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BARD Help

BARD User Requirements

There are several basic computer skills users need to have in order to download books from BARD.  Talking Books staff can provide limited technical support to users who encounter an issue with the BARD download or playback process, but they do not teach general computer skills.  One great resources where you can find online training for general computer skills is Digital Learn.  Click this link to visit the Digital Learn website.

Basic Computer Skills:
  • Navigating a web page using a web browser (Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc)
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Filling out online forms
  • Initiating downloads
  • Locating a downloaded file on your computer
  • Connecting a blank cartridge or flash drive to your computer
  • Extracting zipped folders
  • Copying and pasting files
  • Removing a blank cartridge or flash drive safely from your computer
  • Erasing files from a blank cartridge or flash drive
  • Loading files onto a purchased player or Braille device

Required Equipment and Accessories:
  • NLS digital player, registered purchased player, or compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet for audio; Braille-aware note taker, Braille display, or Braille embosser for electronic Braille
  • High-speed internet access, either on a computer or mobile device
  • Active email address
  • Purchased blank cartridge or flash drive

BARD Accessories & Purchased Players


Blank Cartridges
Blank digital cartridges (like those you receive from Talking Books) are available for purchase from Perkins Products through Amazon Marketplace (4GB, 8GB, and 16GB options available; usually 1 GB holds 4-6 books, depending on their size).  NOTE: in order to connect a blank cartridge to your computer you will need to contact Talking Books to request a special USB cartridge cable.

USB Flash Drives
Flash drives can be purchased at any consumer electronics retail store (i.e. Best Buy, Radio Shack, Fred Meyer, Office Depot, Staples, etc).  We recommend a flash drive with at least 2 GB of storage space, and one that does not come with any security or automatic-organization software.  Usually, 1 GB holds about 4-6 books, depending on their size.

Purchased Players
Several third party players have been authorized by the National Library Service to play BARD books.  A purchased player must be registered through BARD before it can play books downloaded from BARD.  Visit the BARD website and select the Update account settings link on the main page, then the add a purchased player link on the next page for a list of current players that can be registered to play books downloaded from BARD.



Download Instructions

Detailed instructions for downloading books from BARD are available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari web browsers, as well as general instructions for BARD Mobile.  Select the option you need to expand the view.
  • Log in using your email address and password.
  • Browse recently added or most popular titles, or search for specific books using the Search the collection box.
  • When you find the book you want, click the blue “Download (title)” link below the book’s description to start the download.
  • A progress bar will pop up at the bottom of the browser. It will show you the amount downloaded and time remaining.
  • While the book is downloading, plug in your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the download is complete, there is an arrow to the right of the book name down on the progress bar that opens a menu with three options:
  • Open
  • Always open files of this type
  • Show in folder
  • Click “Show in Folder.”
  • A new window will pop up showing your downloads.  BARD books are downloaded as compressed zipped folders (i.e. authortitleandbooknumber.zip).  The book you have just downloaded should already be highlighted.  The icon next to the book will most likely look like a folder with a zipper on it.
  • At the top of the window you should see “Compressed Folder Tools” highlighted in pink.  Under that click the word “Extract.”
  • Click the “Extract All” option.
  • A window will pop up with the title “Select a destination.”  We recommend leaving the default option as it appears so a new folder will be automatically created that holds all the extracted files.
  • Uncheck the “View files when finished” box and click the Extract button.
  • A progress window will open showing that the files are being extracted.
  • When the extraction process is complete a regular unzipped folder will appear and have the same name as the zipped folder.
  • Drag-and-drop or copy and paste the unzipped folder onto your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the transfer is complete safely remove your flash drive or cartridge from your computer and plug it into the player.
  • Flash drives plug into the USB port on the player’s right side, NOT into the front slot.

