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Customer Discussions > MP3 Player forum

What's the best player for Audiobooks?

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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2007, 1:16:33 AM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
Whats the best player for audiobooks, and why?

I'm not interested in good mp3 players in general. There are many of them and they all have some features that make them stand out. However, those features may have nothing to do with making them particularly good for audiobooks. I'm interested in players that are specifically well suited to playing books.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2007, 1:35:52 PM PDT
K. Holmes says:
Now that's the $64,000 question - the only thing I use my mp3 player for is listening to audiobooks, and I'm always on the lookout for a better way to listen. A lot will depend on the source for your books - I get mine from, and from my local library through Overdrive. I also listen to several podcasts.

I have both a Creative MuVo TX FM, and a Sansa e260. The Creative works with both services; the Sansa does not work with's books without some tweaking on my part. Neither player has a bookmark feature, but both will resume playing from where I left off if I pause before turning the player off. That's OK if you want to only listen to one book until you're through it, but if you're like me and like to listen to something for a while and then listen to something different for a while it's not an easy thing to do.

Whatever your primary source for your audiobooks is, should have a list of players that will work with their service and from there you can compare what other users think about them. You will find that the overwhelming majority of mp3 users are lots more interested in music than audiobooks.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2007, 8:40:50 AM PDT
you will want to get any player that uses bookmarks,so that really leaves out any of the flash memory players.I have found that hard disk players are the best for audio books.I agree that if you only listen to 1 at a time just about any will do but I listen to podcasts as well as music.At the present time I use a creative zen w and a zen micro and like them both

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2007, 9:20:39 AM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
Hi K,
I'm just like you with the books, Audible, Overdrive, switching between books and player. I have a C Zen NanoPlus now. I just found out Creative came out with "V" with 10 bookmarks. Looks like that's the way to go when I upgrade.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2007, 7:11:12 PM PDT
I am researching mp3 players for audiobooks too. Audible has a page that describes how to use different players with their files at:
You can tell from reading some of the directions for the different players, which ones bookmark easily, if at all and which Audible formats the players support.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2007, 10:47:53 PM PDT
Crystal428 says:
NetLibrary has tested some players. The results can be found at:

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2007, 1:54:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2007, 1:55:54 PM PDT
Thank you ! I've been struggling with this problem for weeks now, never knew that I needed the bookmarking feature.
Any suggestions on how much memory you need for a book and a couple of podcasts ? "Great Expectations" is 223MB, so 1GB should be ample, I think.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2007, 5:51:24 PM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
I have 512k and can fit a few small books. Maybe about 12 hours in mp3 good quality. wma's would fit double that I think. 1 Gig will hold quite a bit of audiobook.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2007, 6:37:50 PM PDT
Ed Burkhead says:
In spite of its cost, I'd say my Ipod Nano is excellent for books. I download two or three segments at a time on my 1GB Nano and also have room for about a dozen albums. book playback is wonderful. I sometimes have multiple books and podcasts on my Nano and switch back and forth. No effort or bookmarking needed - it picks up each book where I left off. It only forgets my place if I delete the book segment and download it again later.

The only fault is rare, if I accidentally tap the button and jump forward or back to the next track, the fast forward or rewind within the track is awfully slow.

I'd give the Nano an A for book playback which I use several hours a day while doing various tasks. Ed

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2007, 5:54:38 PM PDT
Susy I says:
I have a Creative Zen V Plus 4GB that I love. I can set up to 10 bookmarks, and I can also make playlists to link the various sub-parts or chapters of longer audiobooks. 4GB is more memory than I really need (there are 1GB and 2GB models too) -- I have 15 books of varying lengths on the player right now. I use audiobooks from a variety of sources including OverDrive, NetLibrary, and LibriVox. I don't use, but according to the website this player works with their format too.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007, 3:00:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2007, 3:01:35 PM PDT
I wonder if anyone can tell me if these MP3 players will clearly display the file name and folder (subdirectory) as well as the ID3 tags. I find that the ID3 tagging for audiobooks and podcasts is uneven. Therefore, I would like to save them with filenames I understand and place them in folders on the MP3 player. The MP3 player should show the full filename, preferably without a slow scroll that is hard to read.

I plan to use the MP3 player mainly for podcasts, but occasionally I like to take a break and listen to music.


In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007, 3:53:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2007, 4:25:01 PM PDT
Larry Lettie says:
To UCD Neuroscientist:

Why not just tag your mp3s the way you would like them tagged? Go to and download Mp3Tag.. it's free and it'll let you tag your files any way you like.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007, 4:23:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2007, 4:25:40 PM PDT
Larry Lettie says:
To David De Groot:

James Michener's "The Source" is almost 53 hours long and can be compressed to just over 700 MB if you use the .wma format. That should give you an idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007, 4:24:21 PM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
Hi Ed,
I've got a Creative Nano Plus now and if I switch books it doesn't remember the place where I left the previous book. Is there a setting to make it do that? My Nano's inability to do that is quickly driving me to get another player.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007, 4:25:48 PM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
wma format will be about half the size of 128bit mp3 I think.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2007, 4:08:06 PM PDT
S. Reymer says:
The only problem with iPods is that they don't work with OverDrive or NetLibrary - the two downloadable audiobook services used by libraries.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2007, 9:15:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2007, 6:08:52 AM PDT
I am trying to decide between 1G, 2G or larger. I wan't to play books when I travel. Sometimes cross-country for 5 days, sometimes an overseas flight, but no way to load more audio for the return flight. Without AudibleManager installed on computers I find along the way, I can't figure how to download more titles into the device.

