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Head To Head - Audio Books vs Downloadable Audio Books

Aug 17, 2007
An audio book is the recording of a person reading aloud the content of a book. These audio books are also known as talking books or spoken books.

One of the best definitions of audio-books was given by William Swanson in the article "I Hear America Reading": Swanson says, "Audio books are one of those happy marriages of art and convenience loved by frenetic Americans. The idea ... is to enable us to enjoy books - a traditionally solitary and concentration-intensive pastime - while doing something else - mowing the lawn, cruising the interstate - often in the company of others."

Audio-books have been available for decades, becoming more popular in the 60's as books on tape, and more recently as books on CD.

The boom of the Internet technology and high-speed Internet connections made available another breakthrough in the industry: downloadable audio-books.

Downloadable audio-books are also known as digital audio-books and that's exactly what they are: digital versions of the audio-books. They can be listened to on a computer, on a CD player or on a portable Mp3 player.

The best advantage of downloadable audio, combined with the use of portable Mp3 players is convenience. You can listen to fiction and nonfiction best sellers, how-to books, biographies, children books and so on... while doing boring or repetitive tasks. This way, we can fill the "dead" moments we all have in our lives and increase our knowledge at the same time.

In fact, today you can find almost anything you can think of in a digital format, including radio dramas from the first decades of the 20th century.

Downloadable audio books are becoming more and more popular these days because they are also cheaper than audio books on tape or CD. And the reason is obvious: you don't need a storage medium.

An increasing number of public libraries are now offering downloadable audio books to their members. The library members can download the audio books onto their computers and listen to them for a certain period of time (usually between one and three weeks).

Here's how the system works:

Using Digital Rights Management (DRM) software these titles are automatically checked out and automatically checked back in on the due date. These files can be played on any computer that has Microsoft Windows Media Player (version 9+). Once downloaded, the files can also be transferred to selected portable devices (devices that support Windows Media Player) or burned to a CD.

The audio book files on the computer or portable media device become unplayable after the check in date. The CDs can still play and be used within the copyright guidelines.

So if you always say that you don't have time to read, now you're out of excuses. Go get yourself a cheap mp3 player and buy some downloadable audio books, or get them for free from your public library, and start enjoying the wonderful world of books ... oh sorry... downloadable audio books... ;o)
About the Author
Eddie Lamb provides an abundance of information on a range of topical subjects. With the amount of information now available to the discerning researcher, we believe a better understanding your area of interest helps your decision making process immensely. You'll find a host of useful information about digital downloadable products at Digital Audios Direct.
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