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Why Should We Download Audio Book Titles?

Nov 3, 2007
I guess it's a funny old world when people enjoy reading using their ears rather than their eyes! The ability to download audio book titles has proven to be very popular, especially for those who feel too busy to find time to put their feet up, pour a glass of wine and have a good old 'traditional' read. But it's not a popular trend with everybody.

Detractors moan that audio book CDs are too bulky, they get lost easily and you need a CD player to hand. The actor reading the story might not have the 'right' kind of voice and this is off-putting (especially if you've built up an 'internal' voice in your head already). We also hear that they're a threat to traditional reading skills.

However, this ignores the broader spectrum: audio books open up great literature (and factual writing) to a wider audience and, as we live in the computer age, there are many different, quick, cheap and convenient methods of delivery. Every town seems to have a new multimedia outlet springing up, providing all kinds of software and hardware audio products. But maybe the greatest advancement is in the ability to download audio book titles.

The most common route to follow is to download the audio book as an MP3 (although there are propriety formats which are often designed to restrict the amount of copying that can be done). MP3s are in common use and can be stored on your computer's hard drive, burned onto a CD or DVD or transferred onto an iPod or MP3 player (for those who like to listen to 'War and Peace' whilst jogging!). The beauty of this method is that the original 'master' file is still on your hard drive, so if you lose your MP3 player or scratch your CD, you can still listen to your audio and transfer it to another medium when you're ready.

With the introduction of the new iPod phones (and the clones that will follow by other manufacturers) downloading audio books will become even more popular. Imagine being able to make a call, take photos, listen to music AND listen to your favourite Harry Potter novel all on one small, portable device!

The best way to download audio book titles, then, is to join a subscription service. The companies providing this service have proliferated greatly over the last few years and most provide a reasonably priced and hassle-free download of your books. Joining these services need not be expensive and is not difficult to do. Browsing their extensive catalogue of fiction and non-fiction titles is one of my favorite activities, akin to wandering around a huge bookstore in town, but without all the crowds!

There are many online services where you can browse, then join their subscription service. Here are just a few of the hundreds available:

1. Audible.com and Audible.co.uk
2. AudioVille.co.uk
3. SimplyListen.com
4. SimplyAudioBooks.com
5. Talking-Book-Store.com
6. AudioBooksForFree.com

I realize it can be difficult choosing an online service for your audio books, but there are review resources on the internet (which you should definitely check out) and most of the companies offer free trial periods where you can evaluate their service and try out their systems and quality of books BEFORE you commit any hard cash.

So, there really is no excuse not to download audio book titles and try out what is going to be a hugely popular way to digest literature in the future!
About the Author
Alan Moore reviews audio books at http://www.AudioBookActive.com He is available to hire as a composer of music for audio books and you can hear his media work at http://www.alanjmoore.com
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