So I want to put at least 60 hours of audio book into the device. I don't mind using Audible format #2, which is smallest.

SO how much memory do I need? OR, is there a solution I am missing to download more titles when I am not at home?

ALso, the battery is good for 15 or 20 hours. Is there a recharger? Where is it sold? Can I run an A/C adaptor off my car lighter?

Although not the largest concern, which unit has the screen size/brightness and button arrangement to amke operation while driving more or less hassel free? My current Rio 900's LCD display can't be seen at night. I hate that.

I am thinking about Insignia NS-AD 2GB, but am open to paying more for a Creative V if that will deliver a lot more convenience.

Any comments?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 12:53:49 PM PDT
curious mind says:
NewLibrary has an up dated list of tested players for use with eAudiobooks check out:

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 2:11:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2007, 2:15:23 PM PDT
M. Ryan says:
Dan Bontempo,

You need to consider one of the hard drive based players for storage... I am not an Apple fan, but I would get the "new" iPod with the 80gig hard drive (30 hours audio/5 hours video). I am personally waiting to see what MS (Zune) puts out over the next week or two. If they don't have book marking as part of the player, then I will end up with an iPod.

I have resisted joining the iSheep crowd for a long time, but audio books and podcasts would be really nice to have traveling across country or international.

Hope that helps some....

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 2:41:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2007, 2:44:06 PM PDT
Thanks Ryan. I imagine 80 gig would store all I could want. Cost is a factor, but I will be getting enough new titles from to take advantage of their 12-month promotional coupon for $100 off at They don't have an 80gig ipod I could apply the coupon towards, but they do have Creative Vision 30 gig for $266, so I could get it for $166 - which seems pretty good. Especially since it comes with power adaptor, which seems like an extra expense for the smaller units.

I could also get a creative Zen V Plus 4 gig essentially for free because it is only $100. (But can be had cheaper on ebay, so maybe the coupon is no big deal.) I think if I load my Rio 900 with several books and then the Zen V with even more books, I could manage to drive for 5 days and not run out of books.

Spending money on a GPS navigator that also plays MP3 might also be an option. It could make the cross-country drives a bit more organized. But, I am not a big fan of too many functions in one device.

Still looking at all the angles.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 2:41:50 PM PDT
The OCLC link that 'curious mind' abd 'Crystal428 ' listed is extremely useful if you want to use OverDrive or NetLibrary. I would like the option of using them in addition to Audible and I did not realize they did not work with an IPod. What kind of file do they download that an IPod cannot play ?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 5:15:08 PM PDT
P. Lau says:
OK. I listen to audiobooks ALL THE TIME so please TAKE MY ADVICE. I have ALL the iPods and the iPhone so I KNOW what I am talking about and I am speaking from EXPERIENCE.

So here go, the best mp3 player for playing audiobooks is the iPod Nano. Here is why:

1) You can have bookmarks. After you import a book or purchase a book through iTune if iTune or iPod does not remember the location of where you left the audio you can configure iTune/iPod to REMEMBER it.

2) It uses flash memory. You would most likely want to listen to your audiobooks in your car. Leasving in a hot car a flash memory iPod Nano is much safer than leaving say an harddrive based iPod Video or iPod Classic.

3) It uses the click wheel. Now I've used iPods with click wheels and I've used the iPhone with the touch screen. Believe me unless they provide a virtual click wheel with the iPod Touch or iPhone the click wheel is by far the better navigator of an audiobook track, just because the click wheel provides BETTER RESOLUTION.

So there you are, I recommand an iPod Nano for audiobooks without reservation.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007, 7:03:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2007, 7:08:33 PM PDT
TomBrooklyn says:
I don't get my books from iTune. Will iPod Nano remember where mp3 format books are left off? If not, it is virtually useless to someone like me.

And I just read above that iPods don't work with Overdrive Books and NetLibrary. That hardly makes them suitable for "Best player to use for Audiobooks."

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007, 5:13:07 AM PDT
You do not have to buy your audiobooks through iTunes to use an iPod. I buy books from Audible and then import them into iTunes on my computer to load them onto my iPod. Or I did before it died.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007, 1:02:27 PM PDT
mle53 says:
The advantage of Netlibrary and Overdrive is that you dont by the books. You borrow thwm from the library at no cost. The books are in wma format with Digital Rights Management (DRM), and they are not compatible with Ipod.

I currently have the Creative Zen V Plus which has 10 bookmarks. My older player was a Samsung with only 512G. It could hold 2 short books, and 1 long book concurrently. That was at least 25 hours of listening. The average book on Netlibrary is 11 hours long and takes up 200M.
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