Victor Reader Stream FAQ

Battery

Q. How long will Stream play on a full battery charge?

Q. How long does it take to recharge the Stream battery?

Q. Why does the green power light (LED) sometimes blink when I plug the Stream to AC power?

Q. Can I recharge the Stream while it is in use?

Q. If I cannot see the LED how do I tell if the player is charging?

Q. Will the battery charge through the USB port?

Q. Will I lose any bookmarks or player settings if I change the battery or allow the battery to fully deplete?


SD Card

Q. What type of SD cards should I use in Stream?

Q. Why does my computer card reader not recognize my 4GB or 8GB SDHC card?

Q. My SD Card is 2GB or less. Why does Stream not recognize it?

Q. How do I format my SD card?

Q. Why am I not able to read all the files on my SD card?

Q. If I need to format the card and then replace the files will I lose all the bookmarks and reading positions in my books?

Q. If I write-protect the SD card does it mean I cannot set bookmarks?

Q. How do I set up a USB thumb drive for use on the Stream?

Q. How do I set up the books to play on the USB drive?

Q. Do all Stream functions also work on the books on the USB drive?

Q. Must I always connect the Stream to my computer to copy files to its SD card?

Q. Why does Stream become silent for a minute or so after inserting my SD card?

Q. The more files I have on my SD card the longer it takes to add more files. Is there anything I can do to speed up the transfer?

Q. Will Stream connect to a PC running Windows Vista?

Q. Why do the $VR folder names have no creation date?

Bookshelf

Q. Do I always have to create the $VR bookshelf folders on the SD card?

Q. Why does Stream not find my music folders?

Q. Why does Stream not find my text files?

Q. If I put all my Stream files into the $VR folders can I save other types of files on the same SD Card?

Q. Do the $VR reserved folder names require mixed case?

Q. I have a DAISY CD with multiple books and a Discinfo.html file. How do I copy that CD to my Stream SD card?

Q. What is the proper way to put a Bookshare book into the Stream Bookshelf?

Q. What is the optional HTML file that is provided by the Bookshare unpack utility?

Q. How do I put an NLS downloaded book on the Stream?

Q. Is there anything I can do if the Safely Remove Hardware option is not in my Windows System Tray?

Recording

Q. Can Stream record in stereo or record music?

Q. Can I edit my recorded voice notes on my PC?

Q. What are the recording specifications and space required for the AMR-WB+ files?

Q. Why do my Audio Note files have no creation date?

Q. I have many Audio Notes and cannot remember all the note numbers. Can I rename/move the Notes for archival?

General

Q. How can I read .doc and .rtf documents on the Stream?

Q. Is it possible my Stream could become frozen and not respond even to the power button?

Q. What is the rectangular shaped hole on the back of the Stream above the battery door?

Q. Why does my Volume Setting change if I insert or remove my headphones?

Q. Can I play the Stream while it is connected to my PC?

Q. Why does my stereo music play in mono?

Q. I sometimes hear distortion while playing music. Is my Stream ok?

Q. Why do I sometimes need to press the PLAY key twice to start playback?

Q. Why does Stream not play the files I copied from my audio CD using Windows Explorer?


Battery

Q. How long will Stream play on a full battery charge?
A. Approximately 15 hours for continuous play of recorded talking books on SD cards.

Q. How long does it take to recharge the Stream battery?
A. Up to 4 hours.

Q. Why does the green power light (LED) sometimes blink when I plug the Stream to AC power?
A. When the player is turned off and plugged to AC power the LED will blink to indicate the battery is recharging. When the battery is fully charged, the LED will stop blinking. If the player is in use and connected to the AC power the battery will still recharge but in this case the LED will not blink.

Q. Can I recharge the Stream while it is in use?
A. Yes. However, the LED will glow steady instead of blinking while recharging and the power is on.

Q. If I cannot see the LED how do I tell if the player is charging?
A. You can press INFO (key 0) to hear the battery and recharge status.

Q. Will the battery charge through the USB port?
A. No.

Q. Will I lose any bookmarks or player settings if I change the battery or allow the battery to fully deplete?
A. No. The Stream saves all bookmarks and settings in its flash memory which does not require power to maintain the memory. When the player senses the battery is very nearly depleted it will save all settings and automatically power off.


SD Card

Q. What type of SD cards should I use in Stream?
A. The Stream is compatible with SD (Secure Digital) cards up to 2GB and SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards of 4GB or 8GB. If you purchase an SD card, be sure the card bears the SDHC designation. The "Class" designation does not matter because Stream is not optimized for any particular class of SDHC card. Reputable brand name media manufacturers are recommended for your SD or SDHC cards. HumanWare uses SanDisk cards.

