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Customer Discussions > Audio Book forum

Your thoughts on Audio Books, Audio Downloads, Abridged and Unabridged

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Showing 1-25 of 506 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2009 8:39:52 AM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
Any and all thoughts on audio books are welcomed.

To start us off.

Why are so many publishers releasing audio books only as a download on I don't want to subscribe to I want Audio Books on discs!!

I want to choose if I want to order it new or used. I want the option of purchasing it from Amazon or a third party seller.

I've found some publishers releasing the abridged version on discs and Unabridged on

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 12:07:43 PM PST
Diana Fair says:
I commute an hour to and from work each day. Audiobooks are a great source of relaxation during what is usually a stressful drive. The two hours do not seem as wasted as before I began listening to them. I do however, have a couple of beefs with the publishers. First, What possesses you to abridge a book in this format? You didnt do it in hardcover. What makes you think anyone wants to buy a half-assed edited version for more money? Duh! Second, Why are some books, like those of Audrey Niffenburger, Stephen King and a few other put together with such great talent -- not just the narration, but the direction, sound effects and even the cardboard folders for the cds -- and others are just a complete trainwreck. I just finished Loving Frank and believe the narrator should have been shot for one of the worst performances ever. And I did not appreciate the CDs spilling out of the box anytime I opened it. Audiobooks on CDs cost a LOT OF MONEY. Are the producers clueless as to how angry people are when they discover that 90% of them out there are sloppily thrown together sessions with narrators who couldnt act their way off a grade school play stage? I have stoppped buying them and now order through my library. There is no room in my home for the garbage that passes as performances these days in audiobooks.

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 12:46:06 PM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
I bought myself a bunch of CD audio cases because the poor quality of the CD packaging.

I wrote recently to a publisher and asked if a book was going to be released in the Unabridged format and this is their reply


Thanks for e-mailing us. While there are plans for Sandstorm to be release in an unabridged version next year, it will be as a downloadable audiobook instead of a CD version.


Helpful, yeah. So if I didn't own a IPod or some other MP3 I would be force to listen it at home and what if I had limited space on my computer. I know download it to an external drive.

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 5:37:23 PM PST
silver bird says:
I LOVE audiobooks and have been a member at for about 6 years now. IMO buying the actual CD's are a waste of space and money. With Audible downloads the books go straight to my iTunes and/or I can burn to CD if I choose. But why would I? Just more clutter..... Abridged books are rubbish and should be avoided at all costs.
P.S. If Audible refuses to sell me a book because of my 'geographical location', I get it as a torrent - immediately - as a matter of principle :).

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 6:02:36 PM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
I find that I can buy used and audio books on Amazon from third party sellers cheaper then what they go for on Audible.

I say whatever works best for individual. The problem is, in some cases the choice is being taken away from the consumer. Even the choice of abridged or unabridged is being taken away.

Audible can deny you a sale because of where you live?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2009 10:57:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2009 10:58:43 PM PST
silver bird says:
I'm a platinum member, so my books work out to be about $9 each...
Yes they can! Since Audible is now owned by Amazon, they are MUCH stricter with their geographical restrictions. Much like the kindle e-books... But never fear when my favorite tracker is near....:).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2009 6:56:06 AM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
So Brenda, how do you know if you're in a restricted zone?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 4:16:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2009 4:22:06 AM PST
the problem with Audible and Itunes is that they are NOT in smaller tracks. ONE HUGE Download. For anyone this is a headache because if you DO NOT save it as "remember position" you have to scan thru the audio and find where you left off.

Pretty stupid not to have these in at least chapters.

I prefer UNabridged cds and NOT downloads.

I wish Anne Rice would have released the whole Vampire Chronicles in Unabridged cds. I had to pay someone to edit the cassetes into chapters.

Audible and Itunes will NOT allow you to share this download for this purpose.

This is why cds are way better.

owner of 130 audio books, Entire series of The Vampire Chroncles, Clive Cusslers Dirk Pitt-Oregon Files, Tom Clancy, James Pattersons' Alex Cross series. and many more.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 6:56:21 AM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
Thank you. I wish the publishers would listen to their customers. If they already recorded the book for audible the biggest expense has been spent. It's not like they put the discs in a hard cover package so why can't they releases books both on disc and audible download.

I just check my listing and it's frightening, 423 audio books most of them are on discs.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 5:55:56 PM PST
fan says:
Diana, the library is a great resource and I use it a lot as I cannot afford ( and I CANNOT deal with, or ipods at all, listening folks?) to buy all my many audio book listens. I have a collection of abut 90 now, and this is still growing, but I am not well off. Nonetheless, I have a sleeve on a strap with pockets in it for 3 discs, or cassettes, and the player, so I do not care how they package them. I do care about the quality of narration. I listen to a lot of books, but I pay attention to who the narrator is: favorites are Simon Prebble, George Guidall, Davina Porter, Barbara Rosenblat, Jenny Sterlin, Lisette Lecat. None of these have ever disappointed me.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 6:23:44 PM PST
Why not Ipods? cassettes attract dirt, or the tapes break, cds wont get scratched up?

