Digital Talking Book Players: Frequently Asked Questions Illinois State Library

General Questions

How do I clear all information from the player?
Turn off the player. Simultaneously hold down the Tone Up, Speed Up, and Volume Up buttons and press the Power button. The player will say "Creating New Profile." This will remove all bookmarks, set the language to English, and reset all controls to their default position.

How do I change the language to/from Spanish?
Turn off the player. Simultaneously hold down the Tone Down, Sleep, and Rewind buttons and press the Power button. After a few seconds the player will beep and say "Player Status." Press the Rewind button twice and you will hear "Set Language." Press the Play button and you will hear "English." Press Rewind or Fast Forward if you wish to select Spanish and then press Play. If you wish to return the player to English, press Play without pressing another button.

The player has become unresponsive. Every time I press a button it beeps but nothing happens.
In the unlikely event that the player has entered this condition, hold down the Power button firmly for at least 7 seconds (a reset beep will be heard).

How do I reset the player?
Hold down the Power button firmly for at least 7 seconds. A reset beep will be heard. This will not erase any bookmarks or prior book "last marks" from the player. The player will only need to be reset in the unlikely event that it becomes unresponsive in normal operation.

The player said "cartridge error" when I removed the book. Have I damaged the book?
No. The cartridge cannot be damaged by this action. A cartridge error may occur if the book cartridge is removed while the book is playing. The book will play normally after this has occurred. The player keeps a record that a cartridge error has occurred and this record can be reviewed when the player is returned to the library.

Every time I put the cartridge in the player the machine says "cartridge error."
This may indicate a problem with the files on the cartridge or with the cartridge itself. Power cycle the player to clear the error but if this is unsuccessful, the book should be marked as defective and returned to the library for further testing. If this occurred while using a USB flash drive, considering reformatting the drive and recopying the book.

The player is dirty. How do I clean it?
Use only soap and water or a mild cleaner like 409 or Simple Green. Do not use harsh abrasives or bleach. Moisten a cloth and wipe the player. Do not get liquid inside the player or in the speaker area. Turn the player upside down when cleaning the speaker grill with the wet cloth/sponge to avoid getting liquid into this sensitive area.

When I turned on the player this morning it announced "greater than 27 hours" of battery time. I have been playing a book all morning and it still says "greater than 27 hours." Is it broken?
The player has a large battery capacity. You still have greater than 27 hours of play time remaining even after playing all morning.

When I turned on the player this morning it announced "less than 1 hour" of battery time. I have been playing a book for 2 hours and it's still going. Is it broken?
The battery estimation may be inaccurate when discharged to this level. The player will always underestimate the remaining capacity.

The book I am reading gets to the middle of a chapter and says "Book Error." What does that mean?
This is an error in the book itself, not in the individual cartridge. Note the error and provide as much information as possible describing when the error occurred. Then, return the book to the library.

The narrator sounds like an auctioneer (or seems to have slurred speech). How do I return it to normal?
Turn the player on. With the particular book cartridge in the player, but not playing, use the Speed Up and Speed Down buttons until you hear a "Speed Normal" message. The player remembers the speed and tone setting for each book. If a new book is played, the speed will be set to normal and the tone to neutral.

If I don't turn off the player, will I wear it out sooner?
No. The player draws very little power when not playing. It is not necessary to turn off the player.

If I don't turn off the player, how much electricity is it consuming?
Even if you do not use the Power button to turn the player off, it will reduce its power consumption when not playing to less than 1 watt.

How do I get to the User Guide with a Standard Model?
Press and hold the Play button for a few seconds.

How do I get out of the User Guide when I'm done with it?
Press and hold the Play button again for a few seconds.

Can I access the User Guide when a book is inserted?

Can I leave the player plugged in when I am reading a book? Should I unplug it when I'm done reading? Is there anything I should know to avoid damaging the battery?
The player can remain connected to the main power indefinitely with no ill effects. You don't need to worry about charging patterns in order to maximize battery life. The digital player does not have the battery "memory" issues that were common with the cassette book player batteries.

How long do I need to leave the player plugged in to fully charge the battery?
The battery will fully charge from a completely discharged state in less than 3 hours. The battery does not recharge each time you plug it in. To extend the service life of the battery, it will only charge after you have used it for several hours or after being unused for several weeks.

What is the rectangular socket on the side of the player?
It is a USB port intended for playing books from a USB flash drive and for assistive technology devices, like a breath switch adapter, for people with physical impairments.

Can I put a book on a thumb drive and use the side port?
Yes, most USB flash drives can be used to store a book.

