The DAISY Consortium's Newsletter - August 2008

From The Editor

This is the first anniversary issue of the DAISY Planet, and although it is summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere and activities of the DAISY Consortium and some of its membership tend to slow down slightly at this time, this issue is far from light weight. To everyone who has contributed to the DAISY Planet over this incredibly eventful year, thank you from the Planet editorial team.

We truly have come a very, very long way, as illustrated in the article From DAISY Prototype to the Largest DTB Player Contract Ever Awarded. Worldwide adoption of DAISY as the Best Way to Read [and] the Best Way to Publish continues. Recognition of the work of the Consortium and those who lead it has reached an all time high in 2008. Applications for membership from countries previously not represented in the Consortium have been received. Communications about Microsoft's Save As DAISY XML spread the DAISY message to many who had never before even considered the need for accessible information. International collaboration and efforts to address copyright issues relating to information access for those unable to read print are focused and heightened (see Copyright Options: Experts Meet in Washington, DC in this issue of the DAISY Planet). It has been a wonderful year for the DAISY community.

As many of you will know, DAISY is the single most widely adopted reading technology in history. DAISY 1 was the beginning, as limited as it was, and now we are looking at a revision of the DAISY 3 Standard that will meet the needs of organizations providing accessible information services as well as the needs of publishers and others creating content (see Project to Revise the DAISY Standard Approved by NISO and Tech Tips in this issue of the DAISY Planet). There are many more exciting activities and developments underway - 2008 is not over yet.

Those of you who read the Part 1 of Michael Hingson's Story in the July issue will quite possibly read Part 2 before reading any other article in this issue. His story is truly amazing.

I would personally like to thank Jim Sanders, C.M., President and Chief Executive Officer of CNIB for his kind words in this month's Letter to the Editor.

DAISY Marketplace

The following links are to new or recently updated DAISY Products and Services from our Members and Friends. Marketplace entries also appear on our home page.

Tools from our Friends and from the DAISY Consortium are in development. We hope to have information for the Marketplace in the September Planet. Product announcements for the DAISY Marketplace to circulate on the DAISY Consortium home page and here on The DAISY Planet.

DAISY Marketplace Details

Project to Revise the DAISY Standard Approved by NISO

NISO LogoThe project which will spear head the revision of the DAISY Standard, officially the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book, has been approved by the National Information Standards Organization, NISO.

The revised Standard will address both authoring (master creation) and distribution requirements. George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium, who prepared the revision proposal, stated: "It is expected that the next revision of the DAISY Standard will help tame the chaos of digital publishing by providing an extensible, flexible system that everybody can use for information and knowledge dissemination." Kerscher is also the Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Maintenance of the DAISY Standard.

Further information is available in the NISO press release on the NISO Web site.

From DAISY Prototype to the Largest DTB Player Contract Ever Awarded

LC Contract Awarded to SKC

In the mid 1990's a prototype DAISY player was introduced, piquing the interest of everyone who had the opportunity to witness it. Now, more than ten years later a contract beginning with the initial manufacture of almost a quarter million Digital Talking Book (DAISY DTB) players has been announced.

The Library of Congress has awarded the contract on behalf of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS/BPH) to Shinano Kenshi Corporation Ltd. (SKC) of Japan and its subsidiary Shinano Kenshi Corporation-Plextor LLC (SKC-North America). Both standard and advanced players will be manufactured.

The initial order is for 223,837 Digital Talking Book players supporting playback of both ANSI/NISO Z39.86 (DAISY 3) and DAISY 2.02 books. The first players for NLS/BPH will be manufactured in late 2008.

Shinano Lenshi Corporation logoRex Bergsma, President, Shinano Kenshi Corporation-North America stated: Shinano has long-held a passion for creating and/or manufacturing products that better our lives. We are amazed and impressed by the NLS and the commitment they are making towards improving the quality of life, independence and self-reliance for so many people. NLS/BPH serves 700,000 patrons with accessible library services.

