I finished listening to Metro Girl. That was neat. I didn’t care too much for the reader. But it was OK. Now I’ve moved on to Davinci Code. I like this narrator a lot more.

With Davinci Code I actually really played with audible. You download your audiobooks in a special AA (I’m assuming that means Audible Audio?) format. So you have to get codec for WMP to play this. Also need one to play on a pocketpc. Now I don’t have an iPod (yet) but the iPod claims to be able to listen to the AA format, so I’m assuming you don’t have to download anything but wouldn’t swear to that. When I finally get one, we’ll see… So anyway, back to the original thread, we wanted my husband to be able to listen to this one. He’s not so much into Janet Evanovich but he loves Dan Brown’s books!

So this led to investigating putting on the PPC. I learned you only get three devices that you can authorize. That’s not a whole lot. I understand the authorizing deal, but it is rather annoying that it is so limited. There are four of us in our immediate family. (Six if you count the parents.) What if more than one of us wants to listen? What if I didn’t have a laptop I could move around with me? I would be tied to a destop? If I wanted to use it at work and at home? That’s already two authorizations. I understand that authorizations are a way of life, but three to me seems a little sparse.

Thankfully you CAN get around it. Audible allows you to burn their media onto CD. So you can listen in your autombile. This is perfect. Sir Megabyte has a seriously long commute. He said last night it’s definately better with an audiobook. That’s good! He started Davinci Code on Monday’s commute and last night he was already on Disc 4. Each disc holds about 1 hour 18 minutes. And he only listens if he’s alone in the car. I know Monday he did have slugs in his car for part of the commute.

So I set about the burn process. This meant I had to download Audible Manager. Joyful. More software on my laptop. Of course in order to do it on the desktop I’d have to authorize that computer. Lovely. Don’t think so. Saving those up. I did have to authorize my disc drive so I’m not sure, does that really count or was it more of a “setup” and they used terms way too similar? Since I was on my laptop, the computer tied to my audible account I was a little unclear and if it was one of my precious three I’ll be ticked as the disc drive is part of my laptop. That would be two! EEEK.

Of course that does not matter. I burned to Disc. I of course do unabridged. If possible. Here’s why:
1. Longer. Time is really not important to us. We don’t need to get a book done in three hours or else. Betwen my husband’s commute and the fact we got the love of audiobooks when traveling cross country and realized how great it was for trips? I mean you figure, we have always been about 8ish hours from my inlaws one way? 16 hours is plenty of time to bang out an unabridged book! HEHE

2. We dont’ like to miss stuff. It’s kind of scary when you see a ten hour difference or something in books. What on earth are they taking out? Is it important to the story? You better believe in a Dan Brown book you really don’t want to miss a single second!

3. I just like pure unadulterated books. This is the person who got mad they changed stuff when they brought the Harry Potter books into the States. 🙂 The author wrote it and it’s already been through 1000 editors. It doesn’t GENERALLY need to be cut any more. (There ARE exceptions to every rule.)

OK, so here I am sitting with my newly set up ability to burn Audible Audiobooks. Excellent! I run out and buy myself a spindle of CDR’s and get ready to rock and roll.

I’m not expecting to burn these discs in no time flat. But it was definately a lengthy process. The software must change the audio format from that encrypted AA into standard CD format. Plus then write to the disc. I didn’t time it, but it was roughly 20 minutes. Give or take. I could basically get through 2 discs per hour of programming I watched. I tivo so I get to skip commercials, thus making my tv shows roughly 40 minutes. I watched my Sci-Friday shows as something to do while burning. Worked for me!

Davinci Code is a rather long unabridged audiobook. It took 13 CDs. So I finally finished the burn process. Yay! My husband says the CDs work great! Here’s what I love. As part of the burn process? Yes it does break the recording into tracks. (The strait AA format isn’t tracked, it’s one mamajama piece so no skipping forward and back easily.) But after you burn a disc, it tells you what time period of the book it is. So for disc 1 it will say “Start to 1:18” and the next disc will say “1:18-2:36” and etc. But then it will allow you to either go to the next cd and start burning or print a label. I didn’t print labels, but I checked this feature out. It’s nothing special to write home about but it will print you a label of course glorifying that this is an Audible book. It gives you the title, author, disc number, and time frame. And, at least for this book, an image of the cover of the book. It’s rather nice and simple, and a great feature. Just, I didn’t feel like messing with across network printing and trying to find labels and etc etc. Sharpie works just fine for me. But the feature was rather nice!

The other thing I like is you don’t have to burn the entire book at one time. You can stop whenever you want. Come back to it later. It will remember. Also you can move when it is burning as well. So let’s say you find out Disc 2 has a gigantic scratch? No worries, open it up, and move the time index and reburn disc 2!

From there I of course got snotty. I want to listen on more than a couple of devices. Threw that sucker into my desktop and hit RIP in iTunes. now I have all but the last disc ripped to MP3 on my desktop. (I’ve been busy… hehe) Now I can put it on my husband’s PPC and listen at night! (That’s another story… it isn’t working so well.) Or I can listen to it in the living room on a computer down there as the computers are networked. I’m not running around giving the MP3s to people, I just have a lot of computers i want to listen to it on cause I’m a geek. *SNORT*

In my searching I did find one other minor annoyance. I get two book credits a month for my membership fee of about 20 bucks. That’s pretty good. There are plenty of inexpensive audiobooks, but things like Davinci Code? Yeah a heck of a lot more than 20 bucks. Yet I was able to get it and another book this month. GREAT bargain. Here’s the annoyance. You have to use them or lose them. You do not use them this month and the new month hits? Buhbye. I say you pay you get. It’s like the gift card deal. However, they do actually allow you to set it up so that you build a wishlist and on the last day of the month it will buy two for you. I’m pretty sure you can set an order to that as well. This will allow you to shop around the entire month, get what you want, but if you don’t get anything it gets you two books so your credits don’t go to waste. I may go ahead and set my account up for this. IF so I will report back. Definately a nice feature there as I really do find the “Use or lose” to be an annoyance.

The selection for sci fi and fantasy I of course find lacking. My faves are not in there. Most likely because there’s not a lot of audiobooks of their works. That’s fine. Hopefully it will improve. The selection is rather good and working for me for now. I have a healthy wishlist so I’m not real worried at this point of running out of books to get. Especially since my husband is also wanting to use the account for his commuting. If this ever becomes a problem, I will once more report back.

So Lady Ozma, what have you gotten so far? My two months are up. I can cancel at any time. Will I? Nope, it’s an incredible bargain. I can buy books whenever I want, I get two free a month, and the monthly service for said two a month is a definate bargain. I’ve picked up The Davinci Code by Dan Brown, Prey by Micheal Chricton, State of Fear by Micheal Chricton, and Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich. These four books would have cost more than 20 bucks to buy in the stores. The audiobooks would have cost me a lot more than a roughly 40 bucks (20 bucks a month). Heck ONE of those books was almost 40 bucks! I haven’t listend to Prey or State of Fear. I’ll remark on them when I do.

I think this was a definate good choice for the freeipods deal as well. Especially if you are going to be spending time somewhere and may or may not want to listen to music. Doctor’s appointments, riding the bus, whatever. Gives you a great alternative to music.

So Audible.com gets four and a half out of five stars in my book. The annoyances are minor and you can work around them. The benefits are more than worth the money. And if you can try to get a freeipod out of the deal by going through freeipos? Totally worth it! (BTW The first one when you sign up through freeipods was only something like five dollars. So I’ve only given audible about 25 bucks. DEFINATELY a bargain!)

I hope this review was helpful to you. I am sorry it was so long.