[Vrstream] Product Evaluation: Victor Reader Stratus 12 M DAISYMP3Player from HumanWare

Ray Foret Jr rforetjr at att.net
Fri Aug 10 13:12:45 EDT 2012


With respect Steve, humanware told me the stratus does play audible format for, but, knock it has format. I'm just going by what they told me. A few months ago that is.
Sincerely,
The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!

Now a very proud and happy Mac user!!!

Skype name:
barefootedray

On Aug 10, 2012, at 11:48 AM, "Steve Zielinski" <steveziel at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> Ray,  This is not correct.  The Stratus does not play any audible formats.  Perhaps you are confused by the Streams playing abilities.  The Stream plays audible 4 format natively, but with the softpak installed, it also plays format 4 and enhanced as well.
>  
> Best,
> Steve
>  
>  
> Steve
>  
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ray Foret Jr
> To: Cheryl Homiak
> Cc: Victor Reader Stream discussion list
> Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:25 AM
> Subject: Re: [Vrstream] Product Evaluation: Victor Reader Stratus 12 M DAISYMP3Player from HumanWare
> 
> Well, from what I understand, the Victor status will play audible.com format for, but not the enhanced format. That is one reason why I will not even consider it.
> Sincerely,
> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
> 
> Now a very proud and happy Mac user!!!
> 
> Skype name:
> barefootedray
> 
> On Aug 10, 2012, at 10:44 AM, Cheryl Homiak <cahomiak at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> Yes, unless there's been an upgrade that I don't know about, the Stratus doesn't play files from audible.com. In fact, in the demo I heard before buying the Stratus, it was clearly stated that it doesn't play audible.com books. I'm assuming it would have to become an authorized audible.com device and one would have to be able to activate the Stratus with audible.com since audible's activation is specific to each individual player. Once a player is activated, for instance in the case of the Stream, it is possible to copy the activation file from sd card to sd card but that file won't work on any other player.
>> 
>> I also have noticed the daily in loading media; I thought maybe the presence of the cd drive had something to do with that, but that was just my theory and I don't have any actual proof.
>> 
>> I do find that it accepts a greater variety of usb drives than the NLS player does, which is understandable since the NLS playr's usb port wasn't really designed primarily with the idea of loading usb drives.
>> 
>> To me, the big thing about the Stratus is the use of Ryan and Heather. I'd much rather listen to any kind of text file on the Stratus than on the Stream.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Cheryl
>> 
>> May the words of my mouth
>> and the meditation of my heart
>> be acceptable to You, Lord,
>> my rock and my Redeemer.
>> (Psalm 19:14 HCSB)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Aug 10, 2012, at 10:21 AM, "Russ Kiehne" <russ94577 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> I noticed the same thing.
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message----- From: Steve Zielinski
>>> Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 8:15 AM
>>> To: Russ Kiehne ; vrstream at vrstreamusers.org
>>> Subject: Re: [Vrstream] Product Evaluation: Victor Reader Stratus 12 M DAISY MP3Player from HumanWare
>>> 
>>> Well they got one thing wrong, from all I have learned about the Stratus, it
>>> CANNOT play audible books.
>>> 
>>> Steve
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Russ Kiehne" <russ94577 at gmail.com>
>>> To: <vrstream at vrstreamusers.org>
>>> Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 9:58 AM
>>> Subject: [Vrstream] Product Evaluation: Victor Reader Stratus 12 M DAISY
>>> MP3Player from HumanWare
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> I thought some of you would be interested in the following article from the current issue of Accessworld from AFB:
>>>> 
>>>> Product Evaluation: Victor Reader Stratus 12 M DAISY MP3 Player from HumanWare
>>>> Deborah Kendrick
>>>> The Victor Stratus is a tabletop DAISY player from HumanWare. It accomplishes many
>>>> of the same tasks as the smaller and popular Victor Reader Stream and does a few
>>>> things that the Stream does not. This review will examine features and drawbacks
>>>> of the Stratus and, hopefully, help determine which customers will find it an attractive
>>>> addition to their pool of technology and which might be more likely to find it redundant.
>>>> Description
>>>> The footprint of the Victor Stratus is similar to many other tabletop players, such
>>>> as the National Library Service (NLS) digital-talking book player issued to all library
>>>> patrons in the US and other Victor models available from HumanWare. It measures approximately
>>>> 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches and weighs about two pounds.
>>>> On the top face of the unit (from top to bottom) are three columns of two keys each
>>>> for adjusting tone, volume, and speed followed by a 12-key telephone-style keypad.
>>>> Next, there are Go To, Bookmark, and Eject keys near the left edge, a Power button
>>>> near the right edge, and, then, a fairly common four-key configuration at the bottom.
>>>> These four keys are arranged with three on the bottom (Rewind, Play/Stop, and Fast
>>>> Forward from left to right) and a centered key above them that functions both as
>>>> a Time Announcement key and a Sleep key.
>>>> The AC power connection is on the back of the Stratus. On the right-hand edge, from
>>>> back to front, are: a secure digital (SD) card slot, a USB slot, and a 3.5mm headphone
>>>> jack. On the front edge of the machine is a CD slot.
>>>> The built-in speaker is a two-inch diameter circle in the upper left corner of the
>>>> Stratus; it delivers very nice, clear sound. Although it was not included with the
>>>> model I tested, HumanWare can provide a cover that blocks all of the centrally located
>>>> navigation keys, but leaves the controls for ejecting CDs, playing content, and controlling
>>>> tone, speed, and volume accessible. This might be useful when using the unit with
>>>> small children or anyone with cognitive challenges.
