The SoftPak is a set of optional software features for your Victor Reader Stream.
What You GetYour purchase will provide you with a Stream SoftPak activation file that has a KXO file type and is named with your Stream serial number. Simply place this KXO file in the root of your SD card and when you power on your Stream it will process the file and activate your Stream SoftPak features. You will hear a message informing you that the SoftPak has been activated. The Info key 0 will also report that you have the SoftPak activated as part of the announcement of the Stream model number.
Your Stream must have software version 3.2 or higher prior to installing this activation file. The latest Stream software can be downloaded free from:
For more information about the Victor Reader Stream visit www.humanware.com/stream.
Jazz Pianist, Sarasota, Florida USA
I am a totally blind professional jazz pianist and jazz piano instructor who has been a VERY SATISFIED owner of the HumanWare Maestro and Trekker GPS system since December, 2006 and May, 2007 respectively. Once I purchased the Trekker, I have used it on many occasions in my travels, both on foot and in automobiles. Trekker has been invaluable in guiding my wife Debii and me to unfamiliar destinations.
In September, 2007, I was invited to perform with a drummer and bassist in the Summer Jazz in the Park concert Series in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trekker gave me a guided tour through downtown Milwaukee as Debii and I enjoyed the great weather and she took many pictures of the architectural landmarks both old and new.
In June, 2009, I purchased the Victor Reader Stream, and I can't express in words adequately how many hours of enjoyment and benefit I have gained by owning one. When I placed the order, the customer representative with whom I spoke told me that once I owned one, I would not want to be without it. She was 100% right!
The Stream has given me access to books that were previously either unavailable or only available in Braille. I remember my grade school and high school years when Braille, talking books on vinyl records, reel to reel tape and then cassettes were the available formats. Now, thanks to your magnificent Victor Reader Stream, the computer and the Internet, I can easily download titles and transfer them to my Stream and read at my leisure anywhere!
The Stream has also been invaluable to me as an instructor of jazz piano. Sometimes during lessons, I use recordings by great jazz pianists to illustrate techniques or stylistic concepts. Thanks to your latest Stream update, I can now easily search for and play any track that I have stored in the $VRMusic folder! Such convenience and flexibility was unheard of when I attended Dartmouth College from 1967 through 1971 and the University of New Hampshire from 1974 to 1978.
Finally, I want to commend all of you for your sincere, dedicated and diligent work as you develop products that are truly user friendly and perform exactly as promised. Furthermore, your philosophy of giving users access to FREE, DOWNLOADABLE UPDATES TO THE ASSOCIATED SOFTWARE demonstrates your commitment to assuring that owners of your products can always keep them up to date and performing optimally!
Keep doing your marvelous and wonderful work that allows people such as me to attain greater independence, education and enjoyment by owning your products.
United States, Arkansas
I use my victor reader to record voice lessons, choir rehearsals and mp3 files of music I am rehearsing. The variable speed control allows me to practice slowly until i get the part perfected, then, speed it up to the designated tempo. I really am pleased with the amount of material I can store on the victor reader and the book mark feature allows me to locate passages in music I want to review.
United States, Maine
During my last semester of undergraduate study, I was required to student-teach Spanish at my local high school. The Stream allowed me to test my students using an external speaker. I played audio clips of Spanish conversations, and students were to answer questions on their computers and save them to text files. Although I had a computer that allowed me to read text files, nothing is as small and compact as the Stream. The Stream has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of my life.
Nancy K. Feist
United States, Tennessee
My stream is my most important item in my bag. Through the years I have used a digital recorder, tape recorder, I Pod and all together they weighed me down. Now I take the one device and am set. Thank God for the makers of the VR Stream!
My Victor Reader Stream served me well on several more occasions, and provided a means for me to relax with a good book and plenty of music when the hectic days were done.
Paul Kaminsky, Sr
United States, Florida
Thanks to the Victor Reader Stream I can now go to meetings very well prepared. Not only does the VRS hold my music collection, talking and audio books, descriptive movies and voice recordings of the meetings and conventions I’ve attended, but two functions make it a real asset at every meeting I attend. First is the fact that I can highlight topics within the materials I bring to meetings. As the meeting agenda moves along I track the highlighted material and am prepared to discuss my concerns. The second function that has saved and kept me involved with discussions is the BRS word search function. It even comes in handy at the grocery store when searching for something like ketchup and the search reveals Aisle 4. Love this new technology, thanks!
United States, Colorado
I clip the Stream on my belt, plug in the head set and dance away. Now for the real success: I have the cue sheets recorded several weeks before the new dances will be introduced in class so that when the time comes, I'm up to speed immediately. I'm not the best dancer, but I'm the oldest and certainly the only blind clogger. I jokingly call myself "the world's oldest blind clogger". I love dancing with Victor.
United States, KS
This product is allowing me to complete a Doctoral Degree in History. Due to the compact size of the reader and strong battery life I can read / study anywhere as easily as a sighted person can read a book.
United States, Florida
Once upon a time, about two years ago, I was introduced to my best piece of technology called the Victor Reader Stream. Now since I have gotten well acquainted with the victor reader stream, I just call him Victor. I am a recently graduated master’s student and when I started my program two years ago, I felt relieved to have the victor reader stream become a part of my life. Being able to have talking book files, text files, audio files, etc, at the touch of my fingers, felt like magic.
