The trail from audio books to downloadable audio books has taken decades but some of us don’t even know what an audio book is. What is an audio book? An audio book goes by many names:
- Spoken Word Book
- Recorded Book
- Talking Book
An audio book is the recording of a person reading the contents of a book out loud. One of the best definitions of audio books was given by William Swanson in the article "I Hear America Reading": "Audio books are one of those happy marriages of art and convenience loved by frenetic Americans. The idea … is to enable us to enjoy books – a traditionally solitary and concentration-intensive pastime – while doing something else – mowing the lawn, cruising the interstate – often in the company of others." Whether we like that representation of us as Americans or not it is sadly true.
Audio books have been available for decades, becoming more popular in the 60’s as books on tape. I am sure that there were recordings on the old album format as well but due to the lack of portability of that format didn’t get that much attention. More recently we have books on CD. The boom of the Internet technology and high-speed Internet connections made possible another breakthrough in the industry: downloadable audio books. Oh the convenience!
Downloadable audio books are also known as digital audio books. They are digital versions of the audio books. They can be listened to on a computer, on a CD player or on a portable MP3 player. The best advantage of downloadable audio books, combined with the use of portable MP3 players is convenience. You can listen to a full range of titles covering genres like fiction and nonfiction, childrens audio books, biographies…… all while doing repetitive and or boring tasks. This way, we can make the most of the "dead" moments we all have in our lives and increase our knowledge at the same time.
In fact, today you can find almost anything you can think of in a digital format, including radio dramas from the first decades of the 20th century. The radio was the first place where we were entertained by stories in audio. Downloadable audio books are becoming more and more popular these days because they are also cheaper than audio books on tape or CD. The costs for storage are none depending on where you listen to the book and even if you decide to burn it to a CD it is much cheaper than buying the physical CD form.
So if you still think that you don’t have time to read, now you have no excuse. Buy a cheap MP3 player and buy some downloadable audio books, technology is making it so easy to enjoy the wonderful world of books … oh excuse me… downloadable audio books… ;o)