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Monday, February 16, 2009

MP3 CDs @ Your Library

In the past I have described how I check out books on CD from my local library and put them on my iPod, but this is a time consuming and, as I outline is the provided link, mishap prone process. I could subscribe to a service like Audible.com for faster service, but that costs too much money. A reliable delivery systems of MP3s directly from my public library to my iPod is also not widely available yet. And besides, those technologies have the files "expiring" at set times, whereas I like to get a lot of options uploaded on my computer so that I have a wider choice when the time comes to pick a new book to listen to.

What am I to do?

Well, this past week I discovered the next best thing to direct MP3 downloads at the Berwyn Library, MP3 CDs of books. Basically, instead of 12 or so CDs recorded traditionally, you get an entire novel on 1 CD in MP3 format. You pop the single CD into your computer, upload the book in one shot, and start listening in minutes. Of course, this is all legal copyright wise as long as you remove the files from your computer once you have finished listening.

Our collection is small right now, but I am listening to my first book in this format and am very happy. A few advantages are that the volume is standard throughout. iTunes could calibrate the entire book at one time, instead of calibrating the volume on each CD separately, which often leads to voume fluctuation. Also, the ease of upload is a huge plus. The one downside is the tracks are much longer. Whereas traditional books on CD are tracked at about 2-5 minutes, this MP3 on CD format is broken up by chapters, varying from 6-almost 20 minutes.

Check your library to see if they offer this new format. And if not, direct them to this posting for further information.

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