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What's the best player for Audiobooks?


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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2007 7:47:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2007 7:54:07 AM PDT
jj2me says:
After reading this thread, I believe a lot of iPod recommenders missed mle53's point that if your preferred source of audiobooks is a free source, like OverDrive Media audiobooks from your free public libary, then you won't be happy with an iPod--you would have to do manual conversion on your computer. It seems the Creative Zen V or V Plus is best in the free-audiobook case with its bookmarks, though its resume function seems to not work properly in the Pause-then-auto shuttoff case (some people report they need to manually stop a running song/podcast in order to resume properly). And perhaps the new Creative Zen will also be good.

For podcasts or books bought from iTunes, iPods seem the best player, because of the faster playback option reported above, resume function for all podcasts, and nice integration with iTunes. I've found iTunes is the best way to find podcasts, and perhaps the best podcatcher too and don't have an iPod. If you don't mind listening at normal speed, and don't switch from podcast to podcast (so don't need resume for all songs/podcasts), then the iPod does not seem any better at podcasts than some other players (I think the Creative Zen V/V Plus comes with a podcast app that syncs podcasts like iTunes does with iPods).

The economics of free audiobooks is compelling: you can buy a refurb Creative Muvo TX for $20 and with rechargeable AAA cells, you're done spending money. For more choices of books, though, you need to buy from Audible or iTunes.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2007 12:25:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2007 12:54:49 PM PDT
VG NYC says:
Quick question on the Creatize Zen V or V Plus.

Does it have a variable playback speed? I prefer to listen to all audiobooks at a faster playback speed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2007 1:21:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2007 1:35:38 AM PDT
Angel Matos says:
OK - TB - Here is a web site that might be able to help you and the other seekers of information. It provides MP3 player info, and FREE Audio Books DownLoads: http://www.booksalley.com/

On a separate issue, some of you are trying to find an alternative to an expensive (brand) AC Adapter for your MP3 player. Your best option is the type of adapter that terminates in a USB socket. You simply plug your MP3s proprietary USB cable (male) in the AC adapter's USB socket (female). The best one I've found is by "TrekStor", Model: USB Charger u.f (my guess is that 'u.f' stands for USB Female), which has a full 1Amp output. Most of the cheapie chargers provide only 500ma maximum.

I purchase the TrekStor unit here on Amazon and paid either $5 or $10 per unit, either way - no problem. This is not a China-cheapie. It is Chinese made, but it is a QUALITY product with complete CE and FCC certifications. And it is also usable in the land of 240volts. The company is from Germany so if you want to try their web site, it's at www.trekstor.de.

It still seems to be here on Amazon via J&R for $11, but it's worth a little hunting - I've used this on Apple, Creative and Sansa units and it works like a charm. Only the Creative charger zap power into the Creatives quicker, but it's rated at 1.5Amps.

I can't tell if the current (J&R) unit is the same unit I own because there is not enough detail, but visually it looks the same. There is also a unit by Zip-Linq (on Amazon) which looks similar but has no cable (the USB socket is on the charger's body), and it is rated at an unlikely 150ma???

So I suggest you question the vendors as to exactly what is it they are selling, before you zap cash.

To all my fellow MP3ers - I can only hope, that some of this info helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2007 6:58:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2007 6:59:21 AM PDT
the $11 price forthe charger from J&R is a good deal. I see one better deal. I do nto know this company, but the cost is low and I will take a chance. Only $5 - http://www.accstation.com/dcreazentc05.html

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2007 10:23:49 AM PDT
I just paid $29.95 at Amazon when I ordered it along with the Zen V Plus. I just might send it back!

Andrea

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2007 11:56:38 AM PDT
Aquaria says:
For those people who want the free books via their libraries, the iPod may not be the way to go, although I'd have to look into how difficult it would be to convert wma files via iTunes before writing that one in cement. My experience has been that conversions are easy enough, and not even time consuming. Heck, try ripping a book on CD into AAC, editing out the publisher drivel at the beginning and end of disks, joining the files together into more cohesive 2-hour tracks, and making the whole thing bookmarkable. That will take a big chunk of time, and I've done that for books I own on CD.

