For those of you helping us out by running and giving feedback on the Bloom beta channel, thank you! You are a vital part of the Bloom team. We are now moving on to building Bloom 4.5, and will release new editions of the 4.4 beta if you find any problems with it.
Here’s what’s new in 4.4 beta:
The Settings dialog has a new tab named “Bloom Enterprise” which allows you to enter the new subscription codes.
Cover pages have some improved default typography:
Regular—>Bold, line space 1.4 --> 1.1 (national language 1.7–>1.1), min-height: (1.8em --> auto). This puts the two boxes closer to each other. This works well for most scripts, but some will need to increase the line height.
When recording Talking Books, you can now choose to record whole text boxes at once. You can still record each sentence separately, as before. Note that during playback, if you record the whole box at once, the whole box will be highlighted at once. So what you may gain in naturalness, you may give up highlight synchronization. See the new “Record by sentences” checkbox in the Talking Book tool. Books that use this feature will not be usable with earlier versions of Bloom.
Impairment Visualizer. See an approximation of how images will look to readers with colorblindness or cataracts.
Previously, if you had a large paper size (like A3), the booklet buttons would be greyed out but it wasn’t obvious why. Now, there is a message on screen explaining the situation.
Book Metadata form. In the ePUB tool, there is now a form you can open up that adds various metadata to to the ePUB. These include accessibility features and fields needed for submission to the Global Digital Library.
When uploading a book to BloomLibrary.org, you can now choose to upload a book’s audio (narration and background music).
When uploading a book to BloomLibrary.org, you can now specify features of the book to help people find it. Current options are “Accessible to the Blind”, “Accessible to the Visually Impaired”, and “Sign Language”.
Getting the Beta
If you already have a beta version, Bloom will automatically ask to update itself. Otherwise, windows users can get 4.4 from the Bloom downloads page. The linux version will follow shortly. As usual, you can have the Release & Beta versions installed at the same time, and open books on either.