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Customer Discussions > MP3 Player forum

What's the best player for Audiobooks?


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Showing 201-225 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2008 6:12:53 PM PST
jj2me says:
You want it in .m4b format (iPod audiobook format) on the iPod so it resumes properly. (It also gives you the option of fast playback, which can be nice sometimes for spoken word.)

Here is a site with instructions:
http://www.dagondesign.com/articles/turning-mp3-audiobooks-into-ipod-audiobooks/

You'd have MP3 audiobooks if you ripped from a CD, or if you found some source of freely copyable audiobooks, like classic books or non-best seller books (e.g., podiobooks).

If your source of audiobooks is not MP3, but has DRM, e.g., free audiobooks from your local library (from NetLibrary or OverDrive Media) which are in DRM'd .wma format, then it's much harder to convert. After all, they're DRM'd for that exact purpose, to not let you convert to a freely exchangeable format. In that case, the only reasonable solution is to buy another player (you can buy them for cheap) that supports native playback of those types of DRM'd audiobooks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2008 4:55:38 AM PST
MS Gal in GA says:
Thanks for the instructions. I'm going to check it out. I have been ripping from CD's, not trying the free library downloads. So far they have worked pretty well, but I think there must be a more user friendly way.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 8:53:39 AM PST
K. Manuel says:
I listen to allot of books that I download from my library system using Overdrive, which uses protected wrm files. I was excited to see this player as a compatible one on the overdrive library website so purchased it.

Everything the reviewers say about this player, the battery life, easy user interface, great sound, etc. are true, so I like the player from these aspects.

The problems in using this player for audiobooks is twofold. First there are no bookmarks. My listening tracks are about 70 minutes long. If I want to listen to FM, I can easily switch over to it. However, when I go back to music, the player acts like I am starting over. I have to find the the file I was listening to and then fast forward through it until I find my place in the book.

Second, the fast forward/backward option. My old Creative Muvo would accelerate the fast forward the longer I hold down the button. So moving forward from the 10 to the 20 minute mark is much faster than going from the 0 to 10 minute mark. The sony only fast forwards at the same, slow, rate regardless of how long you hold down the button. So while it took seconds to move forward 40 minutes with the Creative, this player seems to take forever, although I haven't actually timed it.

I still plan to use this player as my primary, as I have already sunk my money for it, but had I to do it over, I would have picked a different player for my specific needs.

Hopefully Sony can come out with a firmware update to address these requirements. (hint, hint)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 9:49:06 AM PST
Try fast forwarding while the Sony player is paused. I have the 4 gig Sony NWZ-A816 and it fast forwards fast when in pause but slowly if it is in play mode. I also use Overdrive audiobooks and this player works quite well.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2008 9:06:14 AM PST
Katherine,
Thanks for your review of the d2. I got mine on Tues 2/25 and am very happy with it. It works fine with OverDrive audio books. I'm still playing with the d2's features. I found some audio books in Ipod m4b format. Do you know of a program to comvert m4b files to mp3 so that they can be played on non Ipod players?
Brian

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2008 10:09:33 AM PST
Try Protected Music Converter - it's supposed to support a wide variety of input formats such as m4b http://www.wma-mp3.com/protected-music-converter.html

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2008 6:17:25 PM PDT
Ellen says:
I purchased the zen V plus in Oct. It does bookmark. I found that if I needed to fast forward my books I would often have lock ups and just this last weekend my battery died. There is no way to replace it other then sending it back to the company. You pay to call the company and diagnose the problem, you pay shipping to them and the labor. I am currently trying to find a new player that I can change the batteries myself for the future. I was happy for the time that I had the player working though, and I carried a safety pin with me for when I had freezes. Just wanted to let people know what they may be in for.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2008 8:48:10 PM PDT
AnnE says:
Do you still like your Cowon D2? I had decided to get either Creative's Zen or Zen V plus until I read all of the complaints. I don't object too much to Ipod but I would like to be able to play free audiobooks. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 4:00:29 AM PDT
carol wade says:
I am very happy with the insignia sport, which is a best buy brand. One of the reasons that I got it is that you can replace the battery yourself, altho I haven't had it long enough (it's a relatively new product) to need to do this. It bookmarks easily, and is compatible with net library and library downloads, another major feature that I wanted. It also handles music well, of course. My only complaint at this time is that when I have music set to shuffle, it sometimes cuts off a song in the middle, shifting to the next. Haven't taken it in to best buy yet to find out why it does this.
carol

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 4:08:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2008 4:11:40 AM PDT
I still love my Cowon D2. I mostly listen to audiobooks to it. I love it because I can bookmark an audiobook and when I return to it later it remembers where it was in the playlist (it will automatically play the next track whereas the creative zen v+ did not). I like the fact that you can go out to cowon's site and do firmware upgrades, they seems to have them frequently. Of course as with any player, there are issues, but to me they are minor. The last firmware upgrade I did had a bug in it to where it wouldn't play protected wma files that I download from the library. So I just rolled back to the previous firmware and no problems, but that firmware has a bug in it in regards to the deletion of files from the player. I can delete them when I plug the device in to my computer (through the computer) so I didn't consider it a big issue. I posted a bug report at cowon's site and they should have a fix at some point.

