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The Ideal Audio Book Player - Individual Suitability

Feb 9, 2008
So you have got the bug and have fallen in love with listening to audio books. Aren't they just brilliant as you can listen to them absolutely anywhere, at home, while doing your gym workout and on the way to and from work. Anyway now that you have become an audio book disciple the main problem you have to address is what type and style of player suits your particular lifestyle and budget.

If you intend to spend most of your listening time in the comfort of your own home then you could quite easily use the CD player in your sound system. If you want to listen to audio books while you are driving in your car then you would be best off using the in-car CD player.

Some audio book devotees still hold on to old technology and prefer to listen to their chosen books on the old fashioned cassette player although these days getting quality audio book recordings on this medium is becoming much harder.

There is much debate about which is the "best" medium for listening to your audio books, however, I believe the practical approach is to look for a player that suits your own individual requirements and budgets.

An old friend of mine who is one of the earliest devotees to audio books has a very extensive collection of "vintage" audio book cassettes and plays them on an equally old cassette audio book player. Even though there has been many technical advancements like digital playing devices as well as the newer audio book formats that can be downloaded online, this friend much prefers to listen to his audio book recordings in a cassette format. I suppose that for him its just like people who still cling to their LP records and resist buying cassettes and now CD's - as the saying goes 'each to their own' as everyone has their own preferences.

If you are just starting out on your audio book experiences (or if it is an important part of your education) then working with just any player is not going to give you the level of listening pleasure you are looking for.

Since the introduction of such devices as MP3 players, these have become the preferred option for the vast majority of audio book listeners. There is a wide selection of MP3 players to suit every level of budget. You can choose many different brands, sizes and styles to fit with your individual requirements. It is important to note, however, that not all MP3 players can play audio books to the required optimal specifications of that book.

Some important facts to consider when determining if your MP3 player is suitable to take on the role as your audio book player include the following:

The MP3's conversion rate: The ideal rate for your MP3 player should be above 16KB so as to deliver the right clarity of sound.

The MP3's memory capacity: Here it is crucial that your chosen player has an adequate amount of Gigabytes. As many audio books can run for quite a long time, often up to 10 hours, the complete recording will not fit onto a player with a capacity of less than 1 Gigabyte.

The MP3's maximum volume: Whilst the level of loudness you intend to play your audio books at is generally a matter of preference or tolerance, most MP3 players are unable to play an audio book at a sound level that is able to compete with outside noise. MP3 players are great for playing with music where the nuances are not as delicate as the spoken word. If this is a problem with your Mp3 audio book player then you should opt to wearing a covered headphone rather than the ear-plug style.

The MP3's software: When choosing a suitable player you should consider whether the player's software allows you to go back to a particular chapter if you suddenly run out of batteries and the player stops. Also does your player have an organized system of sorting through an audio book's different chapters.

These are all very important features that your audio book player should have. A word of warning - ask for a 'test listen' before buying an audio player and don't forget take an example audio book with you to test it with rather than a music disk.
About the Author
If you would like more information on Audio Book Players then go to Audio Books Retreat
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