2006-03-08 0834 Review: == Living in an Audible world == I love books. That might not come as too much of a surprise . . .

Living in an Audible world

I love books. That might not come as too much of a surprise considering I love writing too, but there you go.

The problem I have is that after hours of staring at a computer screen during the day, my poor lickle eyes just can’t focus too well on the pages of a book. I stop when I can feel the faint burr of a headache coming calling. Sometimes that means I can read for hours, but lately it’s meant just a paltry fifteen minutes. That’s barely enough to re-read the previous paragraph so I know when I was up to, and just a few pages on. Piffle to a hardcore reader like me (as opposed to a hardcore reader, where the words are, frankly, less important than the pictures).

Enter audiobooks. That’s not so much of a revelation now as it might have been just a few years ago, but if you haven’t tried it, and love reading, I recommend it wholesale. I can “read” for much much longer, read while I’m doing the dishes, and read while driving. Try doing that with a read book. On second thoughts, don’t.

Audible is my preferred format of choice, for the simple reason that it works. Unlike mp3, Audible files can be bookmarked which means that chapters are easily found, and the player remembers where you read up to and starts in the right place, immediately. File sizes are small too, with even the highest quality setting taking around 128Mb for 8 hours of listening pleasure. The next lower setting (64Mb for 8 hours) if perfectly listenable quality though, so it’s ideal for PDA use.

Where Audible shines is on on iPod Shuffle. It’s small, unobtrusive, tiny enough to keep in your pocket and has a battery life of basically forever. I’ve used mine every night for a week, and occasionally through the car stereo while driving and the charge is still high. I’ve tried doing the same thing with my IPAQ and the charge died on the second day. IPAQ battery life is terrible! The lack of screen on the Shuffle isn’t a problem at all. Turn on, press play, put back in pocket. That’s it. A screen really is unnecessary and would just eat into that amazing battery life.

Best of all – if you sign up for Audible you get a free Shuffle. This means you can be up and listening to the best books around for next to nothing.

And we can’t say fairer than that, can we?

Click on the link in my sidebar to go to Audible and claim your free Shuffle. Get listening and say goodbye to eye strain, forever.

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