DIGITAL BOOKS AND AUDIO FORMATS

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1 DIGITAL BOOKS AND Jeremiah B. Beasley Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired 1 MAINSTREAM 2 MAINSTREAM WAV - Windows Audio Version WAV is the native audio format developed by Microsoft and IBM for the Windows computer system. WAV is an uncompressed audio format. This means that it is much larger in file size than MP3 but can support the highest possible audio recording quality as well as lower quality settings. 3

2 MAINSTREAM AIFF - Audio Integrated File Format AIFF is the native audio file format developed by Apple for the Macintosh computer platform. It is an uncompressed audio format. This means that it is much larger in file size than MP3 but can support the highest possible audio recording quality as well as lower quality settings. 4 MAINSTREAM MP3 - MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 MP3 was developed as a way of compressing the file sizes of traditional audio formats for easier and faster Internet distribution. It is in effect full quality audio compressed to be as small as possible WMA - Windows Media Audio WMA is a proprietary compressed audio file format used by Microsoft. It was initially a competitor to the MP3 format, but with the introduction of Apple's itunes Music Store, it has positioned itself as a competitor to the advanced audio coding format used by Apple. 5 MAINSTREAM aa - Audible.com Audible audio files are compatible with over 500 models of audio players, PDAs, mobile phones and streaming media devices. Devices that do not have AudibleAir capability (allowing users to download content from their library directly into their devices) require a Windows PC or Macintosh to download the files. Additionally, titles can be played on the PC (using itunes, Windows Media Player, or AudibleManager). Titles cannot be burned to CD with AudibleManager. According to Audible's website, they can be burned to CD using Apple's itunes and some versions of Nero. (The DRM generally allows a title to be burned to CD once, although the resulting CDs can be played in any CD player.) 6

3 MAINSTREAM OGG - OGG Vorbis OGG is a free, open source container format supporting a variety of formats, the most popular of which is the audio format Vorbis. Vorbis offers compression similar to MP3 but is less popular. M4A - MPEG-4 Audio Layer M4A is actually the audio layer of (non-video) MPEG 4 movies. M4A is slated to become the new standard for audio file compression. This format is also known as Apple Lossless, Apple Lossless Encoder, or ALE. It is a new codec designed to provide lossless encoding in less storage space. This is what itunes uses. 7 8 Popular Formats Data from ManyBooks.net 9

4 PDF - Portable Document Format PDF is an open standard for document exchange. This file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it. 10 EPUB - Electronic Publication EPUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that the text display can be optimized for the particular display device used by the reader of the EPUB-formatted book. The format is meant to function as a single format that publishers and conversion houses can use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale. The EPUB format is rapidly gaining popularity and as of 2011 is the most widely supported vendor-independent XML-based e-book format. 11 PDB - ereader formerly Palm Digital Media ereader is a freeware program for viewing Palm Digital Media electronic books which use the pdb format used by many Palm applications. Versions are available for iphone, PalmOS, WebOS, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh. The reader shows text one page at a time, as paper books do. ereader supports embedded hyperlinks and images. Additionally, the Stanza application for the iphone and ipod Touch can read both encrypted and unencrypted ereader files. 12

5 AZW - Kindle With the launch of the Kindle ebook reader, Amazon.com created the proprietary format, AZW. It is based on the Mobipocket standard, with a slightly different serial number scheme (it uses an asterisk instead of a dollar sign) and its own DRM formatting. Because the ebooks bought on the Kindle are delivered over its wireless system called Whispernet, the user does not see the AZW files during the download process. The Kindle format is now available on a variety of platforms. 13 MOBI - Mobipocket The Mobipocket Reader has a home page library. Readers can add blank pages in any part of a book and add free-hand drawings. Annotations highlights, bookmarks, corrections, notes, and drawings can be applied, organized, and recalled from a single location. Images are converted to GIF format and have a maximum size of 64K, sufficient for mobile phones with small screens, but rather restrictive for newer gadgets. Mobipocket Reader has electronic bookmarks, and a built-in dictionary. 14 LIT - Microsoft Reader DRM-protected LIT files are only readable in the proprietary Microsoft Reader program, as the.lit format, otherwise similar to Microsoft's CHM format, includes Digital Rights Management features. Other third party readers, such as Lexcycle Stanza, can read unprotected LIT files. There are also tools such as Convert Lit, which can convert.lit files to HTML files or OEBPS files. 15

