NLS Support

Frequently Asked Questions

I am using a Mac computer and although I delete the books I have finished, they still appear on the cartridge.

You must also delete the book from the trash bin on your computer. This will completely remove the file from the cartridge.

How do I connect the cartridge to my computer?

You will need a special cable to connect your cartridge to your computer for downloading. Please make sure you order a cable from our website along with your first cartridge order. Unless you lose or damage your cable, you will never need a second one. This cable will work with any computer with a standard USB connector.

The USB cable won’t connect to my computer.

Since there is a USB port on the side of the player, many people think they should plug one end of the cable to that connecter. If you do this, you will find that the other end will not connect to the computer. You must plug the female end of the cable into the USB port on your computer and the male end into the cartridge itself. Now you can download books directly to the cartridge.

Instructions for Downloading BARD books

Getting Started

To download books from the BARD site, borrowers need:

  • High-speed Internet service such as DSL or cable
  • Ability and permission to download and unzip files
  • An active e-mail address
  • A player capable of playing NLS-produced digital talking books. Please contact the library for the most up to date list of players.

First-time visitors apply for BARD with the link http://nlsbard.loc.gov and selecting BARD Application Instructions then follow the directions on the subsequent page. The Library will verify that the applicant is registered and in good standing. Readers then receive login information by e-mail.

The user name will be the e-mail address used on the BARD application. A temporary password will be assigned and will need to be changed at the first log in. It is also helpful if you set up a reminder question as well in case you forget your password.

Once you have logged in you are taken to the main page. From this page you may search for books or perform several different functions related to your account.

Finding a Book

An ever growing number of audio books are available for download at the BARD site. Avid readers might prefer to check the "Recently added books" or "Most popular books" links to find new titles.

You may search for books by author, title, subject, or keyword. For the author or title searches you must use a combo box to access the list of letters A through Z. The letters represent the first character in the author’s last name or the title of the book. The combo box for subjects list subject headings in alphabetical order.

The keyword search field is blank and you may enter any character string for your search. The results for a keyword search are listed in categories; Author, Subject, Annotation, Book Number, and Narrator. The same result may appear several times depending on the search terms used. If you want "Anne of Green Gables" you must type the phrase in quotation marks or else you will instead search for each word of that phrase: Anne, of, Green, and Gables.

If you know the book number for a title and you want to know if it has been converted to a downloadable format, you need only enter the 5 digit number in the keyword field. For all options once you have made a selection with the combo box or form field you should then activate the Go button.

There is also a link in this section to browse a list of magazine titles by title or by issue date; the titles are listed in the order of the month they were issued. To access the list, use the combo box to browse and select the title you wish to download, then activate the Go button.

Downloading a Book for Use on Your Player

Downloaded books and magazines will not play on a computer. However, users can copy the files to a USB flash drive and insert the drive in the USB port on the NLS player or transfer titles to a blank flash cartridge that is inserted into the large slot on the front of the player. Ordinary USB flash drives (also known as "thumb drives" or "jump drives") will work with the NLS player but must have 4GB or less for storage space.

Step-By-Step Instructions

At the end of each book annotation is a link that begins "Download" followed by title and book number. Magazine issues do not have an annotation, and the screen will display only a link labeled "Download" followed by the title and issue date.

  • Press Enter(click) on the "Download" link for the desired book or magazine issue.
  • Depending on your browser and your browser settings — a window should open asking you what you wish to do next. When asked whether to Save or Open the file, it is possible to do the download both ways. For low vision or non-adaptive technology users, you may find it easier to choose Open.
  • After selecting Open, the book will download and will then appear in its own window on the desktop. The length of time the download takes depends on your internet connection.

When the book finishes downloading, you will be placed in the window for that book. The files that appear in the window make up the book, and all of them are needed for playing the book.

You may load as many books onto your storage device as the storage capacity will allow. The average amount of books can be reckoned at 7 books per gigabyte. In order to manage the books on your device it will be necessary to put each book in a separate folder. You may name your folders whatever you wish.

To move the files to a flash drive or blank cartridge:

  • Press Control-A. This will select all the files.
  • Then press Control-C. This will copy all the files to the clipboard.
  • Attach your device drive to your computer. If, after a few seconds, your computer opens an autoplay window, press Escape or Alt-F4to close the window.
  • Find the device in your directory. Usually the following sequence will work:
    • Press the Windows Key-M. This will take you to the desktop.
    • Press M until you hear "my computer." Press Enter.
    • Press the down arrow until you find your flash drive. It may be called "removable disk," or it could have another name. When you find it, press Enteror click on it.
    • If you have not yet done so, create a folder for the book, then open the folder. Press Control-V. This will paste the files into the folder. You must make certain you have selected all files. If you do not select all of the files, your player may not be able to play the files at all or it may encounter an error.

For screen reader users, selecting Save is often the most effective method. The dialogue box that opens when you press Enter on the download link prompts you to Save, Open, or Cancel.

  • If you Cancel the operation the window will close and you can go back to your results screen with nothing being downloaded.
  • If you choose Save, the compressed file will be downloaded to the location of your choice. It is recommended that you download your books to your desktop for ease in locating the book zipped file and copying the files comprising the digital book to your thumb drive.

To locate your downloaded file:

  • Press Windows Key-Dto get to the desktop.
  • Press the letter Dto find the DB book file that has the book number and title as part of the file name.
  • Press Enteron the file. It will open and display all of the files comprising the book.
  • Press Control-A to select all of the files; then press Control-Cto copy all of the files to the clipboard.
  • Next, insert your thumb drive into the USB port on your computer. It should open a dialog box that says removable drive and indicates zero files.
  • You can then press Control-V to paste or copy all of the files from the clipboard onto your thumb drive. This may take a couple minutes and your screen reader should announce the percent copied.

Please note, that you should remove all of the files from any previously downloaded books before putting a new book on your USB thumb drive. To do this, just plug in your device, and it should open a dialogue box that will display all files on the thumb drive.

Just press Control-A to select all of the files on the thumb drive and press the Delete key, and confirm that you want to delete multiple files.