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Author Topic: Fabric of the Cosmos, Audible.com, $11  (Read 3022 times)

mouser

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Fabric of the Cosmos, Audible.com, $11
« on: September 29, 2005, 02:28:13 AM »
I've been listening to the 22 hour audio book "Fabric of the Cosmos".  I got it through an account at audible.com, which if you like listening to audio books is a really nice reasonably-priced service.  (Especially good if you do a lot of driving [not me], or have insomnia [me]).

I'm really loving this book on physics and space+time.  One of those books trying to convey the amazingness of the history and current state-of-the-art thinking on phsysics to laypeople.  stuff that makes your jaw drop and realize that the real world is just as amazing as any science fiction story.  the stuff on einstein's relativity is wonderful.

Seems as a new member you can get it for $11, might be interesting to some people:

http://www.audible.c...uctID~BK_BKOT_000174

note that audible uses a somewhat annoying drm system that may make it difficult to listen to this on some portable mp3 players, etc., so check that out first if that's what you want.  It's a shame they make it so hard to convert these audio books into mp3 format even for your own use.  having said that, i still think audible is a great deal if you like audiobooks, and they have nice reviews and good searching, etc., so i give them a thumbs up.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Fabric of the Cosmos, Audible.com, $11
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2005, 03:45:31 AM »
I agree - I use Audible a lot too (insomnia and driving in my case). They have a truly huge range of books (both abridged and unabridged versions) available for instant download, and as a customer from the UK I am pleased that as well as American sourced audio books there are also a lot of UK sourced books which means you can often have a choice of accent. All books are sourced from mainstream audio book suppliers (such as Random House etc.) and so are of consistently good quality, though sometimes the encoding into a downloadable form isn't as consistently good, but I haven't come across anything yet that is so bad as to be unlistenable.

It is frustrating (but not insurmountable) that they use a proprietary format, but most books can be burned to CD so if you want a way to convert to MP3 there is a simple way to do it. There are also tools out there which allow conversion with varying degrees of ease and success!

Best of all at the moment is they have a special offer for members where all books on the website (a huge collection) are priced at $10.95. If you want to join up now is the time to take advantage of this great offer.

If you do join I would recommend using their download software for Apple iTunes. I find this far better than their "Audible Manager" software which I found rather flaky. Of course it means you need iTunes installed - but it is a free download and IMHO better than some of the alternatives out there.

mouser

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Re: Fabric of the Cosmos, Audible.com, $11
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 04:04:36 AM »
thanks for the itunes tip - ive been waiting for an excuse to try itunes; the audible software is a bit weird, though it's never done wrong by you (ps the size of their catalog is huge, and you definitely have to be careful you don't download abridged by mistake)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Fabric of the Cosmos, Audible.com, $11
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 04:14:37 AM »
One further note - if you are still on dialup be prepared for long downloads! I used Audible on dialup to start with and is one of the reasons I got frustrated with Audible Manager as it was (at that time) the only way to download content and 90% of the time refused to automatically resume downloads (although it was supposed to). If you do use Audible Manager with dialup a top tip is to manually pause downloads regularly if you have an ISP that forces time limited cutoffs, and redial before resuming. This seemed to mork most of the time, but some of the files can take forever, many being over 100Mb.

On broadband this issue isn't a problem, but I consistently found Audible Manager using 100% of CPU after starting the program. It seems to run an automatic update when you start the program and this is what caused me the problem - after a while Update.exe exits and then all is fine but it was very annoying. I also found the built in Audible player regularly crashed (maybe it is a codec issue on my system).

With iTunes I don't have any of these issues, and don't lack any of the options. When the books are downloaded by Audible Download you can set it to automatically start iTunes when complete, and the files are automatically added to the iTunes library. The only disadvantage is that downloads have to be initiated from the website - but that really is a minor issue ...