As it is, for most people, being able to get free books isn't the only reason to consider a particular audio player. Other things matter, too, like manufacturer support, reliability, storage capacity, power storage/usage, file availability, functionality and even the environment for listening. Anybody can buy the $20 player...but does it do what you really need it to do? Is the unit heavy or bulky? Will I be moving a lot when I'm listening to it? Is it hard to use? Will it hold all of one book (or however many books necessary) in a sound quality I can endure? Will I need to buy batteries for this thing (UGH) or does it recharge--and how? Will I have to fiddle with a bunch of buttons? And the big one: Will I only be listening to audiobooks with this thing, and never, ever listen to music or keep photos or enjoy any of the other uses of the modern mp3 player? And so forth.

The answers to those questions for me lead me to the iPod, every single time. They could lead someone else to the other mP3 players. Most of the other players out there work well enough, from what I've seen of them. And some are screaming adverts for "You get what you pay for." Always something to keep in mind.

Oh, and the power thing? All I need to power my iPod is the cable that came with it when I bought it. Hook it up to my computer (iMac), let the juice flow. Unless enough USB/FW connections are a problem, or perhaps needing to juice really quickly, I'm not sure what the angst is about the power issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 2:53:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2007 2:53:54 AM PDT
Angel Matos says:
Hello Andrea,

It depends on which of the Creative power supplies you paid 30 pesos for. If you got the International Version ($40-list) with the various 'wall socket' connectors - then you did well as the usual price from a 'first-level' dealer is $33. If you NEED international connectors.

If you got the US version (with a US electrical connector) then you paid list. If I remember correctly, I believe that these units are rated at 1.5Amp output, so they will charge your Creative faster than the average 'bunny'. So the question is - is that a valid advantage vs. the 'cheaper-slower' bunny. And you have to consider that for your 30 bucks, you can buy two 'cheapies' which offers an advantage in that you can have one at home, plus another wherever. One the other hand remember that your going to lose part of your 30 to Pigeon Express in returning it.

Soooooooo, see if Amazon will allow you to make an exchange or something, where they pick up the 'return' post or the 'new' post on the new purchase; if Amazon stocks the unit you want???. Returning stuff is always a pain. (Also note: base shipping via J&R is $7).

Best O' Luck,

a.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 5:09:33 AM PDT
I have the same issue with the same model, though I have read many books quite happily with things the way they are.

I wanted to jump in here and say the Nano's plastic case breaks very easily - mine finally broke in half after having been held together with scotch tape and elbow grease for several weeks. And I wasn't that rough with it! Vivia, Seattle

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 5:21:27 AM PDT
No, the books are still there if your battery dies! It will even remember your place. If you have a broken one where the battery falls out for you unexpectedly, then when you replace the battery you'll go back to the last spot where you actually hit "pause" or turned it off. I include that last bit for all the others who have taped-together much-loved Zen Nanos (RIP mine, hence shopping for a new one with a harder case!!)
Vivia

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 9:24:46 AM PDT
Thanks Angel. I will check it put when it arrives. UPS does not deliver on Satruday so I will have to wait a few more days. I always appreciate Amazon's free shipping sice I always spend more than $25 :-)

Andrea

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 10:40:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2007 10:44:20 AM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
> I have the same issue with the same model, though I have read many books quite happily with things the way they are.

I've "read" many books happily with my Zen Nano too. It's just that now that I'm more into it than ever, my performance expectations have gotten a little higher. When I switch from listening from one book to another and then go back, I don't want to have to start from the beginning or waste time searching. Multiple bookmarks doesn't seem like too much to ask for. I don't think the manufacturers have paid much mind to this feature. They obviously don't percieve there to be much demand for it. Even when a model has this feature they usually don't point it out in their advertisements and spec pages.

> I's plastic case breaks very easily...

