Picture of the original Victor Reader Stream eBook player, model 303, front view, horizontal.

Victor Reader Stream Gripes, 303 First Generation

The first gen (original) version of HumanWare’s Victor Reader Stream   portable player is great. But it has some issues that surprised us once we got ours home and started playing with it.





Victor Reader Stream Gripes for the Model 303 First Generation eBook Player

Very Slow USB Port

First of all, its USB port moves data as slowly as a USB1.1 port.  That’s the case even though USB 2.0 was the standard since around 2002.

Also, USB 2.0 is hot-plug-able. That is, connect a USB 2.0 device to your computer when that device is ON.  Then the computer should recognize it and add it to its list of drives in Windows Explorer. But not so with this model.  For it, you must connect the Victor Reader when it’s  off only. Then turn it ON. This complicates the using this device with a computer. They could have eliminated this if designers had built in USB 2.0 port.

Picture of the front of the Victor Reader Stream Audio Book Reader, Model 303.
Victor Reader Stream Audio Book Reader, Model 303

No Clock

The first Victor Reader Stream also lacks a clock inside. So this means that that the 3gp files it creates have no times tamp.  E.g. the Access Time, Creation Time, and Modification Time fields are blank. No time stamps indeed makes it hard to keep track of file creation date. Real handy this would be when recording classes or audio journal entries as we do.

USB Chargers Do Not Charge this eReader

Another curious thing about Victor Reader. It needs a separate adapter for charging.  That is, it cannot charge from its USB port like other devices do.  Perhaps the charge current is too high for USB cables to handle.

Low Volume, the Worst of These Victor Reader Stream Gripes

Next, even at full volume, the thumbnail sized speaker does not play loudly enough to hear clearly above noises around home. Fans running, air conditioners whirring, and other people talking nearby can drown it out.

No WiFi

Offers no internet access via Wifi.  Instead, to update its firmware or download eBooks onto it, you need an internet-connected computer.

Key Panel Grows Sticky as it Ages

We owned our original Stream since early 2009.  But we noticed in 2014, that the black rubber-like keyboard developed a tacky feel.  Now we see this on aging belts, rollers, and other rubber parts in aging devices.  Yet we hope in the new generation stream, they built the front panel from more stables stuff.

The original Victor Reader Stream was quite the accessible device for anyone needing it. But while it was a great first product offering, it certainly did need improvement. Indeed, the next version, the New Generation, has indeed solved many problems, including the USB port and clock issues.





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  5. USB Wall Charger Specs for the Victor Reader Trek GPS Navigator and DAISY Book Player

Suggested Reading

  1. OtterBox Defender Case Review for iPad Air and Mini

References for Victor Reader Stream Gripes

  1. Humanware   Web Site
  2. User’s Manual

Revision History

  • 2019-03-22: Added key phrase targeting, subheadings, and tags.  Shortened sentences and reduced passive voice.
  • 2015-12-15: Added more appropriate tags.
  • 2015-10-06: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2015-01-17: Tweaked content and rearranged tag and category assignments.
  • 2014-12-10: Added picture.
  • 2009-04-22: Originally published this piece.
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