We must say this is the first time we were denied the opportunity to record a podcast at a conference. The Olympus DM-4 is quite a ways from production-ready, however, and many of the features which made the press release are not yet available, including the text-to-speech functions and reading of text files. We did hear it read a DAISY book and were able to navigate around, though this support will be lacking without any connection with Bookshare, NLS, or RFB&D. It's actually a bit bigger and heavier than the DM-520, with just over a third of the battery life at 20 hours. That being said, many will appreciate the text-to-speech features for all menus, compared with the selected menus of the current models. Expect this one in early summer.Source: Go to source
Category: Portable Devices
How does a lack of connection with Bookshare cause a problem? Bookshare's daisy isn't drm-protected, it's just in a password-protected zip file which you must first unzip on your computer anyway. I doubt the NLS will allow Olympus devices, they seem hell-bent on allowing only specialized devices to access their content. It is for this reason that I refuse to use their service even though I qualify for it. I think RFB&D would be cooperative if and when Olympus wishes to approach them. I certainly didn't expect Daisy reading on one of their digital recorders, so the fact that it can do it at all is cool. What's the tts used? Please not vocalizer, please...
olympusaudio Thursday, 10-Jun-2010 11:03 PM ET:
Hello J.J. I'd like to thank you for your enthusiasm and interest in the DM-4. If you're familiar with our previous DM models you already know they were developed with the visually impaired in mind. With the DM-4 our hope is to further our product line to better serve this audience. The unit you saw in March was, as you stated, a bit off from production-ready. Announcing a product in the manner has its pros and cons. In this case, the con was that you were not able to demo the product and were left with some important unanswered questions. The pro is that it gave us the opportunity to get some excellent feedback from our loyal users. While I can't get into specifics, I'm happy to tell you that our engineers in Tokyo have taken that feedback to the design room floor and we're putting some final touches on the DM-4 now. You'll be hearing more about the DM-4 very soon. Stay tuned and thanks again for support.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.