Development of audiobook players enhanced

Press release, 11th June 2013

Individuals with print disabilities benefit from development of open source software

Creating rewarding reading experiences for individuals with print disabilities is challenging. Yet this is a question of social equality. Using various methods, a printed or digital publication can be converted into a talking publication, making it available in a convenient manner. The publication, for example a daily newspaper, should be easily accessible and easy to handle as well as being distributed and still fresh upon arrival. Thus many organizations and libraries for the visually impaired use Daisy, the international standard for talking publications.

During the spring of 2013 Kolibre has published software building blocks necessary for creating a talking publication player that support the Daisy standard. The programs also support Daisy Online, the international standard for the transmission of talking publications using the Internet. The programs have been developed with the financial support of Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY) and are available at

The software is licensed as open source software, which means that anyone can copy, improve or use the source code for various needs. Documentation has also been made available along with the source code so that individuals, organizations and companies can easily construct their own player for playback of Daisy talking publications.

In order to demonstrate the possibilities of open source software, at the end of 2013 Kolibre will publish instructions and source code for a player designed for use with Raspberry Pi hardware, which anyone will be able to recreate for a cost of less than 100 Euros. This is possible thanks to the open source software and also makes it possible to build new players at significantly lower costs than previously.

For more information please contact:
Martin von Willebrand, Kolibre Chairman, tel. +358 40 770 1818
Daniel Ainasoja, CEO, tel. +358 50 527 4174

Kolibre is a non-profit association founded to develop tools for individuals with print disabilities, initiated by Norra Österbottens svenska synskadade rf (NÖSS), the Federation of Swedish Speaking Visually Impaired in Finland  (FSVIF) and Pratsam Ab, and its purpose is to publish development results as open source software. The vision is that all individuals should have access to talking publications with a natural voice, regardless of their location, through a customized receiver: whether smartphone, computer, e-reader or customized player.

Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired (FFVI), the Finnish state-owned special library Celia and the Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions COSSare part of Kolibre’s cooperative network.