The DTB players will be manufactured in Japan at the Plextor (PLEXTALK) factories. Assembly will be in accordance with the quality standards specified by the NLS. Pictures and information about the NLS/BPH DTB player are available online.

NLS is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium; Plextor Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Shinano Kenshi Corporation Ltd., is a Friend of the DAISY Consortium.

Further details are provided in the Shinano Kenshi Corporation press release and in the July 2008 NLS newsletter, NLS FLASH.

Copyright Options: Experts Meet in Washington, DC

On July 24 and 25, 2008, a star-studded cast of experts met to discuss copyright within the accessibility field. The meeting was hosted by the World Blind Union (WBU) and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI).

Experts involved in and concerned with information access represented the following organizations:

Go to previous issues of the DAISY Planet to read earlier articles about copyright, access, and the work of the DAISY/IFLA-LBS/WBU joint Global Library Initiative. The interest in copyright and access to information continues to grow and intensify.

Further details and information are expected to be available in November, and will be reported in the DAISY Planet.

Hiroshi Kawamura Receives Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award

Earlier this month Hiroshi Kawamura, President of the DAISY Consortium, and long time advocate for equitable access to information, was presented with the Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award in Quebec City, Canada. The award, which is given by the CNIB annually to one outstanding individual who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and leadership to Canadians living with vision loss, was given to Mr. Kawamura at a reception held in conjunction with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress. Mr. Kawamura's ongoing, international efforts to make accessible information available to everyone, everywhere, were recognized as was his contribution to the DAISY Consortium and its development over more than ten years.

Additional information is provided on the CNIB Web site. CNIB is the founding member of the Canadian DAISY Consortium which is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium.

DAISY Membership Application Form Now Online

It is possible to join the DAISY Consortium using the online application form that is now available on the DAISY Web site. Information about joining us and the various membership categories is also provided in the Get Involved pages.

Letters to the Editor

Congratulations to Lynn Leith on receiving CNIB's 2008 Grace Worts Staff Service Award. In her twenty-six years at CNIB, Lynn managed the production of thousands of books and magazines. A firm believer in accessibility, Lynn introduced staff and volunteers to the advantages that DAISY books give our clients. In 2000, the DAISY Consortium hired Lynn as International Training and Technical Support Coordinator, to develop and implement the Consortium's technical support and training programs. Working for both CNIB and DAISY, Lynn has participated in the development of requirements and standards for software production tools for DAISY Digital Talking books. After retiring from CNIB, Lynn has continued to work for the DAISY Consortium, where she worked extensively on the development of the web-based Knowledge Network and is the editor of the DAISY Planet.

Jim Sanders, President & CEO, CNIB



I would like to know more about MyStudio PC and what cost there is to obtain it. Could you please provide me any relevant information?


Many Thanks,   
D.V. (Australia)

Dear D.V.

There are actually several answers to your question. MyStudio PC is almost exactly the same production software that comes in the Plextalk Portable Recorder (Model: PTR2). MyStudio PC is itself not for sale; set numbers of copies are available to DAISY Consortium Members (10 maximum for Associate Members, 50 maximum for Full Members). Members must submit an application for the licenses (MyStudio PC application information is also provided on the DAISY Web site).

Plextor has made packages of 5 copies of Plextalk Recording Software Pro (PRS Pro) available commercially. This software is the same as the software in the PTR2. It is reasonably priced, at a one time cost of under $1,000 (US) for the 5 copies.

Both MyStudio PC and PRS Pro are DAISY 2.02 audio and structure authoring tools.

Tech Tips

From September 16-18 on the campus of Google, a face-to-face meeting will be held to kick-off the official revision of the DAISY Standard (see the article Project to Revise the DAISY Standard Approved by NISO).

Those interested in participating in the revision process or who wish to be a part of the affiliated interest group, should contact Karen Wetzel, NISO's Standards Program Manager. Contact details are provided in the NISO press release.