How do you listen? #JIAM | Fun Questions

June 21, 2014 Fun Questions 43

#JIAM

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Since June Is Audiobook Month – and you know that’s a BIG deal in my world – I couldn’t let it pass without a little celebration! So for the month of June, Saturday’s Fun Question Posts have been taken over by audiobook related themes. And I’ll be giving away ONE AUDIBLE AUDIOBOOK of your choice at the end of the month (see rafflecopter below to enter). This is open in the US & Canada only (since I don’t think you can get Audible books International).

Anyway, join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question (about audiobooks) that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

How do you listen?

There are so many different ways to get audiobooks to listen to and, in my experience, they all come with a slightly different listening experience. For a great list of ways to get audiobooks, check out this list from Hot Listens. Here I want to talk about how I listen and the advantages and disadvantages of the different formats.

Audible

Audible This is by fair the main way that I listen to audiobooks. It certainly isn’t the cheapest way – even with a membership you’re paying a decent amount for those audiobooks. So why do I still buy most my audiobooks this way?

1.The convenience! I can buy, download, and listen to my audiobooks all from my phone app. They have an app for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. And it’s so easy to use, with lots of great features.

2.The features! This may sound like a stupid reason, but I love the things I can do with an audible download that I can’t do with any other audiobook format (that I know of). I can create bookmarks, complete with notes. The chapters are all separately listed for me so I know which one I’m on and how long it is. I always know exactly where I am in relation to the end of a book or chapter. Here’s some screen shots to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. I have a Windows Phone so your app might look a little different, but the options should be about the same.

Audible play time

See how it shows how far I am and how long the book is?

Audible Chapters

This is a listing of all the chapters and their lengths.

Audible add bookmark

This is me adding a bookmark – see how much I can write?

Audible List of bookmarks

This is the list of my bookmarks, saved from a book I don’t have on my phone anymore. I just had to re-download and they’re there!

3.WhisperSync This is an awesome feature where you can read a book on your Kindle (or Kindle App) and then pick it up with the audiobook and then pick it up again with the eBook. I only do this with rereads because I hate switching mid-format for the first go around (see more about my format OCD), but it’s a great feature and you can get really great deals on your audiobooks if you buy the Kindle book first. Sometimes I buy the kindle book when it’s on sale for like $0.99 just to get the audiobook deal!

Playaway

PlayawayLogo This is probably tied for second as a favorite way to listen to audiobooks. I’ve never bought a playaway and have no idea what they cost, but many of the libraries I use have them and I’ve found that I love them. So to me using a playaway is virtually free, which is a great plus. Here’s some other great things about them.

1. Playaways are super light-weight, self-contained audiobooks. I love using them when I go running because I don’t have to worry about dropping my phone or the weight.

2. Playaways are so easy to use! They have just a few buttons and you can change the speed of the narration. You’re choices are 1/4 speed, 1/2 speed, regular speed, 1x speed, and 2x speed. This is something you can do on audible if you have an iPhone and maybe even an Android, but not a Windows Phone, so it’s a real treat for me. There’s a couple different styles of Playaways that I’ve encountered, but they’re extremely user friendly.

generic-playaway

This is an older model. You can see how small it is and there’s not many buttons.

playaway new

This newer model lets you lock the screen so you won’t accidentally hit buttons!

Playaway library box

This is how playaways come from the library – although mine don’t usually include the battery.

There’s a few things I don’t love about Playaways though. They don’t keep me from using them, but you should be aware if you’re planning on trying them out:

1. You have no idea where you are in the overall book. There’s a counter, but it’s for how far you are in the current chapter, not the book. So want to do a status update on Goodreads? You’re not going to be able to include your percentage. Want to know if you should keep reading because you’ve only got a couple chapters left? Better Google to find out, because this little device isn’t going to tell you!

2. Cheap batteries won’t cut it. The website says that a AAA battery should give you 20 – 30 hours of listening. Well I tried cheap, dollar store batteries and they died after 4-6 hours! And when they start to get low, they just turn you off right in the middle! Not cool! But when I bought name brand batteries that problem went away. So it’s not a free library listen, but pretty close!

3. It’s not bluetooth and has no external speaker. These babies are for earphone use, which is fine 90% of the time for me. But I do like to listen to an audiobook in the shower and I have a bluetooth speaker that I use – but I can’t listen to my playaway (though I’m thinking about getting an adapter…). You also can’t just hit play and listen to it straight from the device, like you would a cell phone. You have to use headphones or some sort of speaker/adapter that plugs into the headphone jack. You can work around these issues, but it’s going to take a little bit of money on your part.

OverDrive

overdrive logo This is tied with PlayAways as my 2nd favorite way to listen to audiobooks. Like playways this is a library thing for me – so when I think OverDrive, I think FREE! And really free – no batteries to buy! OverDrive is also what you use to claim the SYNC Free Audiobooks during the summer, so those are great! So besides being FREE – what do I love about OverDrive?

1.It’s pretty convenient! Like Audible, I can find, download, and listen to these audiobooks all from my phone app. They have apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phone (and maybe more, IDK).
2.Lots of devices.I love that you can have OverDrive on several different devices and the libraries sync – so I have one on my desktop, one on my tablet/eReader, and one on my cell phone.

So what don’t I like about Overdrive? There’s not much I don’t like, but a one big thing worth noting.

1. It’s not quite as easy to use. I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping my place in a book while I’m listening and even getting the books onto my phone in the first place from the library can be really hard. From what I can tell, this is all about your library though, and not necessarily OverDrive itself. Just now I was going to try and take some screen shots by quickly checking out a book, but I couldn’t get it to work. And I use it fairly frequently, so either I just don’t know what I’m doing, the library I use has issues, or it’s not user friendly. Not sure which is the problem though!

CDs

CDs I rarely listen to audiobooks on CD, but it is a way to listen. CDs come in different formats – some use multiple CDs becaue they are recorded in .wav format and others use just one because they are .mp3. Personally I’d prefer .mp3 because you can load them onto your portable devices, but if you want a CD that’s probably not how you want to listen anyway. What I do like about CDs:

1. Easy Car Listening. If your car has a CD player, this is probably the easiest way to listen to an audiobook in the car. If, like me, you have a cassette player, you probably also have one of those adapters for your CD player, making it a super easy way to listen in the car, just the same.
2. You can hold a physical copy! If you want something physical that you can use for giveaways or to have the author sign, this is pretty much the only way your going to get it on audiobook.
3. Older audiobooks. Libraries tend to carry a lot of audiobooks in this format (the older ones especially, since I think they’re moving away from them too), so it can be a good way to get free audiobooks.

There’s really just one BIG reason I shy away from listening on CDs, though:
1. They just aren’t as portable. I don’t even have a portable CD player anymore (besides the one for the car)! One of the main times that I listen are when I’m going for walks/runs – and that means this is a big time that CDs just won’t work for me.

So if it’s not painfully clear from this post, I kinda LOVE audiobooks and I’m using the month of June to celebrate them with y’all by offering 1 Audible Audiobook to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you like to listen? Did you learn something new today?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

43 Responses to “How do you listen? #JIAM | Fun Questions”

  1. gillthomas

    i’ve all of my audiobooks on my iPad and pay attention the use of my headphones besides when in my automobile. i’ve my iPad related to my automobile stereo device so the sound exceptional is great.I’ve never been capable of work out a manner to make my CDs portable – I don’t have an iPhone or iPod so iTunes doesn’t paintings for me I finally sold myself a portable CD participant simply this past week so i would have more flexibility with the ones, though.

  2. mikky june

    This a a complete brilliant publish!! Very informative and useful.
    I, myself most effective pay attention to downloads, my library sucks for audios (actually I already pay attention to most of their selection…which isn’t very large) I’m maintaining this bookmarked in case my library comes to a decision to start carrying new titles.
    thanks for the giveaway!

  3. mikky june

    my library sucks for audios (in reality I already concentrate to maximum in their choice…which is not very huge) I’m maintaining this bookmarked in case my library comes to a decision to begin sporting new titles.

  4. Amal Quran Academy

    What a great post! I did learn something. thanks for sharing
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  5. Shreya

    I’m not a big audiobook listener just because I feel you miss a lot, but I will be listening to Cruel Beauty on my 10 hour round trip to visit my friend.

  6. nur islam

    What a great post! I did learn something. I didn’t know Audible had all these cool listening features. However, most of those books are played through iTunes versus the Audible app.I’ve never been able to work out a way to make my CDs portable – I don’t have an iPhone or iPod so iTunes doesn’t work for me
    nur islam recently posted…Phone Spy ApplicationMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m pretty sure Audible has the biggest selection of audio books, so if you have any kind of smart phone or tablet it should work for you. It works on PCs too actually.

  7. ken

    Great post! I really like your blog post. Whisper Sync has really great features for reading eBooks on my kindle.

  8. Lupdilup

    I had bookmarked your post and just realized I had not read it yet! I almost missed the giveaway 😉
    This a a total awesome post!! Very informative and useful.
    I, myself only listen to downloads, my library sucks for audios (actually I already listen to most of their selection…which is not very big) I’m keeping this bookmarked in case my library decides to start carrying new titles.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Awesome job!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Better When He’s Bad Audiobook by Jay Crownover (review)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      That’s too bad about your library – mine has been great for audios, though I own so many from audible it hardly matters :/ I need to get myself a good portable CD player now because I’ve gotten some audiobooks I really want to listen to on CD and I don’t want to be restricted to listening to them just in the office or in the car and I have a really hard time getting them into a good format to listen on my phone when I copy them.
      Berls recently posted…#COYER Summer Vacation Update | Rocking this Read-a-thon!My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      I’ve been trying to use the library more, but it’s no where near as convenient as Audible. I just finally bought myself a portable CD player and a Bluetooth transmitter so I can get more out of the CDs I get from the library. I’m hoping the expense will be worth it in the long run.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  9. Julie S.
    Twitter:

    I’ve never heard of Playaway. That’s kind of neat, for a library setting. I’ve only checked out library audio on CD or overdrive on my phone. I prefer on my phone since I can listen anywhere. I still usually listen on my drive though.
    On a side note… wahhh I missed audiobook month!
    Julie S. recently posted…Splintered ReviewMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yeah – I like the playaways – though I can’t see myself buying them for personal use. Apparently you can though. I only buy audible audiobooks because there the only ones I can carry with me on my phone. The other formats are for the library for me. Though I do accept CDs from giveaways, that’s always a treat!
      Berls recently posted…Teaser Tuesdays | Awakening Foster KellyMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      It’s definitely easy to miss a lot depending on the circumstances. Road trips are some of the best times for listening to eBooks IMO. Sometimes just picking a different kind of book helps with getting distracted too 🙂
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  10. kimbacaffeinate

    I use audible and overdrive on my phone I also use the smart audible app for times when publishers send a review copy to my email. I much prefer publishers who send me audible link. It is just easier. I listen when I clean, and at night on my smartphone. I either stick an earbud in or plug it into a boom box. I enjoy listening and now have an audiobook in progress all the time.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…The Promise by Robyn CarrMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Hmm… is the smart audible app the same as the standard app I get on my phone? Or is there another one out there? (probably just for iPhones, which I don’t have?) I also prefer the audible link, it’s just so much easier for listening.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  11. Jan
    Twitter:

    I have quite a few audible books and I really like them. They’re definitely the easiest to listen to, but also not the cheapest!

    I also use overdrive from the library and Sync, but have trouble getting the books to work sometimes (I’m presently having issues with the sync dl 🙁

    I also listen to CD’s from the library when they have an audiobook I want and plan to check on playaways to see if my library has them.

    Thanks for a great post, Berls!
    Jan recently posted…Review: White Night by Jim ButcherMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      I love the playaways – I hope you were able to track them down. They’re aren’t as good as Overdrive (when it’s working right) or audible, but I prefer them to CDs for sure.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  12. Stormi
    Twitter:

    If I get mine from audibles then it’s downloaded and I love audibles. My library uses CD’s or overdrive and that is cool. If I am getting them from publishers to review then they are CD’s or MP3 CD’s.
    Stormi recently posted…Stacking the Shelves!My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      The only Audiobooks I’ve ever gotten for review have been from Audiobook jukebox and I’ve managed to just get audible downloads from them. I do prefer audible, but I’m gradually getting myself better setup for those CDs when I need to.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  13. Melanie Simmons ( @ mlsimmons)
    Twitter:

    I started with audiobooks on CD, but I’ve always imported those CDs into an iTunes playlist, so it is portable. Since my library doesn’t have a large number of downloadable audiobooks, but has a pretty good CD collection, I still do this to this day. I recently purchased some software that takes those CD files and converts to audiobook files, so I can get the speed differences etc.

    Great post.
    Melanie Simmons ( recently posted…My Favorite Audiobook Series Giveaway #audiobookmonth #JIAM2014My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      I’ve never been able to work out a way to make my CDs portable – I don’t have an iPhone or iPod so iTunes doesn’t work for me 🙁 I finally bought myself a portable CD player just this past week so I would have more flexibility with those, though.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  14. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)
    Twitter:

    What a great post! I did learn something. I didn’t know Audible had all these cool listening features. However, most of those books are played through iTunes versus the Audible app (long story).

    I have all of my audiobooks on my iPad and listen using my headphones except when in my car. I have my iPad connected to my car stereo system so the sound quality is wonderful.

    Thanks for lots of cool info.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…MacLeod Andrews Narrates While on a Bearskin RugMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Hmm – I’ve never used iTunes (I know I’m like the only person who hasn’t) so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. Hopefully it works well for you, even if you don’t get all the features I do. Most of them you don’t really need 😉
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

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