Are there any particular features you are looking for? BTW - the battery life on the d2 is excellent. I've never drained it completely b/c I am usually finished with all the audiobooks on it so I have to upload new audiobooks, which will charge the battery when I plug it into the computer. The longest I've gone without charging has been about 20 hours of playing time and the battery indicator still read more than half way full.

Hope this helps

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 6:32:59 AM PDT
I've been doing research. Basically, most any player that is hard drive-based instead of flash-based is more likely to do gapless MP3 playback. It still depends on the player's software too, but the two features seem to be found most often in hard drive players.

The one exception may be the Creative players. Creative has been reported to say that their players do gapless playback.

In all cases, as has already been noted here, you want a player that resumes from where you stopped and also does bookmarks.

Hard drive players are generally more expensive.

To the person whose Creative Zen V had a battery that died in the first 6 months. That should not have happened. And if the battery was defective, Creative should replace the battery at no cost, at a minimum.

I got my hands on a Rio Carbon, which is hard drive based and does gapless playback. They are hard to find and expensive. I am getting a Creative Zen V, because, for the money, it is one of the best rated players out there. Nothing great in terms of features, but it has excellent sound quality and decent storage for the cost (4 GB at $87). And Apple paid Creative to use their custom menu interface design in their iPods. How sweet is that?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 4:53:47 PM PDT
I'd like to know how your Zen V works out. I have a Zen Vision and have found the hardware is great, outstanding sound, great screen, but the software to transfer & organize files is just awful. I've tried the latest versions and still it's really bad. For single files it's OK, but if you try to drag&drop a folder (CD-album) with a playlist, it loses it, or doesn't create the playlist, or shows the folders all out of order with no way to refresh, or won't recognize the player, on and on... I've read many similar posts about Creative software--they just kluge a bunch of garbage together and hope it works. Almost makes me want to get an iPod...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 5:02:03 PM PDT
My Zen Vision will bookmark, but only to the file you're in. If you were in the middle of a playlist, it will go back and play the rest of the track/file you were in, and then stop. You then have to go find the playlist and the track all over again. Also, playback is not gapless.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 5:10:07 PM PDT
forgot to mention, my Zen Vision (HDD player) playback is NOT gapless, even with the latest firmware.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 7:10:58 PM PDT
I use a Creative Zen V Plus (I think the Plus means it has an FM tuner) for audio books all the time, and I think it's pretty good. It does 10 bookmarks in as many different files as you want. I have only rarely had it freeze up, and even then, it finds its place again when reset. I use a Boostaroo to extend the battery life. It will go straight through multiple files of an audio book, in order. If you leave it playing and power down it resumes where you left off.
One small irritant is that if you resume play from a bookmark, it will pause at the end of that file instead of advancing to the next file. This is an issue if you listen while driving, since you must pull over to navigate to the next file. All the other functions (volume control, pause, rewind, fast forward, powerdown) can be handled while driving, since you don't have to look at the screen.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 4:07:54 AM PDT
I have a Cowon D2. It has bookmarks, but resumes the playlist after it plays the bookmark. I listen to audiobooks too and originally had a Creative Zen V Plus. It was too dangerous while driving (b/c I listen to audiobooks on my commute to/from work, but sometimes I'd like to switch to music). With the Creative Zen V +, I'd have to hunt for the next file in the audiobook. With the D2, it automatically plays the next track so it's MUCH better.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 9:27:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2008 8:26:56 PM PDT
TSTBren says:
I now have the Creative Zen 16 GB (paid $199.00 with free shipping 3 months ago) and am almost exclusively an audio book listener. I love the Creative products and have had very good experiences with the ones I have owned. I went from the Creative MuVo Slim that I received free about 4 years back when joining audible.com to the Creative Zen Micro 5 gb to the Creative Zen Sleek 20 gb. The 10 bookmarks these last three players offer either in the same book or in 10 different books are a breeze to use.

I haven't used the Zen V Plus but it sounds much more difficult than what I am used to with the Creative players I have owned. I have several books book marked at once as there is the one I listen to with my husband or the one I listen to with my grandson along with being in the mood for different books at different times. I have no trouble keeping up with any of them no matter how much switching around is done. Since I listen to a lot of online net library books and audible.com books the issue of having to find your place in the play list at the end of a book mark rarely comes up as both these versions of audio books are generally just one long file.

