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My Thoughts on bard and its new web site from blog The Technology blog and podcast

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My Thoughts on bard and its new web site

Hey guys,
I have not written in this blog regularly in a long time. I wanted to write about Bard and its new web site. Before I do, let me point out that I do not work for the Library of Congress, or any Library that posts stuff up there, I’m just a user.

Bard took an undertaking in August of 2012 when they announced that they were going to make a new web site which would include a wishlist, the books would be linked to get more information, and other pieces of info. Shortly after this announcement, I had decided to do a book podcast and several podcasts have been published since this announcement. I downloaded over 50 books, some for pleasure, others for the podcast, and then still others, maybe cause I had read one book and wanted to see what the rest was like. My USB drive for books now has 57 books, and I’m reading several of them at once which is a good thing.

When Bard took its web site offline for this massive endeavor, I figured it would take them time to get the site up, because they are not just putting their material up, they are putting everything up, including stuff from interlibrary loans, music, magazines, and books. There were some hiccups, and people on a voice mail system were mentioning that Bard had problems. I figured it would be corrected, in fact, I mentioned to them there was an issue the night they came back up, and they took it offline to fix. Problems are to crop up, and I’m sure that if something went wrong, they would be on top of it.

The Wish List

Now that the web site is up, I’m liking the wish list. I currently have 21 books or so in that list, several in an FBI series books 7-14 I believe it is. The site is nicely organized, they’ve added more categories, and the wishlist works the same way as the rest of the site. When you download a book from there, it is deleted, just like they say it is.

Braille

While the audio in the recently listed books is updated more than the braille, the link to go to braille is a nice Idea. You can check it every so often, and the books are zipped. I like this approach, because when I downloaded books before from web braille, I had to create a folder on my PC, download each braille volume, and move them over to that folder. I’ve been waiting for something like this, because I have a note taker so can read the braille. This was done very well, and I think patrons will like this one.

popular books

I wish the popular books would change out. Even in the new format, I’m always seeing the same 20 or so books in the list. The most popular seems to be the book 50 Shades of Gray a 54 hour book dealing on submissive relations in a three book series. While I’m not interested in that book and everyone is talking about it, it should be switched out for other books to have a chance. I’m thinking this is because it is downloaded a lot, so it stays there, but I would never rely on that type of a book for my reading list. Its there, and also includes braille if braille is on.

Settings

The settings includes options to turn off braille and or audio and what you’d like to see on the site besides your regular settings dealing with password, E-mail address, audio players, or the like. The settings are nicely laid out, and look good.

Music section

The Music section doesn’t belong necessarily to the folks that make sure the books are up to date, but they are now included in Bard too. This was an interesting edition as I’ve never really known what they had in the music section. Lots of books by Bill Brown, a well recognized teacher teaching guitar, piano, and other instruments, among others are listed there. The MENVI list serv has talked highly about Bill’s work, and the fact it was there. I might do one of his books as a book podcast one day, but I can’t really comment on this too much but to say it is there.

Foreign Language

It is very interesting to notate that the biggest foreign language books and material has always been in Spanish. Just in December 26, 2012 in recent titles, they were posting German books which is good for those that speak that language. I am sure that they will add more foreign language over time, and it will be a nice edition to what they have in there already.

Over all

Over all, I feel that the new Bard site is well worth the wait and frustration of the problems first experienced. If you get on the NLS list, they E-mail out with tips, issues, and other things of interest when time allows if they feel they need to.

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My Thoughts on bard and its new web site was released on December 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm by tech in accessibility newsand issues.
Last modified: December 28, 2012.


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