The Importance of Audiobooks

I listen to Audiobooks all the time in my truck. Increasingly, it is my favorite form of media.  I listen to them in the house.  I am listening to some lectures now on Byzantium as I heat up some of that wonderful soup, and get ready to take a load from Colombia, MO, to Laredo,TX.

You can get all sorts, even technical ones.  I used to make my own lectures on audio.. haven’t made one in a while.  I used them to pass A+, INET+, and NETWORK+ in a couple of months.  It is hard to translate them to audio.  But I just covered the main points of each subject, and hammered them in.

Anyways, with audio you can use a MP3 player and carry them wherever you go.  There is a wide range of subjects.  Right now these lectures look good to take with me.  They are about ancient history, and I lisened to a sampling.. pretty good.  Audio books are greatly enhanced by a good narrator.  James Lee Burke’s books were read by Will Patton at first- just great.  Then he got Mark Hamer, who does most of them.. Mr. Hamer is rather boring to listen too.  The same with the Master and Commander series.  The British guy reading them, well it’s hard to make out what he is saying, so I just gave up.  Sorry.

I am listening to a Chris Ryan, and he has a scottish sort of accent, but it sounds really good.  Chris Ryan writes action books, where the heroes are SAS guys.  Pretty good stuff.  There was one I read, called “Black Widow” I think, about the nurse who was poisoning the children at the hospital down in San Antonio,TX….that was a really good one, and really weird because it was a true story.  It made me mad listening to it, the same as “Flowers in the Attic” by VC Andrews.. kept me awake driving..in a rage.

Thanks to the audiobooks, I have a wide range of reading..both fiction and non fiction.   These books are LONG especially if unabridged, and are at least 10 hours long, some as long as 16 hours long.  I almost NEVER listen to the FM radio programs.  I mean NEVER.  I don’t carry a CB, though perhaps I should.  I listen OFTEN to the WEATHER RADIO,  especially lately.  I NEVER listen to the Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh programs..ugg.

I have one of those digital picture frames in the truck, and this plays the audio well from the SD card, but I recommend getting one of those chinese MP3 players..look for the ones that will play ANYTHING.. they have RMVB..which plays any format.  They are about $50 now.  They are called MP5 players.  Get one with a big enough screen so you can watch movies too.  The 5″ jobs, or 4.3″.

The Chinese GPS units all use IGO8, and will also double as media players.  These might be good.  IGO8 is the GPS software that I run on my MIO GPS unit which I hacked.  It’s a great software.

I do not know if Audiobooks make publishers a lot of money.. but I am glad they make them.  Hmm.. I’ve often thought of “slide show” type media..that is a hybrid of audio and graphics.  One such movie was calld “Sin City” by Frank Miller, that was a cross between a film and a comic book.  It was pretty good actually.

This week I also got some Conan books. I use my Acer Netbook to play some of them, but want to convert them to the Digital photo frame.  The Digitial Photo Frames are good for slide shows that go along with audio.. I use these to display my favorite quotes, and other helpful messages.. such as “check the oil”.. “do your logbook”..etc.

Graphic Audio is coming out.  I listened to some of the “Deathlands” series.  These are more like plays.. but they weren’t that big of an improvement.  The content was newer than the old radio stuff.  I listen to a variety.  The genre is improving, so I guess publishing houses are making money, from guys like me who drive for long periods of time.

I am right pleased with media, and very displeased with the U.S. Government.

update: I am in TX now at the rest area on US75.   Last night I listened to Chris Ryan’s “Tenth Man Down”..a military thriller, but believable and lots betterthan Vince Flynn’s books.    The thing about these books is that they venture into the unbelievable.  They are good for a night’s driving though.

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