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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Audiobooks with eBook included

I recently stumbled upon an audiobook edition of “Robinson Crusoe” that had a little “Includes eBook” banner on the cover. As this was something new to me I put the disc in the computer and sure enough a PDF file of the entire book opened up, including a how-to-use-this-book page. I got kind of excited about this feature thinking about all the possibilities.
It had been in the back of my mind to try and find out more about items like this when I saw that Tantor Audio, the producer of this version of “Robinson Crusoe,” had a booth at the recent NELA conference. So I visited the booth and told the rep how much I liked this new product and he handed me a catalog of Audio&eBook Classics with over 200 titles that they produce in this double format. On reviewing the catalog I saw that the PDF file is compatible with eReaders as well as PCs. He also gave me a copy of “David Copperfield” labeled “iPod Ready.” In this case the audiobook is encoded in MP3 format and is said to work with all MP3 players- although it will only play on CD and DVD players or computers that can play MP3 formatted discs. I believe that includes most equipment from the last few years.
The next step was to ascertain the best way to find items like this in CWMARS. If you know you want a classic title with the full audiobook and text the best way to find what’s out there is to start with an Advanced Keyword search and put in e-book as a keyword and choose or from the dropdown and put in ebook as a second keyword. Then choose Spoken CD as your Material Type and search in All Central MA Libraries. There are a few ringers in there, but some good hits. To see a slightly different batch of materials, try doing a similar search but put in PDF as your keyword.
Titles in this format really increase flexibility. Take it with you on your laptop or eReader. Increase the font size and read along while searching for specific words and characters. Or you can simply put it in your car’s CD player and listen as you drive to work!

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