New York State Library
New York State Talking Book and Braille Library

Playing more than one book on your digital player

The DTBM (Digital Talking Book Machine) contains software that allows it to read more than one book or magazine stored on a USB flash drive (also called a thumb drive) or digital cartridge.  This is known as Bookshelf mode.

  • Play/Stop - The rectangular green button, found above the slot where the digital cartridge is inserted.
  • RW (rewind) - The triangular white button to the left of the Play/Stop button.
  • FF (fast forward) - The triangular white button to the right of the Play/Stop button.
  • Sleep - The crescent-shaped white button above the Play/Stop button.

Digital player with book shelf mode buttons highlighted

  • To enter Bookshelf mode, hold down the green, square Play/Stop button at the front of your digital machine.
  • After about five seconds you will hear a beep and the machine will announce "Bookshelf."
  • Then it will announce the name of the book or magazine that was most recently played. 
  • To move to another book or magazine, press either the rewind (RW) or fast-forward (FF) buttons.  (These are the triangular white buttons on either side of the Play/Stop button.)  The player always announces the titles of the books.

    For example, if there are five books stored on the flash drive or cartridge, and the last book played was in the second position:
    • press FF to move forward to the third book, or
    • press RW to move back to the first book. 

You can also play mp3 or wav files on your digital player.

  • To play them, create a folder on your USB flash drive named audio+podcasts.  (Be sure to use the plus sign (+) between the words "audio" and "podcasts".)
  • Put your mp3 or wav files in this folder.  The digital player now treats this folder as another audio book.

In addition to music downloads, many mp3 podcasts are freely available online, on a large variety if topics.  Below is an example of some music folders and a podcast folder stored in an audio+podcasts folder on a flash drive:

A screenshot of the My Computer window, open to the E directory named audio plus podcasts



NLS periodically provides firmware upgrades for the digital player. Check the Help with BARD and NLS Equipment page for updates and directions for downloading and installing the firmware.

The first version of the DTBM firmware that included Bookshelf mode was version 2.1.3 (November 2009). The latest player firmware is version 2.1.16 (July 10, 2018). Version 2.1.15 allowed users to advance to the next book on multi book cartridges/flash drives without using the bookshelf. Pressing play/stop at the end of a book, when there is more than one, will advance to the next book.

All digital players currently shipped from the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library include this upgrade.

Firmware version 2.1.16 should be installed on the digital player in order to play more than one book in Bookshelf mode and to be able to advance to the next book without Bookshelf mode.

  • Your player's serial number and firmware version can be found by pressing the white crescent Sleep button (see image above) exactly ten times. This must be done without a cartridge or flash drive inserted in the player. The player will then announce its serial number and then its firmware version.
  • If your version is 2.1.3, or higher, Bookshelf mode has already been installed and the player will be able to play more than one book.
  • If your version is 2.1.15 or 2.1.16, you will be able to play more than one book without having to use the Bookshelf mode.
  • If your version is a number lower than 2.1.3, which is unlikely, Bookshelf mode has not been installed. You will need to go to the Help with BARD and NLS Equipment page and install the upgrade manually.
  • If you have questions about your firmware version, or about using your player in general, call TBBL at (800) 342-3688 for assistance.

More information about BARD.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021