Q. Why does my computer card reader not recognize my 4GB or 8GB SDHC card?
A. The SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard was recently released in mid 2006 so it is possible many computer SD card readers do not support the SDHC standard. You may wish to purchase an SDHC compliant USB card reader. You may also connect the Stream to your PC using the long USB cable provided.

Q. My SD Card is 2GB or less. Why does Stream not recognize it?
A. If you have an SD card which is not recognized or which results in many media errors you should format it. Although most commercial cards come pre-formatted it may be possible the formatting was not done correctly.

Q. How do I format my SD card?
A. To format, insert the SD card into your PC card reader. Open the 'My Computer' program from your desktop and right-click (or press the Applications key on your keyboard) to bring up the context menu for the SD card. Select 'Format' from this menu. The Stream requires that you format the card in either FAT16 or FAT32. SD specifications state that cards 2GB or less must be formatted in FAT16 while cards over 2GB must be in FAT32. However, the Stream accepts either FAT16 or FAT32 on any card size.

Q. Why am I not able to read all the files on my SD card?
A. After you copy files to the SD card, it is important to use the Safely Remove Hardware option from the Windows System Tray before disconnecting the Stream or removing the SD card from your computer. If you do not do this the File Allocation Table (FAT) of your SD card may be corrupted and then the files may not be readable. If this happens you will need to format the card and recopy all the files to it.

Q. If I need to format the card and then replace the files will I lose all the bookmarks and reading positions in my books?
A. No. Stream saves current reading position and bookmark information in a database stored in the player's internal flash memory. It does not save this information on the SD card.

Q. If I write-protect the SD card does it mean I cannot set bookmarks?
A. No. Stream saves bookmarks and reading position in its internal flash memory, not on the SD card. So, a write-protected SD card will only prevent you from recording voice notes or audio bookmarks.

Q. How do I set up a USB thumb drive for use on the Stream?
A. You connect the USB drive to the top left corner USB port of the Stream using the short USB cable provided with the Stream.

Q. How do I set up the books to play on the USB drive?
A. Exactly the same way you would put files on the SD card. The folder structure is the same. However, you must connect the USB drive to your computer's USB port to transfer files. The books of each bookshelf on the USB will be listed together with the books on the SD card. You will hear "USB" announced for book titles on the USB drive and you will hear "SD" announced for the titles on the SD card.

Q. Do all Stream functions also work on the books on the USB drive?
A. No. Stream can only read from the USB drive. It cannot write data to the USB drive. Thus, voice notes will always be saved on the SD card and you will not be able to delete books from the USB drive.

Q. Must I always connect the Stream to my computer to copy files to its SD card?
A. No. Newer computers come with built-in SD card slots. If your computer has an SD slot, then the fastest way to copy is to place your SD card in that slot and copy the files to it directly. If you don't have an SD slot in your computer then you can connect the Stream to a USB connector of your PC using the long USB cable provided with the Stream. You may also purchase a USB card reader and connect it to the USB connector of your PC. These USB card readers will have several slots for various types of memory cards including SD. Copying to a USB card reader is usually faster than copying to the Stream through its USB cable.

Q. Why does Stream become silent for a minute or so after inserting my SD card?
A. The more files you have on an SD card the longer it takes for Stream to scan the card especially if there are many files in a folder. When you have many files, try to organize them in multiple subfolders.

Q. The more files I have on my SD card the longer it takes to add more files. Is there anything I can do to speed up the transfer?
A: The SD card's file allocation table becomes more complex the more files you have in a single folder. When transferring the files, Windows must both copy the files and update the file allocation table. To make the table update as efficient as possible you should copy the files of DAISY or NISO talking books to a single folder for each book. Similarly, if you have many files in your $VROtherBooks and $VRMusic folders, then try to organize them in subfolders.

Q. Will Stream connect to a PC running Windows Vista?
A. Yes.

Q. Why do the $VR folder names have no creation date?
A. Stream has no internal clock so if it created the $VR folders when you inserted the card then the folders will have no creation date.


Bookshelf

Q. Do I always have to create the $VR bookshelf folders on the SD card?
A. No. Support of talking books (DAISY or NISO) copied to a blank SD is possible. This makes it simple for users who receive DAISY or NISO books on CD and who simply want to copy the entire CD to a blank SD card without creating a $VR bookshelf structure. However, if you put DAISY or NISO books in the root and also wish to have other content on the SD such as music files or text files then these must be placed in the relevant Stream bookshelf folders. The bookshelf folders are: $VRDTB for structured talking books (DAISY or NISO including Bookshare text only), $VROtherBooks for unstructured MP3 books, $VRMusic for music files, and $VRText for txt and html/XML files. You can also have an SD card with only an mp3 folder structure on it and again omit the $VR folders. Stream will treat these as music.

