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Digital Talking Books

Information on Digital Talking Books and Learning Disabilities.
What are Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) books?

DAISY Digital Talking Books (DTB) standards are developed, maintained, and promoted by the international DAISY Consortium External link opens in new window or tab..

A DAISY book can be explained as a set of digital files that includes:

  • One or more digital audio files containing a human narration of part or all of the source text
  • A marked-up file containing some or all of the text (strictly speaking, this marked-up text file is optional)
  • A synchronization file to relate markings in the text file with time points in the audio file
  • A navigation control file which enables the user to move smoothly between files while synchronization between text and audio is maintained

The DAISY standard allows the producing agency full flexibility regarding the mix of text and audio ranging from audio only, to full text and audio, to text only.

The CSMT DAISY DTB are either in DAISY 2.02 External link opens in new window or tab. full text and full audio or ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, commonly referred as DAISY 3 External link opens in new window or tab., text with graphics-only books.

CSMT DAISY 2.02 DTB CDs and DVDs include the following file types:
  • DAISY Consortium/NISO Standard Book(s) (DAISY)
  • MP3 audio file(s)
  • Rich text files (RTF)
CSMT downloadable DAISY 3 DTB full-text with image-only books includes the following file types:
  • DAISY 3.0 XML file(s)
  • DAISY 3.0 OPF file(s)
  • DAISY SMIL file(s)
  • Images and style sheets
DTBs give users the ability to:
  • Play the book on a variety of hardware and software players depending on the DAISY file type (e.g., CD players, mobile phones, computers, iPods & iPads, etc.)
  • Increase the font size
  • Vary the speed of the reading
  • Change the background color to meet specific needs depending on the DAISY player
  • Highlight sentences
  • Read along with a speech synthetic voice
  • Bookmark to the word, page, chapter, or unit
  • Jump to any page, chapter, or section of the book

CSMT DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3.0 books can be opened and played in many open source or commercial DAISY software players External link opens in new window or tab., hardware players External link opens in new window or tab., or mobile applications External link opens in new window or tab. depending on the book and the player specifications. Adaptive Multimedia Information System External link opens in new window or tab. (AMIS) is a DAISY playback software developed by DAISY Consortium.

Some of the AMIS features include:
  • Support full-text/full-audio, audio-only, and text-only DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 books
  • Self-voicing player (meaning no specialized screen-reading software is needed in order to be used by visually impaired people)
  • Books are played with synchronized phrase-level highlighting.
  • Supports different views/styles of the page
  • Adjustable text sizes, contrast, and background colors
  • Adjustable audio speed
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Supports bookmarking
  • Open the book from CD-ROM, URL, or from a specific location on your computer
  • Search text of DAISY books
  • Allows the user to skip items, such as footnotes, pages, producer notes, and sidebars
  • Supports navigation to previous/next section/page or specific page in the book


DAISY Consortium External link opens in new window or tab.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions: Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology | | 916-319-0881 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 23, 2016
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