Audiobooks: Your dog’s best friend!

The coming of age of the e-book, thinks primarily to the iPad, has opened many eyes to a whole new way to read.

Nearly 10 years ago Apple launched the iPod, it opened many ears to a whole new way to listen to music. But just as the iPad is far more than simply an e-book reader, a la Kindle, the iPod proved to be useful for far more than just music.

In my mind audiobooks occupy just as important a place in my iPod universe as music. Every day I spend between one and 2 hours listening to audiobooks and podcasts. In fact I now spend more time listing to content I choose, than to radio even in the car.

I have always enjoyed audiobooks and podcasts, mainly listening to them in the car, especially on long trips, but my use of them really increased when a new puppy came into our family and I found that I inherited a new role, that of dogwalker.

I now keep up to date on technology news through podcasts and keep things fresh by adding audiobooks to my routine all while enjoying daily walks with the pooch.

Most of us our going to use our iPod for listening to audiobooks or podcasts but an iPod is not the only option for playback. As far as Podcasting is concerned, the iPod is my overwhelming favourite device. That is in large part because of iTunes, which has proven to be the main access point for finding and downloading podcasts.

In many instances however, it is well worth looking at your smartphone instead of your iPod. When I walk my dog, I prefer to use my Blackberry to play back audio-books. That is primarily because I don’t like carrying multiple devices, not because the BlackBerry is a good media player. In fact the BlackBerry media tools are weak, in my opinion, but when you are listening to a book, you don’t need the nimble management that iTunes brings to the table, so having less items to carry outweighs the limitations of using a BlackBerry as a media player. Of course those of you who have an iPhone have the best of both worlds in this respect.

Without question the best place to go for podcasts, is as I mentioned, is iTunes. Audiobooks are an entirely different animal, while iTunes has a good assortment available, is the leader in this space. They have a vast library of titles available and some great subscription options

Adding my new iPad into the mix I have started to download both audio and ebook versions of the same book, while thins may be sort of expensive, it means I can read for a while at night, on the iPad (I will comment more on the iPad as an ebook reader later this summer) and continue enjoying the book on my daily constitutional.

One other great option for audiobooks is your local library, along with CD and cassette versions of audiobooks, you can often download books through their online services.

With the summer travel season upon us I am looking forward to family vacations, and the kids are already lobbying to assure that their favourite books are on our listening list (I fear it may be a “Twilight” summer).

If you haven’t sampled audiobooks there is no better time, you don’t even need an iPod as your smartphone, computer, even many in car GPS units will play back your books.