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Audiobooks

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Starzee, 4 August 2017.

  1. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    The recent conversation about audiobooks made me wonder what the best source is for borrowing them. I was listening to books for a while through my local library system with an app called Overdrive. They have a sizable audiobook collection, but not necessarily the ones I want to hear. I was wondering if there is another place to access them. Has anyone tried Audible? It seems pretty pricey.
     
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  2. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    I've never tried (think about it every now & then, but, you know how it is). I must admit I've looked at Audible a few times and always end up thinking 'really??' . I wish I better understood the set-up - from my completely ignorant about e-business pov, it looks like very very big profit margins for Them and not a whole heap for Us.

    How well-established is the audio-book library thing anyway? Is it still a limited number (relatively) of books available?
     
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  3. PicsbyJCG

    PicsbyJCG MobiLurver

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    While I'm not a fan of audibooks, I just looked and found this - if you want free audiobooks to keep or throw away, any way you like it.
     
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  4. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    I'm sure there are libraries with a far larger selection than the Finger Lakes Library System, but I'm not sure how to access them. I was specifically searching titles and most were not available. I've noticed that in the case of some of the series books not all the book are available.

    Just wondered if anyone had another way to listen.
     
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  5. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    Our local library system has arrangements with a number of downloadable audiobook sources, including Overdrive, Hoopla, RBDigital (formerly OneClickDigital), and cloudLibrary. But their collections overlap quite a bit, so the situation is still the same as you found for Overdrive -- can't find many of the books I want.

    I've been an Audible subscriber also. They seem to have everything, but you're paying $14.95/month for one book/month (in most cases).
     
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  6. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    I'm thinking that's a little pricey. I could buy a paperback for $10. Of course the point to listen while I'm driving because my radio reception is lousy. I'll just listen to what's available, I guess.
     
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  7. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    It is pricey, and one audiobook won't get me through a month. The selection of ebooks from the same sources seems a bit better, but that won't help when you're driving. How about podcasts as a supplement?
     
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  8. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    And since we're talking about audiobooks...

    Even the best book can be ruined by a mediocre narrator. Any favorites of yours?

    Of recent things I've listened to, I like Stephen Briggs in the Discworld series, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in the Rivers of London series, and Neil Gaiman reading his own stuff. I'll have to look back at my history to dredge up some others.

    A guy we were at university with does audiobooks, and he recently told me that he'd recorded Sjowall & Wahloo's Martin Beck series, but I haven't heard it yet.
     
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  9. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    I get mine from torrent sites, specifically audiobookbay.
    Not everyone wants to deal with the technicalities of torrents and there are moral issues to do with authors not getting paid.
    I've moved more and more to podcasts in the last decade and am listening to far fewer audio books. I'm more interested in podcast recommendations. Maybe I should start a new thread.
     
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  10. Venomator

    Venomator MobiAdmin Admin Site Staff

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    For me - Nineteen Eighty-Four narrated by Philip Glenister has to be my all time favourite... :thumbs:

    Listened to it over and over and keep it on my iPhone for longer journeys (radio is garbage mostly here too Starzee !) was... :D
     
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  11. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    I listened to a series once. Most podcasts seem to be just like what I'm trying to avoid on the radio.
     
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  12. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    Not a bad idea. Im not sure what a torrent site is, but I'm off to check out audiobookbay!
     
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  13. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    I'm intrigued, what about radio don't you like?
     
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  14. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    All the talk. I don't don't care what other people think and certainly don't want to listen to them prattle on about their politics.

    Another problem is even my local stations "walk over" each other. There is one classical music station that is clear 99% of the time but every now and then I like a change. I love to read and rarely get a chance anymore ( too busy playing with pictures). Audiobooks seem a good solution. I didn't realize until this thread that the different library apps had access to different books. I found Hoopla is much easier to use and find books on than Overdrive.
     
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  15. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiFaerie... Site Staff

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    That seems really expensive... :barf:
     
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  16. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    I think it's like anything else - market saturation: mainly shit. You need to have friends make recommendations and then it's like web surfing. I started with This American Life and then the first Serial. RadioLab and a couple of other popular podcasts. I've found fantastic brain science-ish podcasts (because work) that are better than blogs bcs I can listen while driving gardening cooking walking the dog. I listen to The Minimalists sometimes, tho with their specific message there's a limit to how much they can mix it up. Dan Savage (because work). Ted Talks. Some detective/true crime (because I don't know why). Recently I tried out some 'radio drama' - listened to quite a few episodes of the Bright Sessions, HomeComing. Our rizole put me on to The Guilty Feminist.

    I just checked & I've got 25 podcast subscriptions. I browse iTunes every month or so, subscribe to anything that looks halfway interesting, play five-ten mins of as many as I can when I've got the space/mindset, delete ditto. I'm still waiting for a riveting serial. Serial 1 was pretty good.
     
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  17. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Yeah - that's why I wonder about the infrastructure. Surely it can't cost that much to organise selling digital copies of a book?
     
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  18. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    It doesn't, just another case of the middle man taking a disproportionate cut.
     
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  19. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    That was the one podcast I listened to. I will look into it. I thought it was all opinion.
     
