Streaming Digital Talking Books to the Print Disabled via a modified DAISY Online Delivery Protocol

  • 2013

  • Dr Iain Murray, Senior Lecturer & Course Co-ordinator, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


This project aimed to develop an integrated system for the delivery and playback of DAISY Digital Talking Books via a streaming protocol.  It utilised the existing online catalogue at the Association for the Blind, with the added functionality to allow streaming of Digital Talking Books selected by the user to a device of their choice.  

Whilst the Daisy Digital Talking Book Standards are well established and in use by most talking book libraries, it does not offer any method for live transfer, or browsing of book content. The proposed protocol would allow users to stream audio books to their player without the requirement of downloading the full "text". More importantly, this system will allow users to browse content. In an educational environment, this would be highly beneficial. For example a student is required to research a particular historical event form a given text. Rather than download the full text, this system would allow the student to browse (via the table of contents) to the required section, listen to the material without downloading, unzipping and storing the full book. There is currently no known method for achieving this at this point in time.

Results Achieved

The protocol has been implemented and is currently available on request from the VisAbility library site (formerly the Association for the Blind WA). The developed code is released as open source and available on request. Trials have shown the protocol performs as specified but still requires some further refinement to reduce latency and lag in speech production, however it is usable in its current state. A document has been prepared for submission to the Daisy Consortium for consideration of inclusion in the standards.

The Daisy Consortium: The protocol will be submitted to the Daisy Consortium for quality and compatibility testing in the final phase of development.

The Association for the Blind: The prototype system has been installed in the live library system. Uptake and usage of the streaming access to the catalogue will be monitored. From this information relevance and popularity of this form of access may be determined.


The proposed standard has been published at the 8th International Conference on Telecommunication Systems Services and Applications (TSSA). Available here:




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