Can I safely remove the cartridge without stopping playback first?

Can other people see my bookmarks?
No, the bookmarks are stored on your player, not on the book.

How many bookmarks will the player hold?
Over 1,000.

How long will the bookmarks be stored?
Bookmarks don't expire but if you run out, the oldest ones will be deleted first.

Can I copy multiple books onto one of my own blank cartridges?
Yes, you can copy multiple books onto a blank cartridge. To access titles, press and hold the Play/Stop button until you hear the word Bookshelf. Use the Fast Forward (FF) and Rewind (RW) keys to move forward and backward between titles. When you reach the title you want, press Play/Stop button.

Sometimes the machine doesn't seem to want to turn on. Why is that?
The player needs a second to power on when using its battery. Pressing the Power button again in the middle of the wake-up process can sometimes turn the player off.

Can I plug the book cartridge into my computer?
You can plug it in and copy the book on another USB drive for later use. You won't be able to read it from the computer because of the copyright protection of the book.

Book Navigation

How do I go to the beginning (or end) of the book?
Standard Player: With the player on, press and hold the Rewind button until you hear "Beginning of book". Similarly use the Fast Forward button to go to the end of the book.

Advanced Player: Select the bookmark level by pressing the Menu button until you hear "Bookmark Jump." Press and hold the Previous button to move the reading position to the beginning of the book. Similarly use the Next button to move to the end of the book.

How can I navigate by page numbers?
Most NLS books do not include mark-up for page numbers, but if it does there will be a page number option in the Menu. Press the Menu button until you hear "Page jump," then use the Next and Previous buttons to move the reading position to page boundaries in the book. The Menu button is only available on the Advanced player; there is no method to navigate by page on the Standard player.

What does "Jump by phrase" mean (only applicable to Advanced player)?
Jump by phrase is a jump by a small amount – up to 1 minute in duration. In some cases it may jump by a verse, an ingredient in a recipe, or an item in a list or table if the book was created with those points explicitly marked. If the book does not have this markup, the Next and Previous buttons at Phrase level will move to the end of the next marked passage (a chapter or section) or by 1 minute, whichever is closer.

How do I skip over the front matter (or the Annotation)?
With the Standard player, press and hold the Fast Forward button and listen for a beep. With an Advanced player, press the Next button.

How do I know how long a book is?
The narrator will tell you the total duration at the beginning of the book. The player can also tell you the current position when you insert the book (Standard Model) or users with an Advanced model can simply press the Info button.

How do I go back to where I was when I pressed the Sleep button?
Press the Rewind button and hold it until it says, "Back 15 minutes." Continue to hold down the Rewind button for amount of time you initially set the sleep timer. For example, if you set the timer for 60 minutes, hold the Rewind button down until the player announces, "Back 60 minutes."

It seems like sometimes when fast forwarding to the beginning of the next chapter, it doesn't actually land on the beginning.
The player will announce the chapter title when you lift the Fast Forward button after crossing a chapter boundary. If you lift up immediately after a chapter beep, it will snap to the beginning of the chapter; otherwise you will hear "Within" and the chapter title.

How do I navigate through a bible?
A bible can be a challenging book to navigate since it has so many levels of content (testaments, books, chapters, verses, etc.). The advanced player (DA1) offers the best access to the the many levels of a bible. If you do not have a DA1 and would like one, please contact the library.

With the bible's cartridge inserted into the player, press the Menu button to select which level you want to navigate by. Keep pressing the Menu button until you hear the level you want:

When you have found the desired level, use the Next and Previous buttons to jump ahead or go back. You remain at a level until you press the Menu button. These navigation features also work on other books, not just bibles.

Playing Non-NLS Books and Audio Files

Can I play Learning Ally's books in my player?
While it is possible for Learning Ally to format their books to play in the NLS player, it is best to contact Learning Ally to see if the specific book is available in a format that will play on your NLS player.

Can I play MP3 files on my player?
Yes, the player will play MP3, AMR-WB+, and WAV audio files copied to a cartridge or USB drive. They are played in the alphabetical/numerical order of their filenames.

Can I play Podcasts on my player?
It depends on the file format. Yes, if it is an MP3 or WAV file format. No, if it is in the M4a format, a format affiliated with Apple's iTunes.

Can the NLS player play text-based DAISY files?

Can the NLS player play DAISY2 books?
Yes, but not if they are encrypted by the publisher and the player has not been enabled to play the protected books.

Can the NLS player play recorded audio books?

Can I play Bookshare books on my player?
Yes, as long as the title is available in an MP3 format. Visit Bookshare's Formats Web page for more information.