>>>> The battery is user-replaceable and reportedly operates for ten hours when fully
>>>> charged.
>>>> What the Stratus Can Play
>>>> The Victor Stratus can play a fairly impressive array of file types. It can play
>>>> your DAISY-formatted books, including those from Bookshare, Learning Ally, and the
>>>> NLS. It can play your books from Audible.com, your music collection, podcasts, and
>>>> any MP3, WAV, or other audio files you throw at it.
>>>> In addition to playing both text and audio of DAISY books (when both features are
>>>> made available), the Stratus can play a host of other text formats as well, including
>>>> TXT, RTF, BRF, HTML, DOC, and DOCX. The familiar voices of Heather and Ryan make
>>>> listening to text quite a pleasant experience. No matter the file type, you can also
>>>> adjust the speed, volume, and tone to suit your own preferences.
>>>> While You're Listening
>>>> Like the popular Victor Reader Stream, the Victor Stratus gives you a multitude of
>>>> options for managing content as you listen. You can set bookmarks (up to 99,998 of
>>>> them) and navigate by level, page, sentence, word, character, etc., depending upon
>>>> the mark-up available in a particular book. You can navigate to a specific heading,
>>>> such as a chapter or section heading, as well as a specific page (again, if page
>>>> indications are available in a given book). In text files, you can use the telephone-style
>>>> keypad for text input to locate a specific word or phrase. You can jump forward and
>>>> back by increments of time (1, 5, 10, or 30 minutes) or by percentages of the entire
>>>> file. Navigation, in other words, is extremely flexible, intuitive, and quick.
>>>> Consider the Source
>>>> Probably the most appealing feature of the Victor Stratus is its ability to use a
>>>> variety of media sources. While the Stratus has no internal memory for storing your
>>>> files, it can have a ton of material on-board at any given time. You can, for example,
>>>> insert an SD card loaded with talking books, text files, podcasts, and music along
>>>> with a USB drive containing a similarly vast amount of content, while also popping
>>>> in a CD of your favorite banjo player or DAISY-formatted textbook. By using the bookshelf
>>>> function ("1" on the keypad), you can easily move among these sources of content,
>>>> going from one to another and then navigating the folders or tracks contained therein.
>>>> Extra Features
>>>> A key describer mode is available to tell you the function of every key, and the
>>>> user guide, which also comes on a CD with your unit, is always available internally.
>>>> This guide has four levels of navigation as well as being navigable by word, line,
>>>> sentence, or page (or by searching for a particular word or phrase) so that locating
>>>> specific references is convenient and quick.
>>>> Above the Play/Stop key is the Sleep key. When first pressed, this key results in
>>>> an announcement of the time and date. Second and subsequent presses are for the Sleep
>>>> Timer and thus allow the user to set the machine to play for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes
>>>> before automatically powering off. (By using the numbers on the keypad, you can also
>>>> customize the Sleep Timer to play for a specific amount of time before shutting down.)
>>>> When playing a CD, the Speed control is still available to you, making it possible
>>>> to speed up text or audio generated by a CD in the same way that you would with other
>>>> digital material. Because the required folder structure is similar to that of the
>>>> Victor Reader Stream, SD cards formatted for that device can easily be accessed with
>>>> the Victor Stratus as well.
>>>> Drawbacks
>>>> The Victor Stratus does not have an on-board recorder. Although it will play material
>>>> first played on the Victor Reader Stream, it will not play notes recorded on that
>>>> device and stored in the Notes folder. A further disappointment was that, even though
>>>> the Stratus has a Copy CD feature, it only works when copying DAISY-formatted CDs.
>>>> For that reason, the copy feature was not tested for this review.
>>>> When powering on, the familiar "Victor" voice welcomes the user, but the delay between
>>>> the beep confirming that Power has been pressed and the subsequent "Welcome to Victor
>>>> Stratus" message seems rather long. The particular unit tested would not accept a
>>>> battery charge after the first few charging cycles. (After repeated attempts to charge
>>>> the battery failed, removing the user-replaceable battery from its compartment for
>>>> 15 seconds and replacing it ultimately resolved this problem.)
>>>> Conclusions
>>>> The Victor Stratus is a sturdy and compact unit capable of playing a wide variety
>>>> of text and audio content. Its built-in speaker is excellent, so listening without
>>>> headphones is pleasant and comfortable. It delivers clear, crisp sound and has the
>>>> added advantage of playing both commercial and DAISY-formatted CDs. The presence
>>>> of both an SD and USB port renders it an excellent choice for playing content from
>>>> a variety of sources.
>>>> For a person who would prefer having just one device for playing music, books, and
>>>> text files, it could be a great choice. If recording and portability are high priorities,
>>>> however, the Victor Stratus would best play the role of supporting actor in your
>>>> technology toolbox.
>>>> Product Information
>>>> Product: Victor Reader Stratus 12M DAISY MP3 Player
>>>> Price: $455
>>>> Available from:
>>>> HumanWare
>>>> 800-722-3393
>>>> Manufacturer's Comments
>>>> HumanWare would like to thank AccessWorld
>>>> for this thorough review of the Victor Reader Stratus. As the author highlights,
>>>> the simplicity of the Stratus's hardware interface, high quality speaker, and ability
>>>> to interface with a multitude of storage media, including the SD cards from the Victor
>>>> Reader Stream, allows it to be a device that can be immediately used and enjoyed
>>>> by users of all technological backgrounds.
>>>> Greg Stilson, HumanWare Technical Product Manager of Braille Products
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>> 
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> 
> 
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