Audio Books and iPods

By: Ray Healy

When one thinks of sound recordings, the first thing that comes to mind is music. But music is not the only thing that has benefitted from the advancement of sound recording technology. Another thing that has become immensely popular because of this is the audio book.

What is an audio book? It is the recording of the spoken word, especially books. Books are read aloud and recorded to be listened to at a later time on music players. These recordings are done mostly on CDs in various digital audio formats like MP3 and Windows Media Audio. Until the 1980s, audio books were primarily used in libraries and by the visually impaired. It gave people with visual disabilities the opportunity to enjoy books without help from sighted persons. After the 1980s, as the popularity of portable music players grew, the attractiveness of audio books also grew. Now busy people and travelers could also enjoy books anytime and anywhere.

Audio books can be listened to on any portable digital audio player or multimedia player. The most popular portable audio player today is the iPod, designed and marketed by Apple Inc.

The iPod is mainly known as a portable music player, but it is also the most popular tool to listen to audio books because of its various features. Audio books can easily be imported into an iPod. When an audio book is synced to an iPod, it shows in one of two places - in the Music -- Audiobooks menu if files are bookmarkable; or in a menu such as artist, music, genre, etc. if the files are not bookmarkable (in which case, they will have to searched as to where they have been saved). The previous option is obviously better because in that case an audio book can easily be selected and a playback speed chosen without changing the voice. Another advantage of a bookmarkable audio book is that it can be bookmarked, and then picked up from there the next time the audio is to be listened to. The iPod shuffle is even better, as it allows navigating through chapters while listening, as well as rewinding and fast forwarding.

But iPod is limited to MP4 audio books only. If you try to import an MP3 audio book it will be put in Music section, while audio books in other formats (FLAC, OGG, APE, TTA) will not be imported at all. So if the audio book is in FLAC or OGG, or any rare format iPod owners can not get the advantage of it. CoolUtils offers a solution. iPod AudioBook software converts audio book in any formats to MP4. With iPod AudioBook any audio book is compatible with iPod. Find more info at

So go ahead, download an audio book to your iPod... and happy listening!

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Ray has a large collection of audio books. Being part of the CoolUtils team he knows how to benefit from any audio book regardless of its format. With iPod AudioBook Ray converts audio books to MP4 and listens to them on his iPod.

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