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Digital Talking Books

Information on Digital Talking Books to support qualified students.

What are Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) books?

DAISY books are a type of digital talking books that provide full accessibility for the reader. They allow the reader 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, tablets, 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 as text is being read
  • Read along with a speech synthetic voice
  • Bookmark to the word, page, unit, or chapter
  • Move to any page, chapter, or section of the book

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

  • One or more digital audio files containing a speech synthetic narration of text
  • Files that support images and highlighted text for visual display
  • Synchronization files to relate highlighted text and bookmarks with time points in the audio file
  • A navigation control file which enables the user to move smoothly between text, pages, and bookmarks while synchronization between text and audio is maintained

In 1996, the DAISY Consortium External link opens in new window or tab. was formed and is now a global consortium which supports accessible publishing and reading services to ensure all people, regardless of disabilities, have equal access to information and knowledge. The DAISY Consortium develops, maintains, and promotes the standards for DAISY digital talking books.

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 in DAISY 2.02 External link opens in new window or tab. or ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, commonly referred as DAISY 3 External link opens in new window or tab. with text, graphics, and audio.

CSMT DAISY DTBs include various file types, such as:

  • DAISY Consortium/NISO Standard Book(s) (DAISY)
  • Wave and MP3 audio file(s)
  • Rich text files (RTF)
  • Navigation Control file
  • DAISY SMIL file(s)
  • Images and style sheets

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 and 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.

DAISYpedia External link opens in new window or tab.

What are DAISY talking books? External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 1:39)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions: Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology | | 916-319-0881 
Last Reviewed: Friday, April 19, 2024
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    The Clearinghouse for Specialized Media & Technology (CSMT) helps to close the achievement gap by providing instructional resources in accessible formats to students with disabilities in California.
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