My Nano came with a silicone case with belt clip that I always use and I've had no trouble after many hours of use. In fact, for any audiobook player to be considered "the best", it must come with or have available for purchase, a reasonably protective case with a good belt clip.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 12:04:52 PM PDT
Possibly you can help me. My wife is blind so simplicty in a player is important. She has been happily listening to Audible.com books for years, utilizing two of the now obsolete Otis devices. They still work downloading from my desktop with XP-Home. I just bought a new laptop with Vista OS and I cannot seem to download to the Otis. Audible's techs have no answer, so I decided to buy, and try, a new device which would work. Any advice on which MP3 device will work with Audible's Audible Manager program AND the VISTA operating system?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 2:18:26 AM PDT
You might check out the creative zen stone player. It doesn't have an lcd screen, I believe all functions are tactile with no visual menus to get lost in. I don't know anything about the otis player to know how this would compare, but I'm pretty sure all of the creative players are audible.com compatible.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 11:00:22 AM PDT
Compwiz says:
I'm also blind, and can tell you from experience that upgrading isn't easy. In fact, I have a question for this forum, which relates to yours. I primarily read in mp3 format, no matter where the book ORIGINALLY came from. I've been using the NEX iie, by Frontier Labs. It's a CF card reader which serves as an mp3 player. It has a Resume feature, which will allow you to resume from where you were when you stopped the player, without having to pause it first. You have to navigate through the menu to get to the feature, but the menu NEVER changes, so, once you memorize the 5 keystrokes needed, it resumes every time. I loved it because I could just put my book on any FAT formatted CF card and go. I never had to connect the player to my machine, install drivers, use special software that might not work well with my screen reader, and so on. My question is this, what player(s) would you all recommend with a Resume feature, that resumes from where you last left off? I don't really need bookmarks, as I can't really flip between multiple books easily, so resume will work just fine for me. It just has to be easy to stop the player, and easy to make it resume when I turn it back on. I've heard good things about the !Audio/Cowon, Creative, and the Sansa e-series. Flash works fine for me, as I really only need 1GB, though I'd like to have 2 or 4, just in case. Audible compatibility would be nice, but it's not required. I'm looking mainly for ease of use in getting the files onto the player, (drag & drop would be wonderful,) and for ease of use in using the Resume feature. Thanks for any ideas.

Amy

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 12:58:56 PM PDT
jj2me says:
1. Amy, Most all of the Creative Muvo flash players (Slim, TX and TX FM, Nano and Nano Plus, Muvo Micro N200, except that the N200 doesn't support PlaysForSure) are simple to use, drag-and-drop small-capacity (max at 1 GB) players that resume very well for only the current song (no bookmarks). The Muvo TX and TX FM even have a built-in USB connector, so you needn't have a USB cable. Others will have to talk about the suitability of larger, newer models. I've heard that the resume on the Creative Zen V/V Plus needs to have the song manually stopped when it was playing. If you manually stop when it was paused, or it shuts off automatically when paused, then resume doesn't work.

2. Angel, thanks so much for that TrekStor recommendation. I wish I had known about this sooner--I have already bought an expensive rechargeable lithium-battery device with USB output for the same purpose (but it came with lots of USB-to-cellphone connectors).

3. Aquaria, I'm glad you like your iPod. My only point was that the best player for audiobooks (this thread's topic) depends on your preferred audiobook's DRM. IPod is not PlaysForSure, so the only digital way to get a local library or NetLibrary book onto an iPod would be to burn to CD, then rip back to MP3 or AAC, then tag (if needed) and load to iPod.

4. I investigated the iPod's faster playback option that a previous poster mentioned, and found that this wouldn't work for podcasts, for example. The iPod fast playback requires audio files with the m4b extension. iTunes does not convert to m4b. Doppler (another podcatcher), does. But Doppler with iPod loses some of the benefits of an iTunes/iPod sync. Or you could use Audacity's "Effect" menu item "Change Tempo" and play the .mp3 on any MP3 player at the speed you've selected in Audacity.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 1:27:54 PM PDT
My Nano came with a silicone case with belt clip that I always use and I've had no trouble after many hours of use.

I should have mentioned the "P" factor here - i.e., my puppy. She thought the silicone case was delicious. Though my Zen Nano has puppy teeth marks on it, I alone broke the case somehow. My cellphone and many other possessions also have chew marks on them, just to go further off topic.
Vivia in Seattle

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 1:27:55 PM PDT
My Nano came with a silicone case with belt clip that I always use and I've had no trouble after many hours of use.

