AsTeR (Audio System For Technical Readings) [Ram94] is a computing system that audio formats/ electronic documents to produce audio documents. Audio formatting produces renderings that are attuned to an auditory display. In its interactive mode, AsTeR changes the active-passive relationship described above by enabling interactive listening. The listener can browse the document structure and can obtain different audio views/ of (pieces of) the document.
The interested reader can experience an interactive demonstration[+] of the audio renderings produced by AsTeR on the WWW (available from the author's home page). It aptly brings out the power of the Internet in publishing multimedia documents; none of my journal publications come with online demonstrations. It also emphasizes the display-independent nature of electronic documents; both the audio formatted version and the visually laid out Postscript were generated from the same/ LaTeX source.
We envision digital libraries as repositories that serve information. Unlike libraries of today that store information in a single display format, the digital library of the future could potentially provide customized views of information. The rest of this paper will focus on the generation of multiple views of information objects. We emphasize that such multiple views can be multimodal, i.e.,renderings may be visual, aural, and in the general case, a combination of both visual and aural views.