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Ever bought from Audible?
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject: Ever bought from Audible? Reply with quote

I usually buy audiobooks from the iTunes Store; choose the book, click to buy, download and away you go.

But I've noticed that some titles in the iTunes Store are labelled as "supplied by Audible.com". These titles are not only more expensive on iTunes than they are on Audible's website, but the quality is noticeably worse on the iTunes preview than the Audible preview. I'm sure that Audible can earn a better margin on sales from their own site than those sold through the iTunes Store, but nonetheless, this is really unfair to the poor old customer.

So I'd like to start buying from the Audible website but, of course, that won't have the seamless integration of the iTunes Store with the iTunes app. Hence my concern. Has anybody bought from the Audible website? Was the process pain-free? Did your audiobook appear in iTunes as expected?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried it as of yet, but they do have a free promo if you visit them with the url http://www.audible.com/subway

it should work for you as well, I saw the link on the subway last week when I was in the city.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear that they deliver the audiobooks in the same format as the iTunes store. If you get a CD Audiobook, you can use an AppleScript called MakeBookmarkable to make it appear in the Audiobooks pane.

It's a little more work but it seems much cheaper than the iTunes Store. I think they have an offer for a free iPod Shuffle (great gift for someone :p).
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LouieMacGoo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have bought several books from audible and it is quite easy as it automatically loads the book directly into iTunes under the Audiobook heading. The quality is quite good too.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have hundreds of Audiobooks in MP3 format, trouble is dragging them into iTunes they show up as Music. But I always set the genre to Audiobook and use a smart playlist called AUDIOBOOKS to list them.

More recently I started converting them prior to loading into iTunes using a PC App called Markable. This can merge or split the files into a size I choose it then converts them and loads them into iTunes in one step. Once in iTunes they get correctly listed as Audiobooks using this method. iTunes seems to want them as Protected AAC files with the extension of m4b before it will show them correctly as Audiobook.

What format do you get them off Audible in ?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So after reading this thread I went into the iTMS and had a look around and also previewed a few. Do any of you find it hard to stay focused on what's being said? Do you find you retain as much by listening as you do by reading? I'll probably by a couple and give it a go. . . Just thought I'd get some real world feedback. . .
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy audiobooks quite a bit, but I do have to be in the right frame of mind to be able to retain enough to make them worthwhile.

For me, things like driving, doing dishes, folding laundry are all mundane enough to let part of my mind work on the audiobook. I took a drawing class this past semester and for 6 hours a week I drew and listened to audiobooks. I can't do them when exercising or cooking as I need a little more attention from my brain.

Retention depends on how much other activity I'm doing. If I'm doing nothing, I'd rather pick up the actual book. Just enough mundane activity and an audiobook is almost as good as the real thing for me. The big exception is abridged books, which for many genres (particularly science fiction books that I enjoy) is par for the course, and unabridged readings are far less common.

As for Audible vs. iTunes vs. others:
I tend to buy my audiobooks on eBay. They're much cheaper, and the quality of Audible and iTunes is passable, but still quite low (32kbps for many books). I can also find more obscure books (sometimes having to resort to cassettes), or books that are either not available in the US or are read by a different author than the US version (the Aubrey-Maturin series is by far better read by Patrick Tull vs. Simon Vance, for example). My grandfather is also heavily in to audiobooks, so I borrowed and ripped a big part of his collection a few years ago.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
I enjoy audiobooks quite a bit, but I do have to be in the right frame of mind to be able to retain enough to make them worthwhile.

For me, things like driving, doing dishes, folding laundry are all mundane enough to let part of my mind work on the audiobook. I took a drawing class this past semester and for 6 hours a week I drew and listened to audiobooks. I can't do them when exercising or cooking as I need a little more attention from my brain.

Retention depends on how much other activity I'm doing. If I'm doing nothing, I'd rather pick up the actual book. Just enough mundane activity and an audiobook is almost as good as the real thing for me. The big exception is abridged books, which for many genres (particularly science fiction books that I enjoy) is par for the course, and unabridged readings are far less common.

As for Audible vs. iTunes vs. others:
I tend to buy my audiobooks on eBay. They're much cheaper, and the quality of Audible and iTunes is passable, but still quite low (32kbps for many books). I can also find more obscure books (sometimes having to resort to cassettes), or books that are either not available in the US or are read by a different author than the US version (the Aubrey-Maturin series is by far better read by Patrick Tull vs. Simon Vance, for example). My grandfather is also heavily in to audiobooks, so I borrowed and ripped a big part of his collection a few years ago.


Cool thanks Clunk! I'll give it a go. . .
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
I have hundreds of Audiobooks in MP3 format, trouble is dragging them into iTunes they show up as Music. But I always set the genre to Audiobook and use a smart playlist called AUDIOBOOKS to list them.

To stick them in the "Audiobooks" library portion of iTunes, they have to adhere to pretty strict guidelines. They must be AAC and m4b (bookmarkable).

Personally, I do all my audiobooks in MP3 format, as I like the flexibility. 95% of the time I listen with my iPod, but there have been instances where I've used a non-AAC capable player (usually car stereos that can read MP3 CDs).

I generally rip the discs with Max. I turn on "Rip to a single file" so each disc is one long MP3. My format is MP3, 96kbit VBR (sometimes 64kbit VBR), Joint Stereo. Most audiobooks are mono, but some are stereo, and 4G iPods have weird issues with bookmarked mono files, so I just create JS files.

