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E-Book Reader Question

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posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:07 AM
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Hello ATS,

I have a friend in her 60's, she has Macular Degeneration & I suspect it is getting worse rapidly, she told me today she was talking all 'cutesy' to her new kitten, only to discover it was a toy, explaining the lack of response
I think the time is quickly approaching, & yes I have stopped accepting lifts from her


Just in case its important, I'll say now, we are in Australia.

Today her husband was telling her about E-Book readers, not that he knew the name of the technology at all,so I stepped in & offered help. This is one thing I am behind on (though well ahead of him), he said he was told that some of them have applications for the blind, including magnifying glasses & he claimed the ability to read out loud ANY book you download.

I am just wondering, is this true ? Do any of these readers actually 'read' any book out loud to you ?

Does anyone have a suggestion as to which reader would be best for someone going blind, & eventually be blind ? Being retired, reading is important to her & its not going to be possible for much longer I suspect, she's already on the big print books, with a magnifier.

I cant deny, when she does go blind, I am going to have so much fun with it, playing tricks etc on her (yes she expects I will) but I'd still like to help her maintain her love of books.

Any help is much appreciated.




posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:14 AM
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I have an iPad and read eBooks on it frequently (Game of Thrones series currently).
There is an option to increase font size massively (to the point where it shows a few words per page) and yes, you can make it read to you too. Not sure about Kindle etc



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:20 AM
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Originally posted by SNAFU38

I am just wondering, is this true ? Do any of these readers actually 'read' any book out loud to you ?



Well, it depends on what you consider "reading", open up an ebook in Adobe Reader, and click view-read out loud, and you will hear what the "reading" is. Obviously its better to have audio books, but I suppose one could manage with that, could they?

Ipads seem good, they have ebook reading capabilities, as well as audiobook, music, video, movies, web browsing etc. But they are expensive. With large memory though and wifi etc. it might be a good option. Don't know about the magnifying though, or the battery life. Some of the ebook readers that I have seen have e-ink, so their battery life is magnificant, but they most likely do not have magnifying or audio. Other then that you can get the ebook readers with lcd screens and speakers, but then the battery life goes down and cost up.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:27 AM
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In relation to the above comment, I thought I'd add that the first iPad is now pretty cheap and you can pick up a perfect condition one really cheap if you know where to go. The battery life is really good, much better than iPhones.
There are accessibility details for people who are visually impaired, with many different options. I probably sound like a salesperson or something lol.
edit on 24-6-2011 by Lulzaroonie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by Lulzaroonie
In relation to the above comment, I thought I'd add that the first iPad is now pretty cheap and you can pick up a perfect condition one really cheap if you know where to go. The battery life is really good, much better than iPhones.
There are accessibility details for people who are visually impaired, with many different options. I probably sound like a salesperson or something lol.
edit on 24-6-2011 by Lulzaroonie because: (no reason given)


You forgot to add your ebay page for the ipad


I have never had an I-pad, but from memory thought that it had a crappy battery, I was probably thinking of the iphone. So Ipad is the best option that I can think of, unless kindle or other ebook readers actually have better specs.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by iamaperson

Originally posted by Lulzaroonie
In relation to the above comment, I thought I'd add that the first iPad is now pretty cheap and you can pick up a perfect condition one really cheap if you know where to go. The battery life is really good, much better than iPhones.
There are accessibility details for people who are visually impaired, with many different options. I probably sound like a salesperson or something lol.
edit on 24-6-2011 by Lulzaroonie because: (no reason given)


You forgot to add your ebay page for the ipad


I have never had an I-pad, but from memory thought that it had a crappy battery, I was probably thinking of the iphone. So Ipad is the best option that I can think of, unless kindle or other ebook readers actually have better specs.


Funnily enough I was thinking of selling mine, mainly because of cash flow issues right now, but I can't bare to part with it.
Reading and light usage alone, I can get about 4/5 days out of a single charge with the iPad. An iPhone is usually dead by the day after a full charge.
I'm not going to bang on about how they're wonderful though. They're really the kinds of things one has to check out for themselves.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:42 AM
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Thanks for the advice so far, I forgot about the iPad, but I have never had anything 'i' that wasnt more trouble than it was worth, especially MP3 players, not to mention the mandatory signing up with Apple to get any downloads.

I should have also stated, she is comletely technololgically incompetent (hence it will probably need someone to help her for a while), it takes her days to even get a text message, let alone work out her computer, emails etc. She will be a difficult person to please unless this is idiot proof unfortunately, I honestly dont expect to find an easy answer, if one at all.

Additionally, her husband claimed that (I assume with the Kindle) you do not need to have a wireless internet account, it is totally free to view & buy books online. I have serious doubts about that, but I have been surprised before. Any ideas on that theory ? Again, we're in Australia.

Thanks again.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:51 AM
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The link below is an e-book comparison from the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the UK..

www.rnib.org.uk...

I believe most e-readers have adjustable fonts and come with poor (but usable) quality text to speech functions, perhaps if the person is going blind person she might want to look for something that has both speech recognition as well as text to speech.

