Monday, July 06, 2009

Detroit 2009 Day 3: Kurzweil User Meeting Notes

I didn’t have the time to setup my laptop for this session. So forgive my brief descriptions on this post as I’m trying to quote from memory. And that memory can be faulty for sure. Take a bit of this with some “possible” as opposed to “going to happen”. In either case we will see version 12 in September.

The new version of K1000 is written for the .net framework. This allows the programming team to scale with new technology options, moreover, it also allows KES to employ newer programmers who don’t have to learn old programming languages in order to make new versions of K1000.

Version 12 will support x64 Windows and have more robust support for Windows 7. The product will use Scansoft engine 16.2 and Fine 9. The build of NeoSpeech is the same as v11 for many technical issues not related to Kurzweil Educational Systems. It is still recommended that you use only one version of this synth if you have more than one AT program that utilizes that particular synthesizer,

There will be the new ability to set your bit rate and quality for “Save as MP3”. The program can also enable a MP3 encoder if one is not on board the computer you are using. The new version of K1000 will also sync to iTunes playlists and you can now save to devices that mount as removable drives. Like A Victor Reader Stream or a Book Sense.

There will be a USB edition of K1000 coming with v12. There are still no plans for bringing K1000 to the Mac platform. The American Heritage Dictionary sees a massive update. Speaking of dictionaries, the new version 12 will come with a CD, that you can optionally install, which lets you add 60,000 human spoken words to the dictionary. So no more mangling words that you know can’t be the right way of saying them if you relied completely on your synth for that job.

The Exact Image portion of the program has seen some major improvements. PDF conversion has seen some additions as well. DAISY features now are inclusive to all the different versions. Plus you may find that saving a file to DAISY works better for the portable accessible players in this new version of K1000.

Remember that bit I wrote about JAWS one day doing real time translation through the internet of highlighted text? This feature too is coming to version 12. The search functions also see some refinements with some crazy options for those who have to look up some technical symbols and the like.

The program will also have a training/startup wizard for new users. The feature will step you through the common, and some not so common, options in the user interface. So if you listen to the portion on Auto Load the wizard recognizes that and it will put a check mark by it in the list of training options. This is fantastic for those who can’t or don’t have the option to be trained by an AT Specialist.

Again, the program comes to us this year and the pricing for the USB edition and upgrades will be forthcoming very soon.

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