Library Of Congress Braille & Talking Book Program Releases Book Download App Through Apple!
The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) Mobile app is now available through the Apple App Store. The free app allows readers to download audio and Braille books from their NLS BARD accounts. BARD now contains over 50,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and Braille formats, with new selections added daily.
NLS Director Karen Keninger said, "The BARD Mobile app allows searching, downloading and reading Braille and talking books and magazines on one fully accessible, mainstream device. It's a library in your pocket. With BARD Mobile, patrons can play talking books and magazines on their iOS devices. Patrons may also read electronic Braille books, magazines, and music scores using a refreshable Braille display connected to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch through Bluetooth. Patrons will be able to receive their reading materials faster and won't have to be weighted down with bulky
volumes or playback equipment."
BARD Mobile will work on any iOS device running iOS 4.3.3 or later. This includes the iPhone 3GS and all later iPhones, all iPads, and fourth generation or later iPod touches. If you have one of these devices, be sure it is running iOS 4.3.3 or later.
To access BARD Mobile, you must have an active BARD account with a working username and permanent password. To apply for a BARD account, go to https://nlsbard.loc.gov and click on the link titled "Bard application instructions."
Once you've established your BARD account with your permanent password, and you've agreed to the BARD pledge, you can get started with BARD Mobile. Search for "BARD Mobile" in the App Store and download it to your device. The BARD Mobile app may be downloaded to up to 5 devices with a single login and password.
The BARD Mobile app allows you to download items from the Recently Added Books and Recently Added Magazines sections of the BARD site and from your Wish List. So if there are books you know you're going to want to read right away, add them to your Wish List. It is also easy to add books to your Wish List from within BARD Mobile, because when you browse the site, either from within the app or from Safari on your iOS device, the Download link following every book title changes to an Add to Wish List link.
BARD Mobile must be open while books are downloading; if you switch to a different app, downloading will stop. The screen must be unlocked throughout the download.
Please see the BARD Mobile user guide at https://nlsbard.loc.gov/apidocs/BARDMobile.userguide.iOS.1.0.html.The manual is also available within the app itself, in the Help section of the BARD Mobile bookshelf.
If you want to read Braille books with BARD Mobile, you'll need a Braille display. Be sure to read Section 7 of the user guide. It explains how to configure your display and provides keystrokes that make reading Braille a better experience.
If you have BARD books or magazines on your computer, you can use iTunes file sharing or Dropbox to load them into BARD Mobile. Load them as zip files; BARD Mobile will unpack them automatically. When you open a talking book or magazine that you have loaded in this way for the first time, be sure BARD Mobile has access to the Internet, as the app will need to download an authorization file from the BARD website. This step is not necessary for Braille files.
Now you can get started. Enjoy the app!
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