoft Word documents, .epub for the electronic publication format, .PDF for the Portable Document Format, and .brf for the braille ready format. Since these are single files, they can be immediately opened on your reading system of choice. If the Ebook is split into multiple files, they will be stored as a zip file and therefore need to be unzipped. Note that BRF files are electronic braille files. They are meant to be read on braille notetakers and braille displays or embossed as hardcopy braille with a braille embosser.

There are several ways to transfer the book to another device such as from a computer to a smartphone or from a computer to a standalone player. You can copy the book from one hard drive to another via a USB cable, use physical media such as a USB stick or SD card, or upload the book to your cloud storage such as Dropbox and import it into the player.