Kurzweil 3000 FireFly Webinar Notes and Related Research

The following are Kurzweil 3000 FireFly Webinar notes and related research.

Kurzweil 3000 Licensing Options

Standalone or USB licenses

This edition is intended for use on individual computers. It comes with a serial number for activation and can be installed on up to two different machines, but used on only one of those at a time (i.e.: Only one person can use the license at a time), see End User License Agreement for greater detail. Standalone is best for individuals or small implementations.


This edition involves a floating license server component. Licenses are installed from a USB Keydisk to a license manager hosted by the customer. Client software can then be installed on as many machines as desired, where they would then pull licenses from the server over the Local Area Network (LAN) connection. Network is typically used in school-based implementations.

Web License

This edition involves a floating license component that is web based (the licenses are stored on the Cambium Learning server and an Internet connection is required for access). A user database is configured by the customer to allow for unique user logins (authtication with access codes) to the server. Clients can be installed on as many machines as desired, where they would then pull licenses from the server over their Internet connection. Web License is suited to school, district, or other wide-area implementation. Includes universal access to Cambium's library in the cloud.

Access Centers cost = $4,000/year. This is a site license for the disabled student services population up to 1,500 students.

Kurzweil 3000 Pricing Options

The following information was provided on October 1, 2012 by Shelley Constant, Cambium Learning Technologies.

There are two ways to purchase licenses: perpetual or annual. Both options include discounts for quantity and prepaid multi-year licenses. Pricing examples:

1. Perpetual: Standlone/USB/Network

Number of Users Cost
1-2 $1,395 each
3-9 $795 each
10-19 $595 each
20-49 $495 each

2. Annual: Web License

Annual Web License Per-User:

Number of Users Cost
1 $700 each annually
2-9 $400 each annually
10-19 $200 each annually
20-29 $100 each annually

Annual Web License Site or Disabled Student Services:

Price Breaks for Updating Existing Kurzweil Software and Adding More

Existing Inventory October 2012

Windows Version 13.04 / Macintosh Version 5.04 (6 Licenses subtotal)
Quantity License type Serial Number
5 ProColor SA Pro Color (5) Standalone 02/12 3130003408499
1 ProColor SA Pro Color Standalone 02/12 3130003476183
Windows Version 12.01 (7 Licenses subtotal)
Quantity License type Serial Number
1 ProColor SA Pro Color Standalone 08/10 3120003253250
5 ProColor SA Pro Color (5) Standalone 08/10 3120003222910
1 ProColor SA Pro Color Standalone 09/10 3120003796913
Macintosh Version 4 (1 License subtotal)
Quantity License type Serial Number
1 ProColor SA Pro Color Standalone 2040003136719

14 Total Licenses (6 current plus 8 old versions)

Price Breaks for Updating Our Old Software

On October 8, 2012, I asked Shelley Constant of Cambium Learning Technologies for pricing that includes credit for our existing inventory.

She replied on October 16 that to update our 12.01 and 4 Versions to be current (v 13x and 5x) it would cost $1908.00. Qty 8 Licenses x $795 x 30%. She will give us a firm price quote upon request.

Price for Additional Licenses

Shelley said that if we purchase those updates for our old software any additional licenses would start with tier 10-19 Perpetual: Standlone/USB/Network pricing of $595 each. She will give us a firm price quote upon request.

If we don't update the old versions of our software the other quantities in the Perpetual: Standlone/USB/Network pricing table would apply. Example: Qty 3 Licenses x $795 = $2,385.00. Shelley will give us a firm price quote upon request.

Kurzweil 3000 VPORT

VPORT is a license management and reporting system that works across Windows or Mac platforms.

Kurzweil 3000 needs to be installed on each workstation. The licensing happens with Kurzweil's web service VPORT. Log into the VPORT website to create all your users first (with usernames and passwords) so they can log into the installed Kurzweil 3000 clients. No other administrator software is required. The Kurzweil 3000 client software installed on each workstation is identical. The administrator within VPORT, can control software access for each user; these access rights can be edited at any time.

A typical post secondary structure within VPORT is:

College or University > Department or School > Professor or Instructor > Class or Lab Section > Student

Generic teacher logins or classes can also be options to consider. For example, you could have a "Lab 1" or "Disability Services" class run by a generic teacher account shared by multiple staff members. It is important to note that each student who wants to log into Kurzweil 3000 be assigned to an active class and have login credentials.

VPORT supports both designated individual access for program use and Universal Design for Learning goals. login rights for users to access Kurzweil 3000 can be added or deleted. Many campuses offer Kurzweil 3000 for Basic Skills users; the concurrent usage model allows for expansion opportunities. Student accounts can be activated and deactivated at the click of the mouse. An additional option at installation allows "guest users", which permits students to log in without a username or password.

