LOC plans digital audio books

LOC plans digital audio books

The Library of Congress has installed a custom digital recording studio and expects to produce its first experimental digital talking book early this year.

Digital books eventually will replace the audio cassettes now in use by the library's visually impaired clients. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has more than 500,000 audio cassette players for specially formatted six-hour audio tapes. NLS officials expect the audio cassette to give way to digital technology within the decade, and they are working to establish digital recording standards that meet their users' needs.

Washington Professional Systems of Wheaton, Md., engineered the digital audio mastering equipment. Using the studio and a digital duplication system in Cincinnati, the library plans to start building an archive of digital books for a future portable delivery system.

'William Jackson, Susan M. Menke and Thomas R. Temin

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