In general, the rule is that you cannot have both talking books (DAISY or NISO) and music files on the same card without using the $VRDTB and $VRMusic reserved folders.

Q. Why does Stream not find my music folders?
A. If you have any talking books (DAISY or NISO) in the root of your SD card, then Stream will not look for any other files in the root. If you want to have talking books in the root you must put music files in $VRMusic folder and any non structured MP3 books in $VROtherBooks. Note that putting music in $VRMusic is recommended because it will speed up the book detection.

Q. Why does Stream not find my text files?
A. All text files must be saved in the $VRText reserved folder.

Q. If I put all my Stream files into the $VR folders can I save other types of files on the same SD Card?
A. Yes.

Q. Do the $VR reserved folder names require mixed case?
A. No. Any combination of upper or lower case letters in these folder names will be recognized by the Stream. Mixed case is suggested only for readability.

Q. I have a DAISY CD with multiple books and a Discinfo.html file. How do I copy that CD to my Stream SD card?
A. There are 2 choices. You may copy the entire CD including the Discinfo file to the root of your SD card. Or, you may copy each book folder from the CD to a corresponding subfolder in $VRDTB in which case Stream does not require the Discinfo file. Note that copying DAISY or NISO books to the root will prevent Stream from finding any other files that you may have also saved in the root.


Bookshare (Available only in the United States)

Q. What is the proper way to put a Bookshare book into the Stream Bookshelf?
A. Download the Bookshare book to your computer. Use the Bookshare unpack tool to unpack the book files into a folder on your computer. When unpacking the book, you do not need to unpack the optional html file. After unpacking copy the 4 files that end with .NCX, .OPF, .SMIL, and .XML to the $VRDTB folder optionally, you may wish to create a subfolder for each book within $VRDTB as this is more efficient if you plan to have many books in $VRDTB.

Q. What is the optional HTML file that is provided by the Bookshare unpack utility?
A. The HTML provides a second optional way to read the book. The HTML file is a second copy of the book in a single file. It is possible to transfer this HTML file to the $VRText folder and listen to the book using HTML headings and text navigation provided by Stream. If you want to listen to the NISO navigable version of the book then you need only the four files that end in NCX, SMIL, OPF, and XML which must be saved in the $VRDTB folder. If you want to listen to the book on your computer and do not have a NISO software player then the HTML file is your only choice. The HTML file will play with Internet Explorer on a Windows computer.

NLS Books (Available only in the United States)

Q. How do I put an NLS downloaded book on the Stream?
A. You will notice that the downloaded book is a zip file. You cannot transfer the zip file
to Stream. Here are the steps to put the book on Stream.
" You must first unzip the book files which are contained inside the zip file.
" Press ENTER on the .zip file and save the files within the zip to a folder on your computer. It is best to name that folder as the book title.
" After unzipping, arrow down your list of folders to the newly created folder. Press Control+C to copy that folder containing your book files to the Windows clipboard.
" Power off your Stream, connect it to the USB port of your computer using the long USB cable provided, and turn the Stream back on. You will hear that the player is connected. Note: If you have a computer or USB card reader you may use either instead of connecting your Stream.
" Using the Windows Explorer or My Computer programs, find the Stream SD card on the list of drives. If your CD is drive letter D, then the Stream SD card will likely be drive letter E. Open the SD card by pressing Enter on the drive. Arrow down to the $VRDTB folder on the SD card and press Enter to open it.
" Now press Control+V to tell Windows to paste your book folder from the clipboard into the $VRDTB folder. This could take a while as all the book files need to be copied. Your screen reader mouse cursor can be used to monitor the progress of the Windows File Copy window.
" When the copy is complete, use the Safely Remove Hardware option of the Windows System Tray to release your SD card. Then disconnect the Stream or remove the SD card from your card reader. The book will now appear on the Stream's Talking Books bookshelf.

Q. Is there anything I can do if the Safely Remove Hardware option is not in my Windows System Tray?
A. The Safely Remove Hardware icon may be hidden. Press Tab on the Desktop to go to the Windows Start menu button and then press Alt+Enter to open the Task Bar and Start Menu properties dialog. In the properties dialog, ensure the check box for "Hide Inactive Icons" is not checked.


