Libraries, audiobooks & 7g iPods

I started listening to audiobooks 4 years ago when I began commuting between Rochester and Lockport.  Being a bookworm, I love the ability to fit more books into my schedule.

In November, my Zune stopped playing audiobooks.  Researching the problem on the internet it sounded like the best approach might be to reload the software.  I decided I didn’t want to take the chance of messing with my Zune to the point it wouldn’t play songs anymore.

greenipodnanoIt was time to start using my 7th generation 16Gb iPod Nano for audiobooks.  I had bought the Nano to use at the gym since it was much smaller than my 30 Gb Zune.

Your library will let you download audiobooks as WMA or MP3 files.  While transferring Overdrive WMA audiobooks from a Windows machine to an Apple device isn’t straightforward, I recommend choosing this format because listening to WMA audiobooks on your iPod has some definite advantages. (Note: all these features work on 7g Nano’s but I’m not sure they work on older models.)

1) When you download a WMA, the book will show up as an audiobook on your Nano, allowing you to easily switch between books and music.  With the MP3 format, books will show up as an album, mixed among all your other music on the device.

2) Audiobooks have the capability to be listened to at half and double speed.  I love this capability since it significantly reduces the amount of time to listen to an audiobook.

3) Audiobooks have a “go back 30 seconds” option which is handy when all of a sudden you realize you weren’t quite paying attention.

One advantage with MP3 audiobooks is that my library lets me return them as soon as I’m done.  Otherwise, I have to hold onto my WMAs for the full checkout period (usually I choose 21 days to be sure I can finish the book).  This is not really an issue as my library recently upped to 12,  the number of items I can digitally check out.  It does take significantly longer to transfer WMAs to your Nano, since iTunes has to convert each file/part to a compatible AAC format.

I’m really glad my Zune stopped playing audiobooks so I can now listen to them double speed on my Nano.


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