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  • Our in-house developed speech de-essing software (to reduce sibilance in speech) is now being hosted on GitHub.

  • The m5 audio Bible uses the same technology as the m7, but uses a BL-5C rechargeable battery as used in many Nokia mobile phones. It is also much louder, being suitable for larger group listening. See some photos of a prototype and description here: m5 portable audio Bible player.

  • By the grace of the LORD, we received the first shipment of 400 Zulu audio Bibles for Christian Outreach Media -

  • By the grace of the LORD, the first mass production run is under way. A picture of the mass production model can be seen under the link to Photos.

  • The LORD willing, we are planning to start production in China soon.

  • A prototype was completed for a pocket-sized audio Bible which will initially be used to share God's word in audio with the Zulu people in South Africa.

  • The eeprom for the power interruption solution was replaced by a FRAM (ferroelectric random access memory) chip. The advantage over eeprom is that the write time is much faster and it has "infinite" write endurance as opposed to the limited 1 million write cycles for eeprom.

  • The digital audio Bible suffered from a problem if power was interrupted - it would reset and start at the beginning again. This is a problem for power sources such as solar power where, if there was an interruption in power, the audio Bible would reset and start at the very beginning of the narration again (not very convenient if you are already several hours into the narration). To solve this problem, a simple power-failure detection circuit was incorporated in the design. When the processor detects that power is failing, it writes its current position in the narration to an external eeprom. When power is restored, the processor reads this position from the eeprom and continues at more or less the same point. There is a problem with this approach though - if the supply voltage is already very low, there is not enough time left to write the current position to eeprom. To circumvent this problem, is possible to write the position to eeprom at the beginning of each chapter. Then, if power was interrupted and there was not enough time to write to eeprom, the narration would continue at the beginning of the chapter when power is restored (certainly a lot better than the very beginning of the narration). The disadvantage with this approach is that the eeprom has a limited life of about a million write cycles. This means that, if the audio Bible was left playing permanently, the eeprom would reach the end of its life after about 2 years. In reality, this may not be a problem because it would not be left running permanently. Even with very heavy usage of 8 hours per day every day, this would give a life of 6 years. A more realistic duty cycle would probably be about 2 hours per day, which would give a life of about 24 years. Even once the eeprom has failed, the rest of the audio Bible would continue to function - just the bookmarking facility would be lost.

  • A second board of the second prototype has been completed.

  • The second prototype is complete. There is audio feedback for the scrolling feature. The scrolling accelerates as the button is held down. To notify the user of the location of the beginning of each book, there is a unique combination of tones. There is an audio marker at the beginning of each pseudo-chapter. A class D amplifier has been added to drive a 1/2 watt 8 ohm speaker.

  • Work on the second design is progressing well. The scrolling feature is now working - it just needs some sort of feedback to let the user know his location in the narration. The feedback must be intuitive and meaningful to illiterate people (and hence to all peoples, languages and cultures). The feedback has to be able to give fine resolution in an 80 hour narration as well as show the overall progress through the narration. Any suggestions on how to implement this kind of feedback are most welcome - please see contact details.

  • The second prototype digital audio Bible is now basically at the same level of functionality as the first prototype. The next objective is to develop a scrolling feature that will be more suitable for illiterate people (who have no concept of books and chapters as do literate people). This scrolling feature should allow the user to scroll to any portion of scripture they wish to hear and provide some sort of feedback to indicate their location in the narration.

  • A second design is now well under way - this involves merging the micro-controller and speech processor into a single device, bringing the core chip count from three down to two. This new design will also allow additional features such as a scrolling facility to allow moving to any point in the narration.

  • The first prototype digital audio Bible was completed on 10 October 2003. The design now has to be improved to make it suitable for mass production.