6 TXT - Text E-books in plain text exist. The size in bytes is simply the number of characters, including spaces, and with a new line counting for 1 or 2. For example, the Bible, an 800,000-word book, is about 4 MB. The ASCII standard allows ASCII-only text files to be interchanged and readable on Unix, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, DOS, and other systems. These differ in their preferred line ending convention and their interpretation of values outside the ASCII range (their character encoding). Conversion of files from one to another line-ending convention is easily possible with free software on all computers. 16 RTF - Rich Text Format RTF is a proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft Corporation since 1987 for Microsoft products and for cross-platform document interchange. Most word processors are able to read and write some versions of RTF. There are several different revisions of RTF specification and portability of files will depend on what version of RTF is being used. RTF specifications are changed and published with major Microsoft Word and Office versions. 17 HTML - Hypertext Markup Language HTML is the markup language used for most web pages. E-books using HTML can be read using a Web browser. HTML on its own is not a particularly efficient format to store information in, requiring more storage space for a given work than many other formats. However, several e-book formats including the Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket and EPUB store each book chapter in HTML format, then use ZIP compression to compress the HTML data, images, metadata and style sheets into a single, significantly smaller, file. HTML files encompass a wide range of standards and displaying HTML files correctly can be complicated. Additionally many of the features supported, such as forms, are not relevant to e-books. 18

7 DAISY ANSI/NISO Z DAISY ANSI/NISO Z39.86 DAISY, is a means of creating digital talking books for people who wish to hear and navigate written material presented in an audible format; many such listeners have "print disabilities," including blindness, impaired vision, dyslexia or other issues. Using DAISY, a talking book format is presented with enabled navigation within a sequential and hierarchical structure consisting of (marked-up) text synchronized with audio. 20 DAISY ANSI/NISO Z39.86 DAISY assists people who, for different reasons, have problems using regular printed media. DAISY books have the benefits of regular audiobooks, but they are superior because DAISY 2.02 provides up to six embedded "navigation levels" for content (i.e. other objects such as images, graphics, MathML etc.) and for displaying synchronized text to speech. DAISY Multimedia can be a talking book, computerized text or a synchronized presentation of text and audio. 21

8 DAISY ANSI/NISO Z39.86 As a result, DAISY books allow the blind listener to navigate an encyclopedia; this is impossible using conventional audio recordings because they lack search and navigation features and they require linear listening. While reading a DAISY book, a reader can go to the next or previous page, chapter, heading, or sentence. A subset of the DAISY format has been adopted by law in the United States as the National Instructional Material Accessibility Standard (NIMAS), and K-12 textbooks and instructional materials are now required to be provided to students with disabilities. 22 DAISY ANSI/NISO Z39.86 DAISY books can be heard on standalone DAISY players, computers using DAISY playback software, mobile devices, and MP3 players (with limited navigation). DAISY books can be distributed on a CD/DVD, memory card or through the Internet. A computerized text DAISY book can be read using refreshable Braille display or screen-reading software, printed as Braille book on paper, converted to a talking book using synthesized voice or a human narration, and also printed on paper as large print book. In addition, it can be read as large print text on computer screen. 23 DAISY ANSI/NISO Z39.86 In the United States, Learning Ally (Formally "Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic"), Bookshare, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), among others, are offering content to print disabled individuals. Content from both the NLS and the Learning Ally organizations utilizes proprietary encryption extensions to the DAISY standard. The files are encrypted and must be decrypted in order to be read/played back. The organization which offers the content provides a decryption key to the user, which can be installed into a DAISY player to allow decryption. 24

9 BOOKS WAMP NLS BARD Bookshare.org Learning Ally Internet Archive Audible ManyBooks Project Gutenberg ibooks itunes Blio 25 THANK YOU! Jeremiah Beasley Web: Web: Blog: iaccess Blog: Phone: SMS:

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