I should have mentioned the "P" factor here - i.e., my puppy. She thought the silicone case was delicious. Though my Zen Nano has puppy teeth marks on it, I alone broke the case somehow. My cellphone and many other possessions also have chew marks on them, just to go further off topic.
Vivia in Seattle

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2007 5:30:54 PM PDT
More options. I have a 1gb Ilo and a 1 gb, well, something. Both are cheap now. Both take SD cards, which are even cheaper. Each 512m or 1g card holds 1-4 books, depending on how you store them. So to switch books, I swap out cards.

I downloaded my first Audible.com book, which came as one 5 gb file. That requires bookmarks, which neither of my players use. But I have a workaround. I bought Audio Record Wizard 3.4, from www.share2.com. I set this to record from the "Stereo Mix" and switch to a new file every 5 minutes. I play the Audible.com file in Windows Media and record it with ARW, and presto! My book is divided into 5-minute long "chapters," which any MP3 player can handle. I have a 7-hour book in almost exactly 400 meg, at high quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2007 11:07:26 AM PDT
Can you do the same thing with the free downloads from OverDrive and NetLibrary?

Thanks,

Andrea

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2007 2:54:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2007 3:01:45 PM PST
Coco_101 says:
This is an old thread, but in case anyone happens upon it. My advice would be to get Pocket Player software on a Windows PDA or Smartphone. Gives you a very iTunes like interface. Plays non-protected AACs and PlayforSure files. Plays Audible.com files. Loads podcast and Audible.com books directly to the device no need to sync with the computer.

Bookmarks automatically, allows you to create playlist on the go and organize by file name instead of ID3 tags. Never tried to speed up or slowdown, using Pocket Player.

Finally, Palm devices have a similar software called Pocket Tunes.

With both software packages, when you're driving down the highway listening to a book and your phone rings. It automatically pauses. Then resumes after the call. I love that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2007 2:10:41 PM PST
carol wade says:
Hi TomBrooklyn - doesn't look as tho' anyone responded to your ? re the Nano Plus - I have a creative nano, and it doesn't remember if I switch and can't be made to do so - main reason I'm looking for another player.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2007 3:56:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2007 3:58:00 PM PST
iTunes and any decent iPod. You can convert regualr audio books into audbile.com type audio books. You can add remember playback position to any file which is an automatic bookmark.

I have over a hundred fifty gig of audio books on a hard drive and I have dropped all other Archos. Creative Zen, iRiver and so forth in favor of the ease of use in the iPod. Currently my favorite iPod is the iTouch.

Vic

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2007 4:27:16 PM PST
carol wade says:
What's involved in converting audiobooks into a compatible file for the ipod? Can you convert any format?
Carol

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2007 4:36:24 PM PST
Zune and Ipod do not have the correct digital rights management capabilities (DRM) for netLibrary or OverDrive. DRM is what allows these places to "check out" books for 3 weeks, then have them not disappear or stop being able to play. It is a lisencing issue. It isn't an issue with Audible because people actually buy those books. Creative Zen V Plus can use books from netLibrary and OverDrive, as well as Audible. Additionally, it has bookmarking capabilities. I think it is the best bet (now that rio audio is dead and gone....)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 11:04:35 AM PST
T. Deaton says:
I am a total newbie to this area. I bought the Sansa View and love it for all the fun stuff. I have not had time yet to explore the audio book part and really prefer opinions to add to reaserch I hope to do soon.

I need to know where I can learn how-to's for audio books. How do these on-line places work. Which is best? Where to find a converter.

I have an audio book by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) in MP3 format. I was able to use Windows Media Player at work and put it onto my player. It put it in the Other - section not the "audio Books" section and a few chapters were out of place. So then trying at home on my Vista PC it wouldn't 'Rip".
I am pretty computer savy but this bugger has me irritated. I just never had the 'need' to know more about Windows Media Player or MP3 players. Truthfully never imagined I would 'need or want' one. :) I still don't use it much because it was basically for audio books. Help?!

Thanks much and Merry Christmas!!
Tina
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Discussion in:  MP3 Player forum
Participants:  420
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Initial post:  Aug 23, 2007
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