BARD- Braille and Audio Reading Download
Digital books from the National Library Service (NLS) are now available for download through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). BARD contains nearly 65,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, and new works added regularly.
General BARD Inforamation
BARD and your NLS Player
Books can be downloaded on to your computer and placed on a USB or NLS cartridge and then played with the use of your NLS Audio Player. Cartridges can be purchased at any of the following locations:
- American Printing House for the Blind, 1-800-223-1839
- Howell Mobility Products, 1-248-548-0681
- National Federation of the Blind, 1-410-659-9314 x2216
- Perkins School for the Blind, 1-617-972-7308
- Vistas Store, 323-663-111 x1245
What you need to download books:
* a computer with high-speed internet access
* an active email address
* a digital player issued to you from an NLS regional library (or you can buy a third-party player)
* the ability to unzip the downloaded files and move them to either an empty cartridge (available for purchase) or to your USB flash drive (thumb drive) that has at least one gigabyte (1 GB) of storage.
Playing in multiple books from one cartridge:
* Hold down the Play/Stop button until a beep sounds to put your digital player into bookshelf mode.
* Then use the FF (Fast Forward) and RW (Rewind) buttons, to the right and left of the Play/Stop button, to move from one book to another. The player will announce the title of each book.
Additional instructions for playing multiple books (Bookshelf Mode).
How does it work?
The digital player has been pre-programmed to play the downloaded audio books. Due to digital rights management restrictions, BARD digital books will not play on your computer or mp3 player.
There are also digital player firmware updates that are periodically available from NLS. Digital players shipped to patrons will have current firmware upgrades installed. This site lists software version enhancements and changes such as the ability to use a "bookshelf" mode that allows users to navigate among multiple books saved on one USB flash drive.
Playing MP3 and WAV Files
The digital player will also play mp3 and WAV audio files. Create a folder on your USB flash drive named audio+podcasts. (Be sure to use the + sign between the words audio and podcasts). Put your mp3 or WAV files in this folder. The audio files will then play in sequence based on their file names.
Additonal Devices used with BARD
You can download books to your Apple device, Android device, Kindle or any of the following:
- Apex BrailleNote/VoiceNote
- APH BookPort DT
- APH BookPort Plus
- APH Braille+ Mobile Manager - discontinued product
- HIMS Blaze ET
- HIMS Blaze EZ
- HIMS BookSense
- HIMS BookSense DS
- HIMS BookSense XT
- HIMS BrailleSense U2
- HIMS Sense Notetaker
- Humanware VictorReader Stratus
- Humanware VictorReader Stream
- LevelStar Icon - discontinued product
- Milestone 212
- Milestone 312
Online resources created by other state libraries: