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9 Mp3 Audio Book Facts for Newbies

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Although the online audiobook revolution has been with us some time, a lot of people are still unsure or unaware of what it’s all about or what audio books actually are especially online audio books. I must admit I myself wasn’t sure at all.

When I first came across audio books online, I found myself asking a number of questions; now today as an audio book site owner I hear a lot of people asking these very same questions so I decided to publish some of the most common audiobook question and answers.

You may very well have these same questions in your mind, wondering how you can find the answers to them. If so, then here some of them along with the answers:

1. What is an online audio book? It is simply a book in audio format. Instead of receiving a physical book that you have to read with yiur eyes, you get a book in sound/audio. Traditionally they came on cassette and then CD. Now the Internet has taken over as the biggest distribution channel so most of them are bought and downloaded online hence the term online audio book.

2. What formats do audio books come in? Way way back they came on vinyl records, followed by cassette formats, CD format and now in mp3 format or Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. Both types will play on computers as well as mp3 players and iPods. You can also burn them onto recordable CDs for use in for example, car CD stereo or home players.

3. So what exactly is an MP3 audio book? MP3 is simply a compression technique that reduces the size, so that your audio book occupies less space (sometimes as little as 80%) compared to that of a cassette or CD. In this way a modern MP3 player that has maybe a 1 gigabyte memory can carry a small library of books!

4. How can MP3 audio books be played? Naturally on any MP3 player as well as Apple iPods. MP3 audio books can also be played on any new version of CD player that supports the MP3 technology. They an also be played on any PC that has Microsoft’s Windows Media Player or other related software.

5. What is an unabridged audio book? This is one that was narrated word for word identically with the original version. In other words nothing was removed from the printed book. It has the exact same content as the printed book, albeit in audio format. These can be very long, ideal for audiophiles!

6. What is an abridged audio book? This type is shorter. It doesn’t contain the exact word for word narration as the printed book. Imagine it as a film version of a book. It’s been edited and cut some for time and practicality. Ideal if you’re short on time or don’t want or need the whole rambling tale.

7. What is a dramatized audio book? As the name implies, this is a dramatised theatrical “play” version of the printed book, with full acting cast, music and sound effects.

8. What is the best MP3 player for audio books? There are loads of models out there but a few pointers are: a) At least 1 gigabyte (GB) memory as some audio books can be big. b) Make sure it has mid track resume so that you pick up where you left off when you have to turn off and on again or your power runs out. c) Fast rewind and forward – Like an old cassette player. Especially important if you’re doing things like learning a language. It’s really important to be able to go back and forth over words and phrases. d) Make sure it supports Windows Media Audio (WMA) format as well as MP3 as many audio books only come in this format. If you have a player that does not (called a passive mp3) then there are workarounds but they are time consuming.

9. Where are audio books available online? There are many stores on the Internet selling audio books. Just type online audio book or mp3 audio book into Google and see what comes up. If you have a specific title or genre in mind type that in followed by the phrase mp3 audiobook.

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