My biggest pet peeve is the SOUND EFFECTS in the audio books. WE DONT NEED gunshots and incidental music. Thats up to the reader to "make his or her own" movie of the book

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 7:25:02 PM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
Loading audio books from your CD's can be a pain. The IPod is geared to downloads from ITunes and Audible. I just as soon listen to my books at home. I do however, have my most recent favorite Clive Cussler - Justin Scott on my IPOD.

What I find the most distracting is men reading the female parts. Either they try way to hard and they sound so bad you laugh every time they start and it ruins the story or they don't even try.

The narrator for the Shadow of the Wind does a great job on both men and women voices and I like Scott Brick's work.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 7:46:40 PM PST
I disagree about the IPOD geared toward Itunes downloads and Audible. If it were geared toward Audible, you wouldnt need ANOTHER program, Audible Manager. Itunes downloads.... hmmmmm I find it so easy to load cds than BUY a song for 99 cents.

I must agree about it being a pain though too, but I found a format to make the cds work and work correctly. DO NOT use Gracie service auto-find track names. they have no idea what it takes to make and ipod play correctly and in order, and a computer is only as smart as the information you supply it.

There are 3 things you must do when loading a cd audio book or even Music period.

BEFORE encoding ANY cd to your Itunes:

Do you want QUALITY? Music Yea.... (leave the bitrate alone at 256)

Do you want storage space? ( about 120 audio books can fill up a 160gb ipod pretty quick, change the bitrate to 128. This will take up half the space it normally would and NEVER know the difference for "talking" recordings


Note how the ORIGINAL cd tracks are listed.

Music is TOO important to change quality when copied..... BUT Audio Books are not that important and will not loose that much quality when dropped to 128 bitrate

In order for an audio book to play correctly the following format works the BEST

Make a new playlist with the book title BEFORE you copy the audio book

on the NAME tab in this new playlist, point the arrow UP

Cd #1 for example ALL TRACKS should be RENAMED BEFORE COPIED as such:

Raise The Titanic - 01 - 01
Raise The Titanic - 01 - 02
Raise The Titanic - 01 - 03
Raise The Titanic - 01 - 04
Raise The Titanic - 01 - 05
Raise The Titanic - 01 - 06

etc, etc, etc

CD #2:

Raise The Titanic - 02 - 01
Raise The Titanic - 02 - 02
Raise The Titanic - 02 - 03
Raise The Titanic - 02 - 04
Raise The Titanic - 02 - 05

etc, etc, etc and so on throughout the entire audio book.

THEN while viewing the cd tracks you renamed, select ALL, and DRAG them to the New Playlist. NOT MUSIC Library. doing this will put them in your library automatically, BUT will put them in your new playlist right away. Your iipod WILL follow this Name arrow UP playlist, IN ORDER as long as all the tracks are named consecutivley.

If you need more help, I can be found on Yahoo messenger as nascarnbroncosfans screen name. I can even send you some books if you ae looking for some of the harder to find Clive Cussler, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy, James Patterson and many classics.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 7:53:49 PM PST
fan says:
All excellent I have the cd's, I will just stick them into my portable cd player, whose controls are easy to use, for me that is, and I will very happily listen to them. Infinately easier.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 7:55:35 PM PST
True, but no cds to hunt for, not get scratched up, or stolen from your vehicle from some bozo.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 8:03:45 PM PST
fan says:
I don't leave them in my car, and I carry them in a soft sleeve with pockets. I have some favorite audio books that I have heard 4 or 5 times over years, and the cassettes ( yes) and the cd's are all still perfect. I keep them handy and do not usually have to hunt. By the way MP3 CD's almost eliminate the need to change CDs. They also load a lot more easily to that infernal device you are so fond of. I do prefer ordinary CDs, but MP3's are also usually cheaper if I must own the book.

Posted on Nov 8, 2009 8:07:31 PM PST
Infernal device?.....hmmm that would mean Kindle.... while driving... yea thats it

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2009 8:28:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2009 8:30:02 PM PST
Gnomes Rule says:
To nascarnbroncosfans:

I already use the labeling method you described. I does make it a lot easier and thank you for the additional information. I will definitely try it.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 9:01:12 AM PST
Catfish man says:
I guess I am an odd-ball, I LIKE my iPod, iTunes, and Audible. I get cd books from the library too, but I use "Join CD Tracks" to make one file of each disc. Or cassettes, just play them in real-time while I am doing something else, recorded into the sound-card on my computer as .wav files with Audacity, edit them, and convert them, 1 file per tape side. Tapes are bad because the library collections are very old and the tapes barely work anymore, but sometimes its the only way to find what I want. And I use 32 as my bitrate, not 128, that is just fine for spoken word, takes up far less space. The iTunes files I create, when converted to .m4b format, always remember where I left off. I only listen to one book at a time, on a 4-Gb Nano, and this leaves more than 3/4 of it free for music even if the book is extremely long. Audible simplifies the process (no ripping or tediously recording in cassettes) and there are chapter sub-menu's in the files on my iPod, so I have never lost my place in an Audible file, even when switching between the book and music and back.

