Scott Hanselman

More and more Audible instead of iTunes

April 3, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Podcast | Gaming
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When I got my iPod (I'm on #2 now) I figured I'd get all sorts of music from iTunes. However, after I converted my CD collection with RipDigital's service, I haven't purchased more than a few songs a month.

Instead, I find myself turning to Audible.com for my audio-fix. I use the Podcast feature from iTunes to listen to a few podcasts, but I'm doing most of my listening on Audible. I was actually an Audible listener a few years back on my old Rio 500, but the iTunes integration really sold me. You download the Audible files using a small browser-helper application and they jump directly into iTunes from there.

Most recently I've been listening to the Ricky Gervais show, which is apparently the most successful podcast ever with about 250,000 downloads per show. Audible makes your subscriptions available via RSS (with Enclosures) so I just subscribe to those in iTunes and they just show up. The whole season is only $7 - I listen to this on the small flight to Seattle.

UPDATE: Doh! Al reminds me in the comments that the best part of signing up is the $100 OFF a new iPod.

I'm in the $14.95 a month "Gold" plan that gets me a free New York Times (or WSJ) subscription via podcast with one free book a month (and rollover). I used to get 2 free books a month, but I can't listen THAT fast. This plan is WAY better than the $9.95 plan, which only gives you 30% off. I'm all about free.

My favorite audiobooks:

Their list of compatible devices is pretty impressive. The current promo is two free books for a 30 day trial.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006 12:31:59 AM UTC
That Audio Rennaissance version of Ender's Game is unbelievable. I couldn't take my earbuds off once I started listening to that. It actually made me look forward to going to the gym. :)

Does the Audible version contain Orson Scott Card's freeform commentary at the end? I actually borrowed the CD version from the library. I found his commentary on his inspiration for Ender and Battle School to be very interesting. Even more interesting to me was that Speaker for the Dead was actually written first, but published after Ender's Game.

Speaking of which, I've got Speaker for the Dead from the library right now. Same producers as Ender's Game, so I'm really looking forward to listening.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 1:57:54 AM UTC
Audible is a great, but you forgot to mention one of the huge benefits of signing up for Audible. You can get $100 off your next mp3 player with your 1 year membership commitment. It made the price of my new 60gb iPod much more palatable, especially since I was already planning on signing up for the 1 year membership anyway.

If someone out there is ready to replace their old mp3 player, this is a deal you should strongly consider.

I'll check out your recommendations when my next credit comes around. :)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 2:44:08 AM UTC
Enders game is still one of my all time favorite books. I read it first in high school as a summer reading choice (we had to read a book from a North Carolina author) and have reread it several times since. Who said required reading couldn't be fun? :)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 2:49:28 AM UTC
Audible is great. I have close to 80 books from them now and I love listening to them all especially with my $100 off ipod!!

Might I also recommend Terry Pratchett (Discworld novels). You can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett. :-)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:05:54 AM UTC
You could also check out Podiobooks.com; free audio books and various fun stuff. You can set up delivery schedules too, such as one episode a week. Check out Scott Sigler's work ... great stuff.
Douglas Johnston
Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:10:12 PM UTC
Finally, someone whose opinion matters to people (unlike mine) is touting Audible. Like you Scott, I am a listener from back in the day when they gave you a $50 disount on the RIO 500 (which I still have and my wife won't give up)
I have had an Audible.com Membership since May 2000 and am grandfathered into the 5 books a month I used to get (though I pay $29.95 a month instead of $19.95) and have just short of 600 books in my Library. (However, I don't get podcasts)
I will have to ask you next time about the ITunes Integration, I am now using a Zen Nano instead of the Rio (I had a shuffle for 1 week and HATED it)
If your looking for something specific that Audible doesn't have anymore (they got rid of some of the Robin Williams stuff) let me know. If you are a sci-fi fan i'll let you borrow the one that has an interview between Harlan Ellison and Robin Williams, it's funnier then Sedaris' "6 to 8 black men..." (which is saying a lot)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.