Digital talking books are devices that allow readers to not only enjoy an audio recitation of the content of the book, but also allow the user to skip around in the text in search of specific topics or word searches. The books are operated with the use of a digital talking book player, with a series of control keys that allow the reader to maneuver through the text at will. This sets the digital talking book apart from simple audio books that only allow the reader to stop, start, and rewind the book in search of a given point in the presentation.
Depending on the level of sophistication of the player and the digital talking book, it may be possible for the reader to perform a variety of functions. Most digital talking book players today will allow readers to go directly to the beginning of a chapter. The ability to set an electronic bookmark can be very handy, as it allows the reader to stop even in the middle of a section or chapter, and pick up at the same spot at a later time. The reader can also use functions to skip over a boring paragraph, or perform a keyword search.
Modern innovations in the digital talking book have made it possible for persons with visual impairments to enjoy a wider range of printed material than with standard audio books. For example, digital talking book technology now makes it possible for readers to browse through such works as a dictionary or encyclopedia by using the keyword search function. Along with the enhancements to features for the books, the players of today are smaller and more portable than in years past. This makes it easier for readers to transport the devices on trips or even from room to room in the home.
Buying a digital talking book player can be accomplished by visiting many retail outlets for many electronics stores. The devices can also be purchased online or by mail order. While a few of the players are configured to only work with books especially designed for the player, most models are designed to function well with any digital talking book.