[access-uk] Re: Book Courier v Milestone

Hi Roger

I'm a Book Courier user and have no practical experience of the Milestone. I'm sure Steve or Ian will pick me up on anything I've missed, but here are some
ideas.


Advantages of Book Courier:

1. The prices of the book Courier and the Milestone are quite close (£180
for a Milestone, £225 for a book Courier or £200 if you have a registered
copy of Kurzweil 1000 version 7 or higher and order from techno-vision or
Computer Room Services). I think TNAUK also have a deal with techno-vision
where you can get a BC for £200 if you currently have a subscription to
their digital service, since there is a special filter which allows you to transfer TNAUK digital files onto the Book Courier.


2. Book Courier already supports the Daisy format for audio, and does it
very well too, giving you access to all of the book's navigation features
easily and quickly, without having to wait for a CD to spin up, as you would
in a CD-based player. Some of the portable players really seem to struggle
with complex Daisy titles, and some producers are having to issue warnings
to the effect that their material cannot be successfully played on such
players. meanwhile, the Milestone is promising Daisy support, but obviously
there is a degree of risk involved in buying a milestone before this support actually
arrives, as you don't really know what you're buying :) and whether they will keep the development up when they have implemented it.


3.  Book Courier supports files from audible (.com and .co.uk), which is the
world's biggest and best provider of downloadable audio books, and which can
save you a fair bit of cash.

4.  Book Courier comes with twice the storage capacity of the milestone
(256mb compact flash card), and I think compact flash might be cheaper than
SD in general.

5.  The Big one: Book Courier includes its own built-in text-to-speech
synthesiser (Doubletalk), which can read text documents you transfer onto
the unit and also speaks all prompts and system information.  This means you
don't have to listen to such information at the speed of the pre-recorded
prompts on the milestone.  I also believe that filters for file formats such
as word documents and html files are on the way at some point in the future.

As you can tell, I like my book courier, but there are a few disadvantages
compared to the milestone:

1.  The milestone is smaller.

2. Book courier is not directly rechargeable. You can use rechargeable
batteries in the BC, but you would have to purchase a separate charger and
charge your batteries outside of the unit. Springer Design, who make the BC, say you will get better results with non-rechargeables, but I have just started using rechargeables and have had no problems so far.


3. If you want to do serious voice-recording, the Milestone might be a better option, since I think it saves its voice recordings in mp3, rather than wave. Book Courier does have a built-in microphone, but creates wave files, which will take up more room on the card.

4. There is an issue with listening to music on the BC, in that a mistake was made in the development phase meaning that the stereo channels are reversed (you hear the left channel in the right ear and the right channel in the left ear).

5. Generally, you are expected to use the Book Courier transfer software to transfer material to Book Courier, whereas the Milestone doesn't require this as far as I know. you can transfer mp3 files to BC using Windows explorer, but not audible, text, TNAUK or daisy files. This would be a disadvantage if you were planning to use a computer on which you are unable to install the software to transfer files.

Hope this helps

James
----- Original Message ----- From: "roger.south" <roger.south@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 9:43 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Book Courier v Milestone



On another list I'm on several people have shown great interest in the
Milestone. I posted saying that the feeling on this list is the BC is the
better buy and has more features. I'm now being asked if someone on this
list would put a few points together to give reasons as to why that belief
is held.

Roger

Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.
Mark Twain




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