Recording

Q. Can Stream record in stereo or record music?
A. No. Stream is designed first as an advanced DAISY, MP3, and NISO player with a secondary voice recording capability. It can only record in mono and is optimized for voice recording frequencies.

Q. Can I edit my recorded voice notes on my PC?
A. The Stream records audio notes in 3gp compressed AMR-WB+ files (file extension is 3gp) for high quality voice recording. To edit your audio note files on your PC you need software that can open the 3gp files. HumanWare is not aware of public domain conversion software and plans to offer a conversion tool in the Stream Companion software to decompress the 3gp files into standard PC audio files. The Stream Companion software is expected for early October 2007. It will ship with players then and also be available for free download from the Stream product page at:
http://www.humanware.com/products/digital_talking_books/portable_cd_and_flash_player/_details/id_81/victorreader_stream.html

Q. What are the recording specifications and space required for the AMR-WB+ files?
A. The recording files are encoded in AMR-WB+ using 16 bit samples at a sampling rate of 25600HZ with a bit rate of 20.8kbps. This means that it takes approximately 9.1 megabytes of storage per 1 hour of recording.

Q. Why do my Audio Note files have no creation date?
A. Stream has no internal clock so the files it creates cannot be assigned a date or time.

Q. I have many Audio Notes and cannot remember all the note numbers. Can I rename/move the Notes for archival?
A. Yes. Using Windows you can move the Audio Note files from the $VRNotes folder to one or more subfolders in $VROtherBooks and rename them with appropriate file names. When you rename the files you must keep the .3GP file extension. Stream will play them like any other book in the Other Books bookshelf announcing the folder and file names using the text-to-speech. Also, when the Stream Companion is released it will have a conversion tool to copy Audio Note files to wav files on your computer so you can edit or archive them on your computer.

General

Q. How can I read .doc and .rtf documents on the Stream?
A. You can use your computer to save these files in .html or .txt format and
transfer them to the Stream. The .html format has the advantage of keeping
the formatting of the original text, which will make navigation that much
easier. When converting to .html format, we recommend you save your document
as a filtered web page.

Q. Is it possible my Stream could become frozen and not respond even to the power button?
A. Your Stream is a complex device with an internal computer, operating system software, and the Victor Reader application software. In such complex devices the software can sometimes freeze causing the unit to become non-responsive. In this case you can force the Stream to reset and reload all software by pressing and holding the Power button for 7 seconds. If this does not restart the Stream, you should contact customer support for assistance.

Q. What is the rectangular shaped hole on the back of the Stream above the battery door?
A. This is for connecting an optional cartridge holder that can be used to hold the future book cartridges from NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) in the United States. HumanWare will provide the cartridge holder as an optional accessory when NLS begins distributing book cartridges.

Q. Why does my Volume Setting change if I insert or remove my headphones?
A. For your convenience, Stream remembers separate volume settings for the built-in speaker and the headphones. This means you can set one volume level that is comfortable for the headphones and a different volume level that you prefer for the built-in speaker. When you remove the headphones Stream will reset to the last volume level you set for the speaker and when you plug the headphones back in Stream will reset to the level you last set for the headphones. There are 10 volume settings for the speaker and 15 settings for the headphones.

Q. Can I play the Stream while it is connected to my PC?
A. No.

Q. Why does my stereo music play in mono?
A. Be sure the variable speed control is set to normal speed (setting number 0). If you speed up or slow down the speed for music files they will play in mono instead of stereo.

Q. I sometimes hear distortion while playing music. Is my Stream ok?
A. Yes. We are aware of a software bug in the tone control. The tone software was migrated from the Victor Reader Classic CD player and we have discovered it behaves differently on the Stream at tone settings above 0. This will be corrected in a future software upgrade. For now, we recommend setting the Tone to 0 while playing music.

Q. Why do I sometimes need to press the PLAY key twice to start playback?
A. If you are browsing the titles on a bookshelf the first press of the Play key selects the book and, if you wish to immediately start playing it, then the second press of the PLAY key will start playback. Alternatively, you could press the Pound or Confirm key (to the right of key 0) to select the book and then the first press of the PLAY key would start playback. Also, if you press the Play key to stop an audio message or the Where Am I or INFO key announcements then you must press Play a second time to resume book playback.

Q. Why does Stream not play the files I copied from my audio CD using Windows Explorer?
A. You cannot copy commercial audio CD's using a simple copy and paste with Windows Explorer. To copy audio CD's you must use special CD extraction software to extract (often referred to as rip) the audio CD format to a multi-media format that can be played on Stream. The Stream supported audio formats are MP3, wav, OGG Vorbis, or 3gp (AMR-WB+).