Feature Writer John Christie – How Does the New Stream Stand Up to the PlexTalk?

Humanware has recently released a new generation Victor Reader Stream which offers users the same trusted reliability along with some fantastic new features. At the same time though, the PlexTalk player from Freedom Scientific is still great option. Stay tuned to see what each can bring to the table.

To start, the new generation Victor Reader Stream is smaller than its predecessor, weighing in at only four ounces. Overall, it is 28 percent smaller than the original Stream and features a sleek design with rounded corners that make it easier to hold. It has some of the same features as the original Stream, plus some added bonuses. Perhaps the biggest improvement is the addition of built-in wireless networking capability. Users can now download books and other periodicals to the Stream without connecting it to a computer–a huge feature for those always on the go. In addition, it has a louder speaker and improved speech capability. Its feature to record has also improved. The bookshelf remains the same, as well as the keypad layout. It still supports a 32GB removable SD card. The rechargeable battery in the Stream is good for roughly 15 hours of continuous use, depending on the functions being performed.

Two other great features of the improved Stream include improved built-in text-to-speech utilizing Acapela. Perhaps the most exciting, though, is the ability to integrate with iTunes, enabling the user to download books and music directly from the entertainment giant.

Overall, with the enhancements to feel and function, as well as software improvements and the inclusion of iTunes integration, the new Stream has set the bar very high for its competitors. Let’s see if one of them is up to the task.

The Plextalk Pocket Player from Freedom Scientific has been around since 2011, but is still a worthy opponent of the Stream. It can also perform a wide variety of functions and is filled with features. Also known as the Plextalk Pocket PTP1, it has a regular recording feature as well as recording voice memos. This Voice Memo feature is great because you can record reminders or appointments. Users can add headings to recordings as well, which allows them to separate important parts of, say, a lecture, and navigate by heading to the part of the lecture they want to listen to later. This 4 ounce player can also play a wide variety of files types, including Daisy, MP3, WMA, unprotected, and many more. It is also equipped with wireless networking capabilities, so users can listen to wireless web radio and also listen to, and create, podcasts. As with the Stream, the PlexTalk is powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, but is only good for 10 hours of battery life through either playing or recording.

All of the above functions can be accomplished by using the transfer software, which can be downloaded from http://www.plextalk.com/americas/top/support/ptp1/. It allows users to share files between the PlexTalk Player and their computer.

The new generation Victor Reader Stream costs $369 and can be purchased from Humanware by going to their website at http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/products/blindness/dtb_players/compact_models/_details/id_316/victor_reader_stream_new_generation.html. You can also contact them by phone at 1 800 722-3393.

The Plextalk Player is still currently selling for an introductory price of $275 through March 1st. After that, the price goes up to $349. For more information about the player, you can call Freedom Scientific at 1-800-444-4443 or go to their website to purchase the player at http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/fs/plextalk-pocket-product-page.asp

Both of these players are great products. They offer wireless connectivity and are compatible with a slew of file types to ensure that you can access anything you’d want. Before putting down your hard-earned money, try to get your hands on both of them and give them a test drive to find out which one works best for you.

For those of you who own either of these players, please share your impressions of them in the Reader’s Forum.

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