NOTES:

  • You CANNOT have both a flash drive and a cartridge in the player at the same time.
  • You CAN rename folders to better suit your personal preferences.
  • You CAN put multiple books on your flash drive or cartridge, depending on the amount of available space.
  • You CAN organize folders however you want on your flash drive.  Just be sure to keep all the files for a book in a single folder.
  • You CAN delete the zipped folder once you are done with the extraction process.
  • You CAN delete old books off your flash drive or cartridge to make room for new ones.  We recommend keeping all files for a book in a single folder so you can delete one book without having to worry about affecting others. This process may be different for users with purchased players or electronic Braille users.  Unfortunately, we can only provide instructions past this point for audio books being played on the National Library Service Digital Talking Book Player.  Users with purchased players or electronic Braille devices are encouraged to seek technical support from the device manufacturer in the event of an error.
  • Log in using your email address and password.
  • Browse recently added or most popular titles, or search for specific books using the Search the collection box.
  • When you find the book you want, click the blue “Download (title)” link below the book’s description to start the download.
  • A progress bar will pop up at the bottom of the browser. It will show you the amount downloaded and time remaining.
  • While the book is downloading, plug in your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the download is complete, there is an arrow to the right of the book name down on the progress bar that opens a menu with three options:
  • Open
  • Always open files of this type
  • Show in folder
  • Click “Show in Folder.”
  • A new window will pop up showing your downloads.  BARD books are downloaded as compressed zipped folders (i.e. authortitleandbooknumber.zip).  The book you have just downloaded should already be highlighted.  The icon next to the book will most likely look like a folder with a zipper on it.
  • At the top of the window you should see “Compressed Folder Tools” highlighted in pink.  Under that click the word “Extract.”
  • Click the “Extract All” option.
  • A window will pop up with the title “Select a destination.”  We recommend leaving the default option as it appears so a new folder will be automatically created that holds all the extracted files.
  • Uncheck the “View files when finished” box and click the Extract button.
  • A progress window will open showing that the files are being extracted.
  • When the extraction process is complete a regular unzipped folder will appear and have the same name as the zipped folder.
  • Drag-and-drop or copy and paste the unzipped folder onto your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the transfer is complete safely remove your flash drive or cartridge from your computer and plug it into the player.
  • Flash drives plug into the USB port on the player’s right side, NOT into the front slot.

NOTES:

  • You CANNOT have both a flash drive and a cartridge in the player at the same time.
  • You CAN rename folders to better suit your personal preferences.
  • You CAN put multiple books on your flash drive or cartridge, depending on the amount of available space.
  • You CAN organize folders however you want on your flash drive.  Just be sure to keep all the files for a book in a single folder.
  • You CAN delete the zipped folder once you are done with the extraction process.
  • You CAN delete old books off your flash drive or cartridge to make room for new ones.  We recommend keeping all files for a book in a single folder so you can delete one book without having to worry about affecting others. This process may be different for users with purchased players or electronic Braille users.  Unfortunately, we can only provide instructions past this point for audio books being played on the National Library Service Digital Talking Book Player.  Users with purchased players or electronic Braille devices are encouraged to seek technical support from the device manufacturer in the event of an error.
  • Log in using your email address and password.
  • Browse recently added or most popular titles, or search for specific books using the Search the collection box.
  • When you find the book you want, click the blue “Download (title)” link below the book’s description to start the download.
  • A window will pop up asking you whether you want to Open or Save.
  • Select “Save File”
  • Click “Ok”
  • Another window will pop up asking you where you want to download the book to on your computer. The name of the book will already be in the “File name” box, so all you need to do is choose a destination. We recommend the “Downloads” folder, but because of the steps detailed below the destination is not super important.
  • Once you have selected the desired folder, click “Save.”
  • The book will begin to download.  Progress is tracked on the download arrow icon up on the top-right of the browser.
  • While the files are downloading, plug in your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the download is complete, the download arrow icon will turn blue.  Click on the arrow, then click on the small folder icon next to the book’s title.
  • A new window will pop up showing the folder where you downloaded the book.  BARD books are downloaded as compressed zipped folders (i.e. authortitleandbooknumber.zip).  The book you just downloaded should already be highlighted.  The icon next to the book will most likely look like a folder with a zipper on it.
  • At the top of the window you should see “Compressed Folder Tools” highlighted in pink.  Under that click the word “Extract.”
  • Click the “Extract All” option.
  • A window will pop up with the title “Select a destination.”  We recommend leaving the default option as it appears so a new folder will be automatically created that holds all the extracted files.
  • Uncheck the “View files when finished” box and click the Extract button.
  • A progress window will open showing that the files are being extracted.
  • When the extraction process is complete a regular unzipped folder will appear and have the same name as the zipped folder.
  • Drag-and-drop or copy and paste the unzipped folder onto your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the transfer is complete safely remove your flash drive or cartridge from your computer and plug it into the player.
  • Flash drives plug into the USB port on the player’s right side, NOT into the front slot.

