Audiobooks

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  • Audiobooks, smart radio shows like This American Life and In Our Time , and particularly, recorded lectures, are sometimes better to fill your iPod with than music. They can make any time somewhat productive, keeping your mind busy when running or doing chores, and teaching you of topics arcane. I have listened to more than a dozen lectures from The Teaching Company and Barnes and Noble's Portable Professor. (You can get them free or cheap through the library or through friends you share with.) I regularly purchase audiobooks from iTunes and Tell-Tale Weekly. I prefer to listen to non-fiction. Fiction just doesn't translate well for many into audio, though epic and heroic poetry--- particularly Seamus Heany's recording of his translation of Beowulf--- works well too. A few colleges offer free lectures in MP3 format, and the lectures of Richard Feynman are always floating around on the net.Yesno
  • As a grad student in British lit, I use my iPod to try to force myself to memorize Shakespeare. Like, all of Shakespeare. Constant exposure == osmosis. I hope. --JW 23 Mar 05
  • Audio books are great for cheap mp3 players with not much memory because you can convert spoken work audio to much low bitrates than you would probably be willing to tolerate for music. I use a Windows program called dBpowerAMP (anyone know an OS X equivalent?) to convert books on the fly as I copy them to my mp3 player. I can cram quite a bit into just 256MB. --MVance 14:49, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)
  • iTunes and the iPod will do bookmarking with any AAC audio file--- even unprotected ones you've made yourself. On OS X, change the file type with a program like Quickchange to M4B. On Windows, just change the extension to M4B. (You can just change the extension with OS X too, if and only if the AAC has no file type. Because in a fight between file type and extension, iTunes picks the file type.) Now, you can easily pick up where you stopped listening to long recordings--- this is good for long music recordings, also.Yesno
  • Fill your iPod with foreign language lessons. You can always find some language courses on sale in libraries. It makes your mind work and you will be impressed how much you can learn while commuting. Marika Thomas 7:26, 31 Mar 2005 (EST)
  • To expand on Marika's idea, my research points to the Pimsleur series of books on tape/CD as the single best method for becoming conversant in a given language. I recently checked the 9 CD "Short" Spanish course out of my local library. A quick rip-to-disk and download-to-player and I have a wonderfully productive way to spend my car time. I would also suggest exploring the various text-to-speech tools available for both Mac and PC. These allow you to select text or text files and turn them into spoken word audio files with your choice of speaking voice. I find the included voices from both Apple and Microsoft to be pretty difficult to understand. However, there are some far more intelligible voices for sale separately (around $30US) called ATT Natural Voices Eric Jorde 5:00, 2 May 2005 (CST)
  • If you start getting into audiobooks, there's a "Netflix for audiobooks" that can get you books for a whole lot less than the retail price: Simply Audiobooks They come on CD, in envelopes just like Netflix, 2 at a time (though some books count as more than 1) for about $20-25/month. LetterJ 9:30pm 19 July 2005 (CST)
  • By buying used audiobooks on Half.com or Ebay.com you can save pretty big and turn around and resell them when you're done, giving you convenient, cheap audiobooks. LetterJ 9:30pm 19 July 2005 (CST)
  • Free audiobook mp3s of public domain texts are avaliable at LibriVox. Recorded all by volunteers (though mostly with high-quality voices), good way to keep up with the classics. Chase 1:40am 13 June 2006 (CST)

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