The universe, it can hear you

I’ve been grumbling a bit lately about audiobooks. Specifically, I’ve found that I’m getting through 16-20 hours per week of audiobooks, which is a double-edged sword. It’s great to get all of this reading done, but it’s also expensive. Audible’s pricing scheme just isn’t built for people that get through books as quickly as I do. (Or maybe it is, from their perspective.)

Yesterday, I found Simply Audiobooks. They are basically a combination of Audible and Netflix for audiobooks—rent, download, or buy. Their selection isn’t as large as Audible, but nor is it all that bad. Their website is certainly easier to use and less annoying than Audible’s. I signed up for my free trial yesterday and should get my first two books in the next few days. I’ve decided that since it’s going to cost me roughly ¼ of what Audible would for the same amount, that I can throw a bunch of trash in my queue that I’d never actually pay for, but figure I ought to read so that I can have non-niche books to talk about with mainstream-types. I’ll let you know how it works out.

On Monday I started listening to Steven Gould’s Reflex, the sequel to Jumper. Problem being, it’s a rather poor copy. As I got ready for my run yesterday, I realized that the range compression and clipping that had been done to Reflex would make it difficult to hear with the wind in my ears, no matter how loud I cranked it. Instead, I loaded up the next Goodkind book, Blood of the Fold, and used that for my run, vowing that I would come up with something better for the runs for the rest of my week.

Today, there’s a big stack of audiobook CDs on the corner of my desk, and the ripper and encoder haven’t stopped running all day. Top of the stack: the original four Dresden books. It’s only after several hours of disc-swapping that I realize something:

I still have a few Audible credits saved up. And someone tweeted the other day that Turn Coat had shown up on Audible despite not having shipped from Penguin yet. Score!

Long story long, I finally have Turn Coat on my iPod. And somehow I’ve managed to avoid spoilers for an entire month! My CDs will get here eventually, but for now I have running material for the rest of the week. Yay!

The universe, it can hear you.

Oh, and @SimplyAudiobook answered a longstanding question for me yesterday:

rickosborneorg: “Why does the industry not use an MP3-CD/DVD option? Less cost/shipping.”
SimplyAudiobook: “We tried mp3 CD rentals for awhile but they didn’t pan out. Main issue is people not having players that will read mp3 CDs. Publishers don’t deal too much in them either, so it’s difficult to get a good array of titles. They’re going the way of the electric car. Fingers crossed they’ll make a comeback too :)”

So there you go. It’s a technology ahead of its time. We’ll get there.