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  20. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    No, it doesn't, but there is a difference between ebooks and audiobooks. An ebook is just a reformatting of the existing digital text of a printed book (for recent books, that is). An audiobook, on the other hand, is a performance of the text by someone (you hope) with the skills and preparation of a good actor. (Just listen to an audiobook narrated by someone without those skills. :eek:)

    I think ebooks and audiobooks are both overpriced, but audiobooks less so.
     
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  21. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Ah yes, the small matter of a the whole heap of work (plus skills + experience) the narrators put into the master I wonder if the royalties are a fair percentage of that fat profit margin
     
  22. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiFaerie... Site Staff

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    I've bookmarked several (including This American Life) and keep saying I'm going to listen to podcasts. But I haven't yet... would be great to start doing for my work commute.
     
  23. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiFaerie... Site Staff

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    YESSSSSS. :barf: I checked out an audiobook from the library once and couldn't get through half the book because of the narrator. It was SO ANNOYING. But I've listened to others who had professional actors narrating and it was excellent.
     
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  24. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks on my iPhone. I always have one on the go. I generally listen to 1 to 3 a week. I like to be able to listen while doing something else. I have given up watching TV, again, except the occasional peek at the weather on the news show if Fabi has it on. I first abandoned TV in 1977 and didn't have one until Fabi joined me 15 years ago. She also brought TV and this was a difficult thing for me but I got used to having it going, although I sometimes wear noise-cancelling headphones when the show becomes intrusive. Now I just don't watch any more. I haven't found podcasts have the same interest for me. They lack a good story line and character development, sounding more like a tv show without pictures.
    Overdrive is what I have been using the last couple of years. It is connected to my library card but while my walk-in library has only the books on the shelves the online electronic library is province-wide giving it a much bigger catalogue. It's true the selection is more limited than the ebooks but the selection is pretty good.
    It takes a while going online and browsing the books to find my next listen. Our slow satellite internet makes it a more tiresome process so I usually line up 2 or 3 books at once and download then one at a time. You can take out up to 5 at once but that would be a lot of space on the phone. Audiobooks usually come in sections of about 33MB with 8-12 sections for an average book.
    The overdrive app itself is sometimes annoying but they keep updating it and fixing the bugs. Once you are actually listening to the story everything is OK.
    My first introduction to free audiobooks was through Libravox and I listened to quite a few but these are read by volunteer readers and some are quite amateur sounding. Others were very well done. Their catalogue is mostly made up from the copyright free books, which means older books. You will find all the old classics there but nothing new.
    Regular commercial audiobooks are professionally produced, just like a movie, with professional voice actors, often more than one reader in a story, often with atmospheric music at the beginning and end of chapters. Occasionally the actual author of the book is the reader and this gives you a more accurate impression of how the author imagined to story. The BBC has quite a catalogue of radio plays and these often have a cast of actors plus sound effects.
    Most audiobooks are in the range of 8 to 12 hours long but some epics are 25 or more hours. You can imagine the amount of production work involved in that. You can't get modern best selling books with professional actors for free, except through the library. Often a new audiobook costs about the same as a new movie release on DVD. The book is always longer and more complete than the movie version. Audiobooks are more limited production volume than regular movies on DVD simply based on how many people buy them.
    Through the library system each audiobook has a lending period, just like a physical book. Depending on how many copies of the book or audiobook the library has you may have to wait for a book to be returned before you can borrow it. They can only lend out copies they actually have. This is because of the copyright restrictions. Through the Overdrive app you have a lending period and your audiobook will "expire" and cease to play once your lending period has elapsed. 21 days is the limit. I generally keep a book only a few days. Any that don't interest be I return right away and get something else. I seldom have more than one on my iPhone at a time but sometimes two.
    It takes a while after a new book has come out until the audiobook is produced and made available. I don't think they make audiobooks until they are sure the book is popular enough to warrant going to all the time and expense. Certainly all the best sellers will be made into audiobooks. An ebook is much more easily produced from the same digital files as used for printing the paper book. No production or actors involved.
    The library system buys audiobooks much like it buys physical books and ebooks. For the outlying areas there used to be a travelling bookmobile system serving small communities. I think this has been replaced by the online electronic library.
    The audiobook category was initially set up to serve people who could no longer read or see but it seems to have opened up a lot for people who just enjoy being able to listen to a book while driving or doing other work.
     
    Last edited: 1 September 2017
  25. Starzee

    Starzee MobiLurver MobiSupporter

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    I use Overdrive. I generally only listen when I'm in my car. I have a 20 minute commute, so I listen about 40 minutes a day. We have Sirius XM radio in the house and hubby's car, so we are generally listening to music at other times. I do occasionally dabble in some Dr. Who and we arch the morning news. Really, we ignore the morning news unless something catches our interest.

    It takes me more than the three weeks to listen to a book, quite often. For some reason, I'm unable to borrow the same audiobook immediately like I could a physical book from the library. Probably policy. Thus, I was looking into other services. I am unwilling to pay $15 a month. And, I agree, some of the narrators are lousy.

    I was hoping there was a place I could borrow for free, like Overdrive, but without the time limit. Oh well. I'll just listen, then start another book while I wait to finish the first book, if that makes any sense.
     

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