Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Listening to Audible Books -- WOW!

Although I have a vision disability I can still enjoy books but by listening to them.
Shortly after my vision degraded to it's current level, I took to listening to books on my smartphone and PC and enjoyed the experience very, very much. Listening took me to a place where visualizing became possible when I didn't have to look at the page. Wow, what a feeling. I could just sit in a corner with my ear buds plugged in and listen away. Of course when spoken to I wouldn't be able to hear and that has been another experience to deal with. I've also been known to simply look like I was in a far away place or simply appeared to be asleep. And one could look anti-social. However, for many, listening to books in the car is a wonderful way to take in a book.

At first, I either purchased or checked out books on CD from the Library and put them into iTunes and synchronized to my phone. This worked great with my previous iPhone and works well with the Android smartphone but with some different software. At first I used DoubleTwist (FREE) then moved to Amazon Cloud Player (FREE with a moderate amount of space to remain FREE). Both are available for the Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad and Android.

I have now discovered Audlble. I purchase Audible books, books to be listened to only, and use the FREE Audible software for my Android smartphone to listen to the books. Wow, now this is a rich experience. I don't have to worry about importing the book on CD to my PC and then synchronizing to the smartphone or iPad. I avoid all of this work and simply bring the book to the smartphone directly.

Audible has over 100,000 books including best sellers.  Audible works on MP3 players, PC, Mac, IOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch), Android smartphones and Windows Phones. I just finished listening to Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reily and Martin Dugard, which was narrated by Bill O'Reilley himself. Bill O'Reilley is on FOX News cable.

I've written about the Kindle software as one of my Top 10 Most Useful Apps and still use it. I don't own a Kindle tablet of any kind, I just use the FREE Kindle software on my PC, iPad and Android smartphone. Of course I use the absolute largest text size and space the rows out to the max (see screen shot below). I use the same large text on my iPad too.
One of the absolutely fabulous features of Kindle is that you can stop reading with the phone and pickup at precisely the same place on the iPad or PC. Amazon, who owns Kindle, allows the last page to synchronize to the web and then synchronize back down to the other devices. Since Audible is now an Amazon Company, the same feature works with Audible books. Leave off with the phone and pick-up right where you left off on the iPad, PC or Mac.  Kindle works well but... listening to Audible books is simply devine.

So, take up reading again or give listening a try.

Here are some reviews of the products I've used.
Kindle (software)
Amazon Cloud Player

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