NOTES:

  • You CANNOT have both a flash drive and a cartridge in the player at the same time.
  • You CAN rename folders to better suit your personal preferences.
  • You CAN put multiple books on your flash drive or cartridge, depending on the amount of available space.
  • You CAN organize folders however you want on your flash drive.  Just be sure to keep all the files for a book in a single folder.
  • You CAN delete the zipped folder once you are done with the extraction process.
  • You CAN delete old books off your flash drive or cartridge to make room for new ones.  We recommend keeping all files for a book in a single folder so you can delete one book without having to worry about affecting others. This process may be different for users with purchased players or electronic Braille users.  Unfortunately, we can only provide instructions past this point for audio books being played on the National Library Service Digital Talking Book Player.  Users with purchased players or electronic Braille devices are encouraged to seek technical support from the device manufacturer in the event of an error.
  • Log in using your email address and password.
  • Browse recently added or most popular titles, or search for specific books using the Search the collection box.
  • When you find the book you want, click the blue “Download (title)” link below the book’s description to start the download.
  • The book will begin to download.  Progress is tracked on the download arrow icon up on the top-right of the browser.
  • While the files are downloading, plug in your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the download is complete, click on the download arrow, then click on the small magnifying glass icon to the right of the book’s title to locate the book in Finder.
  • Mac OS automatically unzips compressed folders after they finish downloading.
  • When Finder opens the book you just downloaded should already be highlighted.
  • Drag-and-drop or copy and paste the book folder onto your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • When the transfer is complete safely remove your flash drive or cartridge from your computer and plug it into the player.
  • Flash drives plug into the USB port on the player’s right side, NOT into the front slot.

NOTES:

  • You CANNOT have both a flash drive and a cartridge in the player at the same time.
  • You CAN rename folders to better suit your personal preferences.
  • You CAN put multiple books on your flash drive or cartridge, depending on the amount of available space.
  • You CAN organize folders however you want on your flash drive.  Just be sure to keep all the files for a book in a single folder.
  • You CAN delete old books off your flash drive or cartridge to make room for new ones.  We recommend keeping all files for a book in a single folder so you can delete one book without having to worry about affecting others. This process may be different for users with purchased players or electronic Braille users.  Unfortunately, we can only provide instructions past this point for audio books being played on the National Library Service Digital Talking Book Player.  Users with purchased players or electronic Braille devices are encouraged to seek technical support from the device manufacturer in the event of an error.
  • BARD Mobile can only download books and magazines on your wish list (unless they are on the Recently Added lists).
  • There are two ways to add a book to your wish list:
    • Within the BARD Mobile app, click on Browse BARD in the Get Books tab to search for books.  When you find one you want, click the link below the book’s description that says “Add to my wish list: (title)”.
    • On the BARD website, click the title of a book to open its full record.  At the bottom of the full record click on the link that says “Add to my wish list: (title)”.
  • Go to the Get Books tab and click on Browse Wish List.
  • Find the book you want to download and click on the title.
  • Follow the instructions to begin the download.
  • Clicking on any title on the Recently Added and Most Popular lists will automatically initiate a download.
  • You can also sideload books into the BARD Mobile app.  Sideloading books is the process of manually loading a BARD book onto your device, instead of downloading them through the BARD Mobile app.  Some users find sideloading easier or more convenient than downloading a book through the BARD Mobile app because you can skip the wish list process, avoid using mobile data on your device, and download books faster using a computer.
    • For iOS users, you can sideload books you’ve downloaded from BARD using iTunes file transfer, or some other cloud-based storage program like Dropbox.  You MUST transfer the zip file you download from BARD; you cannot sideload unzipped books.  As long as the zip file is loaded to the internal memory of your iOS device, the BARD Mobile app should be able to recognize, unzip, and play the book.
    • For Android users, you can sideload books you’ve downloaded from BARD by loading them onto the internal memory of your device, either by connecting your device to your computer and accessing the internal memory manually, or by exporting the book from a cloud-based storage program like Dropbox or Google Drive.  The book must be placed in the specified storage location for the BARD Mobile app, which you can find by following the folder path identified under Settings.  You can sideload zipped or unzipped folders; though most cloud-based storage apps do not let you upload and download unzipped folders.
 