It took a while to get the hang of how to label files in iTunes, but I got it handled. Sort fields are the key to keeping the books in order of release in a series and not the title alphabetically.

I bought a Sansa Clip now too, and I can use it for Audible books, library downloads, or my own files if I convert them to .mp3 with iTunes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 9:04:17 AM PST
I tried the 32 bitrate but.....wayyyyy to much echo and you can hear other tracks behind it during the pauses in speech.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 2:31:05 PM PST
Catfish man says:
Why would you hear other tracks behind it? How are the other tracks getting in there? Which format are you importing to (.wav, .mp3 or .m4a which is AAC)? I have a very slight echo but nothing I can hear on my iPod docking speakers or car stereo, but I notice it with good headphones. I live with it because I don't have a TB HDD to use up storing audio books right now, and I have such a dinky iPod. My first audiobook rips were 128kbps and the files are humongous (65 Mb per disc vs 16 Mb at 32kbps).

I appreciate your info and am incorporating it into my own methods. Basically I just made up my methods as I went along, seeing what worked and what didn't for me. Thanks for what you've posted so far.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 3:04:06 PM PST
mp3 format now.

I have in the last 10 months being laid off, since changed EVERYTHING on my ipod back over to MP3 (select song, right click and make MP3 version, DELETE ACC VERISION) which is half the space ACC takes up.

whats a TB HDD ???

Walmart has external hard drives CHEAP. 500 gb hard drive off the shelf was 99.00

I have 2 160 gb Ipods (one is a backup) and one I use. Identically setup should one fail, (145 Books and 5000+ actual music tracks

Hunt for the Red October Audio Book Sucks from the factory....

I think the echo has to do with the quality of WHERE it was recorded. DO NOT buy these compliations from ebayers. I have alot of them and most of them fade in and out, tinny, and no sounds then LOUD ...they are okay but not something I would want to keep forever.

If anyone needs:

Stephen King
Anne Rice
James Patterson
Clive Cussler
Tom Clancy
The Godfather series
Stephenie Meyer (4 books)

DO NOT buy them from ebayers.

I am on Yahoo messenger and will send them to you. Dont pay good money for these to a nobody ebayer when you can get them from a fellow audio books lover. Yahoo messenger as nascarnbroncosfans screen name

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 3:49:12 PM PST
I'm a total audiobook devotee, I listen instead of TV, radio, or even movies. All of the downloads I've purchased at audible I've burned onto CDs myself but you do have to have itunes on your computer to do the burning. Likewise, I don't ever purchase abridged versions of anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 3:51:59 PM PST
You are right about readers Diana. A bad reader will completely ruin the best story out there. On the other hand a good reader can turn a so-so story into something worth listening to.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 4:20:01 PM PST
Catfish man says:
Thanks a lot! You seem to read similar authors to myself, I have a lot of books by those authors you mentioned. And you know more about what you are doing than me, I am still learning as I go. By TB HDD, I meant a 1 terrabyte hard disc drive, sorry. I need to buy an external one but have not yet. And I need a larger iPod too, I realize, but I'm getting by with what I have (4-Gb 3rd Gen Nano).

I too have been converting audio to .mp3. I was suckered into ripping everything I own as AAC when I got my iPod 2 years ago (that took a long time), then found out mp3 was smaller and more compatible with everything else. Unfortunately, that is a lot of work to convert everything, so my music is mostly AAC still, everything I haven't added in the last 6 months that is.

I know the ebayers are bad news too, I've run into that. They sell worse quality than I make from library cassettes. I think that's what people are doing, ripping library material from scratched CDs or old cassettes and reselling it. That's why it comes on a CD-R with a paper label... It's a bootlegging scam, I could do that too, make hundreds of dollars, but I don't like it. Sometimes the problem is the cassettes; they warble, get chewed up in the player, etc. because they are an obsolete format that is turning to junk on the shelves.

With limited funds like yourself, I haven't invested in much new equipment lately. I allow myself one Audible download credit per month, since some of the stuff they have is exclusive, as people are complaining about. I only buy stuff from Audible that I really want and can't find elsewhere. I have a friend with an Audible collection too and can get books from him if I hook my iPod to his computer. The money I spend with them would be better spent on upgraded equipment though.

Thank you for your advice, it's been very helpful. I won't re-do my audio book collection that currently exists but will definately incorporate your methods into what I am doing as I go forward.
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Discussion in:  Audio Book forum
Participants:  65
Total posts:  506
Initial post:  Nov 6, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 9, 2013

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