Marie C. Kouthoofd
United States, New York
Ever since I placed that reader in my hand, I have done nothing but make up for lost time. The time I lost reading, thumbing through bookshelves and filling my mind with knowledge. The use of my VR Stream has impacted and improved my life as a teacher and learner in unspeakable ways.
United States, Texas
The memory card holds voice notes, speech recordings, my favorite music, over one hundred audio books and much more. Using a computer screen reader and an ear bud to listen to a manuscript, I can record a reading on the VRS in my own voice for playback during conference and critique meetings. Feedback recordings at those meetings enable me to make changes to improve a manuscript without sighted help. This feature rich, powerful product is a blessing to own. I am seldom found without my Victor Reader Stream. It tucks neatly into a shirt pocket, jacket or purse. One never knows when a good book idea might pop up and I want to be ready when it does.
United States, Utah
The “sleep” button proved invaluable. If I happened to fall asleep, I didn’t need to search through all the information to find the spot where I drifted off. I knew the segment of time that had elapsed, and could navigate quickly to that point. I am so happy with my new guide and grateful for my VictorReader Stream which aided in my training.
United States, Texas
I have used the Victor Reader Stream to learn to play the piano. Since the book was in Daisy format, navigating to specific areas of the book was effortless. Skipping back or forward was a breeze. Bookmarking spots I deemed important allowed me to review specific material with ease. All of this made my learning to play piano a much more enjoyable and productive experience. I certainly won’t be playing at Carnegie Hall any time soon, but the personal achievements I’ve made and the sense of self-fulfillment have been extremely satisfying. I can attribute my success to the tools I now have at my disposal, including RFB (now known as Learning Alley) and technology such as the Victor Reader Stream.
United States, WV
I ride my bike, I go to gym three times a week, and I am good to go. Better than before. Riding, working out at the gym, what is with me on the high road to recovery? Yes: My Victor Stream Reader. Steady throughout. I wish every blind person had access to this technology. I swear by it.
United States, Utah
I love my Victor Reader Stream, I think that it is a given for all of us fortunate enough to have one. I use it for all the usual stuff talking books, music dvs movies and text documents etc. It does help me stay organized and always handy for a note. This brings me to the most cherished success stories I have thus far using the Victor Reader Stream.
Support of Unprotected EPUB BooksA new format for commercial and public domain books is called EPUB. This is an e-text book format. The Stream SoftPak can play unprotected EPUB books using its text-to-speech voice. Each EPUB book is a single file that you place on the $VRDTB bookshelf. EPUB is a subset of the DAISY specification so it does provide some basic navigation depending on the book producer. Once again, as a Stream user, you are keeping pace with emerging book formats. You will find many unprotected EPUB books already available on the Internet from sources such as Gutenberg.org, the Internet Archive (http://www.humanware.com/www.archive.org ), and Google. Indeed, you may wish to refer to a blog from Google that announced the launch of their EPUB repository of more than 1 million books. Visit:
Now, with a Stream SoftPak, you have access to this incredible wealth of new content.
MP3 and Wav RecordingIn addition to the standard high quality AMR-WB+ 3GP recording file type, the Stream SoftPak allows you to choose either mono MP3 96kbps or mono wav 16 bit PCM recording file types. Select the recording file type using the Menu key 7. Press key 7 multiple times to find the Recording menu. Then use the left or right arrows to choose either 3GP, MP3, or Wav. Press the pound key to confirm your choice and the star or Cancel key to exit the menu. As you arrow across the choice of file types the Stream will announce how many hours of recording remain for each file type. Once you have confirmed your choice, all future voice notes and audio bookmarks will be recorded in the chosen file type.
Your choice of file type will affect the size of the recording files. Stream will produce similar quality with 3GP and MP3 recordings but the MP3 files will be considerably larger. Wav recordings provide the highest quality but take the most space on your SD card. For example, one hour of recording produces a 9 megabyte 3GP file, 41 megabyte MP3 file, or 303 megabyte wav file.
Support of Unprotected MP4 Audio FilesThe Stream SoftPak supports the Advanced Audio coding found in audio files of type mp4, m4a, m4b and m4v. The most popular source of these files is the Apple iTunes store which offers millions of MP4 music and podcast files that you will be able to play on your Stream. Note that Stream SoftPak only plays unprotected MP4 files. Files protected with DRM are not supported. To acquire iTunes content you will require the iTunes program which comes with every Apple MAC computer or a free iTunes version for Windows computers which can be downloaded from:
Use the program to purchase content from the iTunes online music store and download it to your computer. You can then transfer the iTunes files to your Stream using Windows or the Stream Companion program.
Support of Audible Enhanced BooksIn addition to the format 4 Audible books the Stream SoftPak will also play the new Audible Enhanced books which are recorded in high fidelity stereo and provide an enhanced listening experience especially for books with multiple narrators or books that include music. Make your choice of whether to download format 4 or Enhanced Audio from the My Library section of Audible.com. If you are not a member of Audible you are invited to a free trial including 1 free book. Just visit www.audible.com/humanware.
Support of Microsoft Word 2007 DOCX DocumentsThe Stream SoftPak will play the native Word 2007 documents that have a DOCX file type. If the DOCX document includes stylized headings, you will be able to navigate the document structure using the 2/8 up/down arrow keys to select the heading level and the 4/6 left/right arrow keys to move back and forth between the headings just like reading a DAISY book. DOCX documents files are stored in the $VRText bookshelf of the Stream SD card.