BARD FAQs

NO, BARD is FREE for all users of the Talking Books library.  All you have to provide for yourself is either a flash drive or blank cartridge.​

YES, you can put as many books onto a blank cartridge or flash drive as will fit.  We recommend putting each book in a separate folder to keep them organized and avoid potential errors.​​

Press and hold the green Play/Stop button on your digital player until you hear the player beep and say “bookshelf.”  Then, using the fast forward or rewind buttons to toggle through the books, find the book you want and press the Play/Stop button again.​

YES and NO.  There is no limit to the number of books you can download over a period of time (i.e. week or month), but you can only download three books from the BARD website at a time.​

Click the "Recover your BARD password here" link on the BARD login page.  Enter the answer to your secret question, then click submit.  You will receive an email with a temporary password.

If you have not set up a secret question and answer, contact Talking Books at 800-452-0292 or talkingbooks.info@state.or.us​ and ask to have your BARD password reset.​
YES, first log in to BARD using your current user ID, then click on the "Update account settings" link towards the bottom of the page.  Select the "change your email address" link.  Once you submit your new email address, a temporary password will be emailed to the new address, so be sure you can access the new email account before you request the change.  If you have problems, please contact Talking Books at talkingbooks.info@state.or.us​ or 800-452-0292.
YES, friends and family are welcome to download books for you.  All they need is your user ID, password, and a flash drive or blank cartridge.  Your account information is not IP address specific.  Just be careful when sharing your login information.  Make sure you only give your user ID and password to someone you trust.​
Yes, as long as you have a USB SD card reader you can plug into the digital player.  Just be sure not to extract the book files into a pre-formatted folder (i.e. $VSDTB on the Victor Stream).​
NO, the books you download from BARD are encrypted in accordance with copyright law and can ONLY be played on a digital player from our library or a registered purchased player.​
YES, you can play MP3, WMA, and WAV books and music files on your digital player.
  • If you only put audio files on your flash drive or blank cartridge, you can organize them however you like.  The digital player will not recognize the names of your files, but instead will report them by file number (i.e. Folder 1, File 1).  You cannot access your individual files through the bookshelf feature.
  • If you also have a BARD book on your flash drive or blank cartridge, you must put any non-BARD audio file you want to listen to in a folder called "audio+podcasts”.  Within this special folder you can organize your files however you like.
  • When using a standard digital player, you can jump from file to file by pressing and holding the Fast Forward or Rewind buttons.
  • When using an advanced digital player, use the Next and Previous buttons to toggle through files or folders, and you can use the Menu button to switch between jumping from file to file or folder to folder.
When you remove a file from a flash drive or blank cartridge using a Mac, unless you also remove the file from your computer’s trash bin you will not be allowed to use the space on the flash drive or blank cartridge the book had been taking up.  Once you empty your Mac's trash bin, the space on your flash drive or blank cartridge should once again be available for use.  This issue affects all files transferred on and off a flash memory device using a Mac, not just BARD books.​
Unfortunately, you cannot reset your password using the BARD Mobile app.  You must complete the password reset process using a web browser before attempting to log into BARD Mobile.​
No, the BARD Mobile app must be open while books are downloading.  If you switch to a different app the download will stop.  Also, the screen must be unlocked throughout the download process.​

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