Once they're ripped and in iTunes, I name them appropriately, then be sure to check the boxes for "Remember Playback Position" and "Skip When Shuffling." This allows me to pause the iPod and play something else and it will resume on that file at the same place I left off. It will also keep the file from being played when I shuffle on my iPod or iTunes. I set the genre to Audiobook, and have a smart playlist that lets me choose from them.

It's a bit more work, but I prefer the results versus using Make Bookmarkable or some other kind of m4b script.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone is thinking of buying from Audible a lot of the podcaster have signed up for Audible advertising and they have deals on a free download if you sign up using their promo urls.

www.audible.com/geekbrief
www.audible.com/dltv
www.audible.com/crankygeeks
etc



ClunkClunk wrote:
To stick them in the "Audiobooks" library portion of iTunes, they have to adhere to pretty strict guidelines. They must be AAC and m4b (bookmarkable)

Yes thats what I assumed was the problem, using Markable sorted it out.

ClunkClunk wrote:

Personally, I do all my audiobooks in MP3 format, as I like the flexibility. 95% of the time I listen with my iPod, but there have been instances where I've used a non-AAC capable player (usually car stereos that can read MP3 CDs).

As I tend to start with MP3 I already have the flexibility of sending the MP3 out to CD but recently I bought a Griffin iTrip FM Transmitter for my iPOD so now I use the iPOD directly in the car or on my desk at work etc which makes it really easy.

ClunkClunk wrote:
I generally rip the discs with Max. I turn on "Rip to a single file" so each disc is one long MP3. My format is MP3, 96kbit VBR (sometimes 64kbit VBR), Joint Stereo. Most audiobooks are mono, but some are stereo, and 4G iPods have weird issues with bookmarked mono files, so I just create JS files.

What are JS files ?
Javascript ? how do these work then

hackersmovie wrote:
So after reading this thread I went into the iTMS and had a look around and also previewed a few. Do any of you find it hard to stay focused on what's being said? Do you find you retain as much by listening as you do by reading? I'll probably by a couple and give it a go. . . Just thought I'd get some real world feedback. . .

Thats my biggest problem I have spent 25 years sat at a computer doing probably 10 things at once. I now find I have real trouble just doing one thing at a time, I get distracted so easily. I think I'm like a smoker who just quit with a craving to have a cig in their hands. For me it just to be doing something else so I end up reaching for the keyboard and reading places like 123MacMini and before you know it I've stopped listening to the audiobook.

To get around this at first I sort of trained myself with books I already had that I wanted to read, I found them in audiobook format (Unabridged of course) and then sort of skim read the book as I listened this seemed to really do the trick for me. I can listen now without getting too distracted and without having to be reading the book at the same time.

A big part of any audiobook is getting an interesting narrator

I also find the same as Clunk mentioned that it does also depend on what I'm doing, I sometimes listen when driving to work but if the traffic gets too busy I do loose focus on the book as I start concentrating on the traffic queue infront. Similarly if I'm sat at the PC I still find I end up logging in to forums and such, and read something else off screen really blows the audiobook focus.

The time I got through the most audiobooks and really enjoyed it was when I was decorating the house. Basic stuff not hanging wallpaer just emulsion painting the walls etc , I got through a couple of books in no time and really took in the books.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LouieMacGoo wrote:
I have bought several books from audible and it is quite easy as it automatically loads the book directly into iTunes under the Audiobook heading. The quality is quite good too.

Thanks Louie. That's exactly what I needed to know.

Cypher wrote:
ClunkClunk wrote:
To stick them in the "Audiobooks" library portion of iTunes, they have to adhere to pretty strict guidelines. They must be AAC and m4b (bookmarkable)

Yes thats what I assumed was the problem, using Markable sorted it out.

I don't know if you've seen the post, but Clunk has already recommended some Mac apps that convert audiobook files so that they can be moved from "Music" to "Audiobooks": http://www.123macmini.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14115

Cypher wrote:
ClunkClunk wrote:
I generally rip the discs with Max. I turn on "Rip to a single file" so each disc is one long MP3. My format is MP3, 96kbit VBR (sometimes 64kbit VBR), Joint Stereo. Most audiobooks are mono, but some are stereo, and 4G iPods have weird issues with bookmarked mono files, so I just create JS files.

What are JS files ?
Javascript ? how do these work then

I think Clunk was abbreviating his reference to "Joint Stereo"

I never know when I'm going to get the chance to listen to an audiobook, but by keeping a suitably loaded iPod shuffle with me, I can press 'play' whenever the opportunity arises; walking around the supermarket, doing the washing up, sorting paperwork, and so on...
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:

Cypher wrote:
ClunkClunk wrote:
My format is MP3, 96kbit VBR (sometimes 64kbit VBR), Joint Stereo. Most audiobooks are mono, but some are stereo, and 4G iPods have weird issues with bookmarked mono files, so I just create JS files.

What are JS files ?
Javascript ? how do these work then

I think Clunk was abbreviating his reference to "Joint Stereo"



now that seems so obvious now you've pointed it out Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer the main question ... I have been a member of Audible.com for almost two years. I have the platinum subscription. It is great. My whole fmaily enjoys the books.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

o.k. I just signed up at Audible.com. Sweet!!! I got a free book just for signing up! I'll give it a go and see how I like it. Thanks to those for posting all your feedback.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm nosey.. Razz

What book did you get Question
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