I find that e-ink screens are better for reading as the screen is kinder on my eyes and so am less prone to eye strain, but the screens on the touchscreen models appear no where near as crisp or clear as those on non-touchscreen models.
edit on 24/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by SNAFU38

Additionally, her husband claimed that (I assume with the Kindle) you do not need to have a wireless internet account, it is totally free to view & buy books online. I have serious doubts about that, but I have been surprised before. Any ideas on that theory ? Again, we're in Australia.



Yes, we are in Australia
. No, I don't think Kindle allows you to browse the internet (and download books) without an account, but if you have a wireless router then you can use your home internet for it. With the technology, I think that an Ipad could be simple, since it has a large colour touch screen, meaning that you don't need to press buttons etc. but rather click on what you want.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:59 AM
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Originally posted by SNAFU38

Additionally, her husband claimed that (I assume with the Kindle) you do not need to have a wireless internet account, it is totally free to view & buy books online. I have serious doubts about that, but I have been surprised before. Any ideas on that theory ? Again, we're in Australia.

Thanks again.



The Kindle does come in a 3g/Wifi model and a wifi only model, which means you can wander round Amazons online store, buy and download at home or abroad. (the free 3g is limited to buying books and browsing their store) but you do need an Amazon account.

People can also send (as each kindle has it's own email addy) books and what not directly to the device.. Amazons wispernet service converts the doc before forwarding it onto the device.

The Kindle also supports Audible audio books and has a limited music player and they are now rolling out some games and other programs for the kindle.. it is cheap.. which is why I got one to read work books on the fly..

I have a load of survivalist books on it as well.. so never know, my kindle and I might survive a zombie apocalypse


But the bloody keyboard is blooming small and not easy to use, but lots better than a blackberry.

Australian kindle centric website (does cover a few other e-book readers)..www.digibook.com.au...

Personally I dislike how expensive most e-books are when compared to paperback books, and I deeply dislike how some devices are locked into reading certain formats and locked out of others, many people make the mistake of buying some books then buying a device to find they are not supported.. *shakes fist*

the Kindle can not read Adobe Digital Editions, so all the on-line stores that sell books in the Adobe Epub format are off limits to the Kindle..

But there are a number of free e-book sites around for up and coming authors and the likes of project Gutenberg have a lot of the old classics..

www.gutenberg.org...

Libravox provides some nice free (public domain and volunteer read) audiobooks if your friend is interested in those... librivox.org...

To manage all the books and bits I have on my computer and to sync them with my e-book reader or tablet etc I use the open source Calibre Book Manager.
calibre-ebook.com...
edit on 24/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 04:58 AM
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reply to post by thoughtsfull
 


Thankyou, very helpful link.

I also didnt consider speach recognition but that would be ideal, she has trouble with a mouse she can see let alone working out a touch screen by memory.

I guess if the manufacturors thought about it more, they would liase with blind societies as its an obvious market, especially with speach recog.

Thanks, will look into that more.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by SNAFU38
 


Digging a little further for you it seems the RNIB are heaping praise on the iPad, honestly not my choice of device, Apple *shudders* however it might be the best device overall for your friend.. here is a couple youtube reviews from the RNIB of the acceptability options for the blind and partially sighted (iPad also has a Kindle Book Reader App if your friends are adamant about the Kindle)

Low Vision Review


Speech Review

edit on 24/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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you can install MS Reader for Windows. it has a text-to-speech plugin so you can just listen while enjoying your book. the only drawback that i've experienced so far is that it can only read Microsoft's proprietary file format (.lit) for ebooks and not pdf's.

on android, the only ebook reader that i can find that has text-to-speech is MultiReader. maybe i'm not looking hard enough.
but then again, i'm not an android user so i'm not so familiar with their apps.
edit on 6.24.11 by toreishi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by thoughtsfull
 



Im a kindle FREAK.. but seems that for the OPs situation the IPad seems the way to go. Theyre a heck of a lot cheaper now too



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by toreishi
you can install MS Reader for Windows. it has a text-to-speech plugin so you can just listen while enjoying your book. the only drawback that i've experienced so far is that it can only read Microsoft's proprietary file format (.lit) for ebooks and not pdf's.

on android, the only ebook reader that i can find that has text-to-speech is MultiReader. maybe i'm not looking hard enough.
but then again, i'm not an android user so i'm not so familiar with their apps.
edit on 6.24.11 by toreishi because: (no reason given)


Or just use Adobe Reader (since it can read .pdf format which is fairly common these days).



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by iamaperson
 


no thanks, i'd rather use SumatraPDF than adobe reader.

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posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by Advantage
reply to post by thoughtsfull
 



Im a kindle FREAK.. but seems that for the OPs situation the IPad seems the way to go. Theyre a heck of a lot cheaper now too



I love the technology provided by e-book readers, and the scope of what is to come, full colour and flexi-screens *drools* linked to amazing power saving... but then again I am a technology freak.. have been since the 1980s


And like you, feel in this case given the iPads accessibility options it seems the best one to investigate further..



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by toreishi
reply to post by iamaperson
 


no thanks, i'd rather use SumatraPDF than adobe reader.

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I would rather use Adobe reader

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posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by iamaperson
 


yes, you can stick with that one if you like.




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