Friday, 26 January 2007

Audio Books - CD, Tape/cassette or Download?

I've just taken delivery of a staggering number of Audio Books and am amazed at the prices these command and the lack of availability on Amazon. In over 90 editions I checked only 5 were offered secondhand and most were only available from Amazon on a 2-3week delivery, and a sourcing fee! Now most experienced Amazon users know that when they advertise a long delivery time like that their ability to actually source it are about nil, and they will just keep extending that deadline until you cancel the order.

The situation doesn't seem very different whether it's tape or CD, though it does seem to dominate the unabridged editions from Chivers, Isis, Soundings and BBC AudioBooks. But, what's the most popular way that people listen to audio books? My Girl Friend prefers tapes as it's much easier to keep the "page" your on. I know some cd players have a similair function but it's not a common one on most cd players. MP3 is something I prefer as I don't mind shuffling back and forth and it's quite easy if the recording is broken into handy chunks of chapters or 30minute blocks.

In an increasingly digital world the CD and Tape versions of the audiobook will certainly demise in popularity as more people get used to listening to mp3 players and more used to operating them. There will always be the people that have seemed stuck in the prehistoric technology era, the sort of person who'd be much happier with a horse and cart than a car. These people will probably ensure that the tape market survives but I predict a demise of the CD within the next few years.

On a different note, of the Tapes I checked I found about 1 in 5 didn't exist on the amazon uk database. What really surprised me was the half dozen i checked didn't exist on the .com site either. I expected to have practice some shifty practices to be able to list them as items that are listed on .com, and a similair listing cannot be created on the uk site. (There is a way round this though ;) It's long winded so I won't cover that here!)Imagine my surprise when they weren't listed anywhere on the internet, not even bookfinder, bookbutler or addall could find them! The big drawback to this is that creating a new listing is just as time consuming as listing an item on ebay! So have only done 2 so far! Results below!

Well they would be, but the links aren't showing the scans I uploaded yet! Maybe there's a timescale before the images can be syndicated?

Do you think I'm being a bit optimistic in charging that much?

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