I will admit that even after years of being a dedicated Creative fan I went and took a good long look at the Cowon D2 after following the different discussions here on Amazon about the best audio book players. It looks like an awesome player! As is my new Zen 16 gb!

I know Creative Zen's inside and out and I personally don't want a new learning curve just to be able to have my book marks pick back up in the play list when they get to the end of the book marked file. If the issue arises I only have to find my place in the play list one time and then it continues to play the entire book until I stop it. If I'm running errands in town short stops don't matter as the player resumes playing where it was stopped unless you stop longer than 30 minutes.

Now if Creative would choose to do a firmware update that added the wonderful feature of having the book marks pick back up in the play list after getting to the end of the track I would be in heaven, along with fully integrating the SD card in this latest player of mine! I have enjoyed reading and learning from all these "best player for audio book" discussions and just wanted to add my two cents!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 9:35:50 AM PDT
When I buy an audio book (either CD or cassette), I create my own MP3 files from the source media, cutting the recording up into 6 minute tracks. I make sure that the file names are sequentially numbered. That way, the player plays them in order, and I never need to create a playlist. I also make sure that the ID tags are complete and in good order. Works out nice for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 11:41:21 AM PDT
David,

What in the world is a Boostaroo? I looked it up but it seems to be a sound amplifier. I can hear the books very well. I just want to extend the battery time. How does it do that?

Andreatf

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 11:47:38 AM PDT
Setting a player to a higher volume level probably consumes more battery power. I know that using equalizer settings will consume more power. That would be my guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008 7:48:31 PM PDT
That's right. It is a sound amplifier. You set your MP3 player at half the usual volume, plug the Boostaroo into the headphone jack, then plug your headphones into the Boostaroo. You get double the play time per charge cycle.
As an added bonus, you get twice the life from the player because there are only half as many charge-discharge cycles. It runs on two AA batteries, and they last forever.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008 11:02:52 PM PDT
Nan W. says:
Brian, Katherine, and other Cowon D2 owners,
Is the Cowon D2 compatible with Vista Home Premium and NetLibrary? I haven't been able to find this information anywhere.

I unfortunately purchased a Cowon iAudio 7. It's a beautiful player with a very long battery play time, but to my dismay, it doesn't appear to be compatible with Vista and NetLibrary. I don't know about Overdrive, but I know for sure that the iAudio 7 is currently not compatible with Audible.

I'm an avid listener to audiobooks and have been following this thread for ages. I am grateful to all of you for your informative postings!
- Shelly

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008 5:01:50 AM PDT
Katherine:

With the Cowan D2, how do you control it while driving? Do you have to look at the touch-screen? One thing I like about the Creative Zen is that you can control the functions by feel, once you learn the layout of the control buttons. (With the exception that you point out about it not playing the next file after resuming with a bookmark).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008 6:18:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 23, 2008 6:20:06 AM PDT
Nicki says:
I wanted to pipe in one more time about how much I LOVE my Samsung YP-S5. I posted a while ago about my problems with the Creative Mp3 players. I had 2 Zen Micros that went black right after the were out of warranty ( and new batteries didn't help) I then bought the Zen V Plus and the book makring was a mess. I would lose my place all of the time and the darn thing would freeze on me as I tried to fast forward. I listen to a couple of books a week from the library ( Vista-over drive and netlibrary) and this Samsumg is sweet!! The bookmarks work easily..and I never have to fast forward looking for my previous place. It also seems to hold a charge for a long time ( so far) I'll probably try the Cowan next because I have read good things about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008 7:09:40 AM PDT
MS Gal in GA says:
Is any one else on this forum who is using an iPod Touch for audiobooks? I have been very satisfied with mine, which is 2 months old. I borrow books from the library, upload them to iTunes, and sync with the iPod. It returns to the place that I left off almost always; however, if I am going to sync or change to music, I make note of the location where I stopped. Having books, music, contacts, photos, and internet capability in one small unit is really cool.

My problem is finding the right transmitter for my car. I used a Phillips tape system for a couple of months (very inexpensive) but this weekend it began to blast static and popping noises when I turned it on (iPod not connected). I took it back to the store and upgraded to a wireless Belkin Tunecast, which will not work at all. It does not synce with any radio station. It's also going back to the store, because I read reviews on Amazon, and all of them trashed this unit. If I can't drive across country without having to re-tune to another radio station, I'm not interested in trying to make it work in the first place here at home.

Any advice for a system that works through my car stereo? All thoughts appreciated.
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Discussion in:  MP3 Player forum
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Initial post:  Aug 23, 2007
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