Audio Book Guide: How To Download and Listen to Audio Books

Digital Audio Books are getting more popular by the day. Weekly, more digital media players are made available and consumers replace their old cassette and CD players with the modern MP3 players- These MP3 players are much smaller and can be loaded with many MegaBytes of content, music and audio books, even videos.

Audio Books are normally encoded in either MP3 or WMA format. Both formats can be played on PC’s, laptops and on Apple computers and most portable media players (MP3 players), like the iPod, Zune, iRiver, Samsung MP3 etc.

Here are a few tips that will help you making the right decisions, when buying your first audio book:

To download large files from the internet, it’s best to have a high speed broadband connection, it can speed up the download considerably. If you are on an slower – ISDN or analog – connection, downloading is still possible. It will just take a bit longer. I suggest you use a download manager to be able to pick up where you were interrupted, should the line go down.

The file size for audio books can vary considerably, depending on the file quality.

Usually audio books are made available by the publishers in several different compressions, making the files smaller. The most compressed format is usually of good, audible, but not excellent, quality, whilst the medium compression will be perfect for most users. The largest files usually provide better than CD quality and can be quite bulky. If you are not sure which format suits your ear most, download all three qualities for testing, then decide what is most convenient for you. When you then buy your next audio book, you’ll know what firle format to download.

The iPod has made media players popular, and a large number of iPods are used by old and young consumers. The questio I’m asked most often is: “Is it possible to transfer audio books to an iPod?”

My answer is a simple “Yes.” It’s a straightforward process: All you have to do is to burn the audio book files to CD first (this is a step we’d always recommend as it is wise to make a physical backup copy of anything you buy just in case your computer ever fails or is stolen) and then rip that CD straight into iTunes, from where it’s transferred to your iPod when you synchronize it.

Burning your audio book files to an audio CD on your computer is quick and easy, particularly if you are using Windows. If you are in doubt how to exactly proceed check for the help page. Audio book stores offer very detailed, step by step desciptions, often illustrated or even as videos, that will help you burn these files on CD.

“How can I test if my equipment will work with audio books” is an other question that is asked often. There is risk free way to find out:

Most audio book stores offer free audio books. So if you’re in doubt whether your system will be able to handle the files and whether the audio books are compatible with the equipment you own, just download one of the free books, and test it.

When you purchase an audio book, you often receive a user name and a password which allows you to download the files and prove that you are the rightful owner of these files. Like this you don’t run the risk of breaking the law. Such audio books have been licensed for sale and have been approved by the publishers and copyright holders. As a paying customer you are entitled to download and listen to these files as often as you wish and on whatever equipment you wish. You can also copy the audio books on CD as backup for yourself and your family. However, like for any other media, it would be illegal to make copies of the files and distribute them widely.

The length of time it will take for an audio book to download will vary greatly depending on what kind of Internet connection you have. Often the audio books are split into several smaller files or parts, especially if the recordings are several hours of listeing pleasure. If you have a broadband connection it will take just a few minutes per part. This makes it easier to download the book. Even if you are on a slow connection you can start listening to the first part whilst the other files are downloading.

Rolf C. Zimmerli is the author; he is is the publisher of the Audio Books Corner online book store the online audio book shop with a wide choice of quality audio books from ‘A’ like Arts & Drama to ‘B’ like Biographies to ‘T’ like thrillers and crime. Visit us for a free audio book download!