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Subject: Re: Notes from the audiobook world.

Re: Notes from the audiobook world.

From: Neon John <>
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 18:28:46 -0500

On Sat, 20 Mar 2004 11:41:54 -0800, "David H. Straayer" <>

>First: Congratulations on a magnificent team effort! Without
>what you have done, the Archos would not be a good choice for
>audiobook users. The “resume” and the “bookmark” features make
>a world of difference.
>Second: Some of you folks may be interested in the R6WG11
>committee on spoken audio that has been working for some time on
>standards for audiobooks. It is a joint effort of APA (Audio
>Publishers Association) and CEA (Consumer Electronics
>Association), and has published at least one standard already,
>for audio books on CD/MP3 media. The contact point for R6WG11
>is I know that most of the people involved in
>Rockbox development are more oriented to music listening than
>audiobook reading, but the discussions at R6WG11 may prove to be
>a useful source of ideas.
>Third: R6WG11 has been working with loosely with the DAISY
>organization. George Kerscher has been
>involved in the DAISY work and he would be very interested in
>the voice interface. George is blind, and the DAISY standard is
>specifically intended for providing material for blind folks. I
>’m sure he would be delighted to know that you have produced
>software to turn the Archos into such a blind-friendly device
>that can be had for such a low cost.
>Fourth: Here are a couple of tips that could make the Rockbox
>system even more audiobook-friendly. First, when the “left”
>button is tapped during play, I suggest that instead of jumping
>to the beginning of the file on the first tap, as it does now,
>just jump pack a user-configurable number of seconds back (this
>could even be hard set at some value between 15 and 45 seconds,
>but a user-settable amount avoids the gripes from folk who
>prefer a different value). Then if a second tap comes along
>soon (within a 1 or two second window, perhaps) it would then
>jump to the beginning of the file, and subsequent taps would go
>back files. This would make it easy to back up and “re-read” a
>section. Another nice idea would be to have a user-settable
>"re-read" value (it might even be the same parameter used
>above), and always do a resume or a bookmark that many seconds
>before the point at which reading was stopped. A little overlap
>helps a user to remember the context. I’d love to always have
>my Rockbox resume by re-playing the last 15 to 30 seconds of
>material. That would lessen the loss due to the otherwise nice
>fade-out and fade-in.

I second that. Those features were on my Rio SP-250 CD player, STILL the best
audio book player I've seen. I REALLY liked being able to click back 10 or 15
seconds to re-listen to something I missed. When RockBox gets these features
it will finally become THE BEST audio book player, regardless of physical
>Fifth: We might want to let the manufacturing community in
>Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China know about the availability
>of Rockbox. There are a lot of electronic assembly houses there
>who are great at putting together consumer electronics
>equipment, but not so great at developing the necessary
>firmware. If they knew that they could make up “Archos clones”,
>bundle open-systems free Rockbox firmware on them, and sell
>them, we might get some other great sources of inexpensive
>players. They might even be willing to cough up prototypes to
>send to the Rockbox development team to ensure that Rockbox
>firmware is available for their designs. :-) I know, because
>I've done a lot of traveling in Asia and working with
>electronics manufacturers there. I could probably dredge up
>some contact information if the Rockbox development team thinks
>such "feelers" might be a good idea.

The way RockBox works is, someone identifies a new path, takes the bull by the
horns and charges forward. Is that the sound of you volunteering that I hear?
:-) Seriously, that sounds like a wonderful idea and you sound like the
person to make it happen.

John De Armond
Cleveland, Occupied TN
Received on 2004-03-21

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