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Victor Stream Version 4.3

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

The second generation Victor Stream from Humanware has been available for some time now.  It resembles the earlier model, but is a far superior device.  While nearly every aspect of the Victor Stream was improved, from the smaller form factor to the higher-quality voices, one of the most useful changes was the addition of WiFi connectivity.  It has taken a while for the software to catch up with the potential under the hood.  With the release of the Stream Software 4.3, we are beginning to see how leveraging wireless connectivity will keep the Steam relevant.

There are certain obvious advantages to an always connected piece of hardware.  You can listen to thousands of streaming Internet radio stations, and podcast feeds will update automatically.  Also, personalized content from NFB NewsLine can be delivered for offline reading.  This is of course the level of convenience we have come to expect from tablets and smart phones.

An innovative means of accessing other online content like Wikipedia and Wiktionary has also been added.  This is more than just “cutting the cord” on the old paradigm.  It’s making the Stream immediately more useful.

The Victor Stream is currently priced at $369.  For some time I had thought that dedicated devices like the Victor Stream and the BookSense were going to vanish as nearly all of their functionality can be replicated with mainstream hardware such as an iOS device. However, the competitive price point, coupled with a team of dedicated developers, may keep the Victor Stream alive for some time to come.



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