Kurzweil 3000 Authentication

A user must to log into Windows before they can run the Kurzweil 3000 application. The username and password used to log into Kurzweil 3000 Web License software is completely separate from the Windows login. You can't tie a Windows login to a Kurzweil 3000 Web License login. File access to the local computer and your network will be tied to the Windows login used. VPORT login credentials enable students' preferences to be saved and access to their cloud-based academic materials for a seamless Kurzweil 3000 experience no matter where they login. The same credentials also allow students to access both Macintosh and Windows Kurzweil 3000 client software.

Kurzweil 3000 Features

File Formats

.KES (Kurzweil format) is the default file format in Kurzweil 3000. It saves text, formatting, notes, highlighting, and bookmarks in proprietary format.

All of the following formats save as text. They do not save notes, highlighting, bookmarks, or images.

Users can copy .KES files to CDs or USB sticks and distribute media that way. Files can also be assigned to students privately or saved into a "public" folder using Kurzweil 3000's Universal Library cloud storage. The optional service offers unlimited cloud storage to save, open, upload, and distribute .KES files from within Kurzweil 3000. For ease of upload and download for all users, files should be limited to individual chapters, as opposed to entire texts.

Image Reader Tool

Image Reader is only available to K3000 V. 13 Windows users. It provides access to digital text found in file formats like Flash or PDF files or images via a new tool in the Kurzweil Taskbar. After clicking on the Image Read icon, a user uses the crosshairs to select any image of text to read. A reading pane then appears and Kurzweil 3000 will read the content.

Virtual Printing

Virtual printing allows users to bring in a file from another application. Steps:

  1. Open the application. For example Microsoft Word.
  2. Ensure that the application has a Print command.
  3. Select KESI Virtual Printer from the Print Setup, Print Properties or Print Name list.
  4. If your document contains color, and you want to reproduce it, click Properties or Printer Properties, click the Paper/Quality tab, and then select Color.
  5. Select Print.
  6. Kurzweil 3000 launches, if it isn't already running, and opens the file.
  7. Save the document. (If you want to add Kurzweil 3000 features, such as annotations to the document, be sure to save it with the .kes extension.)
  8. The .kes file can then be converted to an audio file i.e., MP3.

This feature is available in Kurzweil 3000 Version 13.7 Windows only. Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh does not support virtual printing.

Universal Library

The two types different library options are available.

LAN (Local Area Network) Universal Library

The Universal Library is a folder that lets you store and share documents with others. If it has been set up, teachers can place tests, materials for assignments or class work for students to pick up. When students complete the tests or assignments, they can save the documents back to the library. The library can be set up on a Standalone system that serves multiple users or on Local Area Network for Kurzweil 3000 Network users.

Web Universal Library

Web Universal Library is available for Web License Edition and FireFly users.

Currently, the Universal Library supports Kurzweil 3000 KES and TXT text files. It comes with the Classic Literature collection of nearly 2,000 electronic texts. For subscribers to Cambium Learning Group educational products and websites, the Universal Library offers a single location where published material in electronic format can be found. The structure of the Universal Library is based on user/sub-user file system concept where each authorized user can set up and manage his/her sub-users. In addition to sub-user folders, each user also has a Public folder and a Private folder. All users have Read-Write permission to their own and to sub-users - Public and Private folders. Sub-users only have Read access to the Public folder of the user who created their account.


Firefly is a web-based cloud literacy solution.

FireFly System Requirements

Operating System

Internet Connection


FireFly License

A web license to Kurzweil 3000 for Windows or Macintosh is required in order to use firefly. Kurzweil 3000 Web License client software, for Windows or Macintosh, is required in order to add/remove files from the shared firefly Universal Library.

It is free to Kurzweil 3000-firefly Web License (subscription) customers and allows users to access their curriculum via computer and iPad.

Firefly Features and Benefits

iPad app

Mobile access is available with a free iPad app. For use with an iPad a user needs to:

  1. Obtain the firefly iPad app in the iTunes App Store by searching the education category using the keywords "firefly Kurzweil 3000."
  2. Download the firefly app to their ipad.
  3. Use his or her existing firefly login credentials to access private and public documents from the Universal Library.

Then they can read digital files from a Kurzweil 3000 Universal Library. The current capability is read only.

For more info consult an iPad YouTube demo.

Kurzweil 1000 and Kurzweil 3000 Similarities and Differences


Kurzweil 3000 and Kurzweil 1000 offer similar functionality in that they are both reading/writing tools that provide OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and TTS (Text To Speech) utility.


  Kurzweil 1000 Kurzweil 3000
Navigation Accessible to users who are visually impaired. This means that Kurzweil 1000 provides many keyboard commands while removing the graphical user interface. Keyboard commands facilitate critical functionality for some people with disabilities. Graphical user interface (i.e., toolbars with buttons). It lacks typical keyboard shortcut commands that are accessibility to users who are visually impaired.
FireFly Compatible? No Yes

Deciding Which Fit is Better

As a starting point, ask:


For further info consult: