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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MP3 Mishap

Tonight my class will be discussing "Special Formats;" specifically, Graphic Novels, Audio Books and Bestsellers. I will be speaking to them about the appeal factors of these types of materials. It is one of the most interesting lectures for the students because many of them are fans on one of the three categories of books. Generally, the discussions are quite informative and interesting.

As you have seen in previous postings, I am a big proponent of audio books. Specifically, I am a huge fan of checking out books on CD from my local library, loading them onto my computer (each as one playlist), and then adding them to my i-Pod as I need them. This way I can load many books, but return the CDs to the library quickly (in a day or 2). I usually have about 8 books to choose from at any one time. I then delete them when I am through.

This solves the problem I have using my library's MP3 download service (which is still incompatible with i-Pods). Here you download the book and only have 3 weeks to listen to it before it disappears. With my preferred method, I still only listen to the audiobook once per checkout (therefore following copyright laws), but I can have the file for as long as I want. It is also a great way to keep a t0-read list. I can choose from pre-downloaded materials, books I was interested in reading at some point in the past. I can then pick the book I am in the mood for at that moment.

I have been doing this for about 18 months now and have never had a problem. Yesterday, however, I had my first (just in time to discuss it in class tonight). I was listening to Erik Larson's Thunderstruck and just as the murder part of the story was about to be revealed, I ran out of tracks. Of course I was at the gym, in the middle of a workout.

No big deal, I figured. I am sure I just didn't upload the entire book for some reason. But, nope, I only had up to Disc 6 on my computer. Last night I was at my local library for a meeting and luckily, the book was on the shelf. I have quite a bit left. So now I will read the last 100 pages.

This identified a large issue with my methodology. Since I loaded the CDs months ago, I no longer have the discs to rectify the problem. I would have to track down the audiobook again, or get the print (as I did).

Besides being very frustrated, there was no harm, but it will make for a good cautionary tale tonight.

Has anyone else had any Mp3 mishaps out there? Let me know.

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