Downloading vs. streaming

Hello everybody,

I would like to ask those of you who have implemented Daisy Online Delivery for talking books and/or newspapers, what your views are on downloading vs. streaming? The protocol allows both, but there are different possibilities available: downloading only, streaming only, streaming and downloading. I'm interested in hearing about all your implementations and what choices you have made for your respective services.

Here in Finland, we are running two separate Daisy Online Delivery services, one for talking books run by Celia Library, and another for talking newspapers and magazines run by the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired. We are using the PLEXTALK Linio player for our service. We are now preparing to allow downloading for the FFVI service. As for the service of Celia Library, a decision is yet to be made.

Our primary concerns are:
- Is downloading too difficult for the user? The target group of our service consists mainly of elderly people. If downloading requires a lot of input by the user, it might be too difficult.
- What does the user have to do to initiate downloading, how many keys are needed? How difficult is it to remove downloaded items?
- How will the available Internet connection work with downloading, especially a mobile connection such as 3G?

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Kind regards,
Maria Finström
Project Manager
Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired

Hi Maria,
Thanks for posting your questions and observations, your message has very good timing.

The DAISY Online Delivery Working Group has just been tasked with reviewing the existing protocol and current implementations to recommend good practices which would hopefully address some of your questions. To get this process started a survey will be circulated in the next few days, and I would very much welcome your contribution to the survey and participation on the Group.

To comment briefly on your specific questions, you may find that within your controlled reading system environment there need not be any distinction for a user between downloading and streaming. Offering a download option outside of your provided reading systems will clearly be a little more complicated, however from experience in the UK the people requesting downloads service are naturally the more technically capable users.

If you’re not already familiar with it, I think the Vision Australia service might be of interest, working over the 3G network and reporting a bandwidth saving through streaming over full downloads, primarily where users do not read the entire book.
We will hopefully be talking through this model in more detail on the Working Group calls.

If you have any immediate questions I can help with please let me know.

Best regards

Dave Gunn
Chair of the DAISY Online Delivery Working Group

Dave at Outervations dot com