Technology Headlines

Learning Ally Version 2.0 Audiobook Player Brings Accessible Books to Apple Devices

Upgraded Player Expands Accessibility and Ease of Use on iPad, iPhone And iPod Touch

Princeton, NJ (via PRWEB) August 16, 2011 - Learning Ally, a 63-year old nonprofit organization serving over 300,000 individuals across the U.S. with learning differences, visual impairment and reading disabilities, has released an upgrade of its popular iOS application, which enables the entire Learning Ally library of downloadable DAISY-formatted audiobooks to be played on Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The upgraded app, renamed Learning Ally Audio following the organization’s name change earlier this year, is available to Learning Ally members for $19.99 via the Apple iTunes store. It offers advanced accessibility features for ease of learning, including page and chapter navigation, variable speed and pitch control, bookmarking capabilities, and Apple VoiceOver compatibility. Users will also enjoy significant new features, including:

Play while locked. The new version can continue playback after the Apple device locks and turns off the screen to save battery life. This function can be turned on or off through the iOS “Settings” app.

Open with last book played at last point played. The new version resumes reading where users left off the last time that they ran the app. This feature can be turned on or off through the iOS “Settings” app.

Remember speed control and other settings. When these settings are changed, they will be remembered across all books and sessions.

“Our members thrive on the ability to access content for learning and enjoyment on the devices they use in everyday life,” says Andrew Friedman, Learning Ally’s President and CEO. “With the new version of our app, we continue our commitment to develop technology that makes reading accessible for all learners. And more exciting things are coming down the road.

“Looking ahead to this fall,” Friedman continues, “the Learning Ally Audio app will include text to speech functionality, enabling our learners to enjoy the best of both worlds: human narration as well as text content of their books and reading materials.”

Transitioning to the upgraded player is easy for Learning Ally members who have the previous generation player (known as RFB&D Audio). They will simply be prompted that an upgrade is available; no re-authentication is required and the books currently in their collection will remain intact.

Learning Ally Audio is fully compatible with all iPad, iPhone 4 and 3GS models, and iPod touch second generation and above devices. For visually impaired members, the app takes full advantage of Apple’s VoiceOver technology. Members can select from Learning Ally’s library of more than 65,000 titles available online and easily download books to their PCs and Macs. From there, they can use iTunes to easily transfer the files to their devices.

The app works seamlessly with Learning Ally’s individual and institutional school memberships, and is an easy, affordable way to access and enjoy the organization’s vast collection of textbook and literature titles. More information, frequently asked questions, a quick start guide, and customer service contact information to support the Learning Ally Audio app are available at http://www.LearningAlly.org/apple.

About Learning Ally™
Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 65,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet downloads and various assistive technology devices – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 6,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations.

For more information, call (866) 732-3585 or visit http://www.LearningAlly.org.

Contact: Doug Sprei, Director of Media Relations, Learning Ally, 202-684-8915