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Audiobooks

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:39 pm
by hedrickef
Hi, my name is Emily with Media Services. I'm currently overseeing production and publishing of audiobooks for the Church. Over the past 9 months we've been seeing more and more people download our audiobook (m4b) format. With the growing popularity we want to make sure and have audiobooks available for everyone. We are currently working with Audible as a possible distribution outlet. My first couple of question are:
Which devices are you using to listen to audiobooks?
Do you have a preference in how long an audiobook should be?
What other audiobooks besides General Conference and the Christmas Devotional would you like to see in the audiobook format?

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:10 pm
by johnshaw
I use audible to a large extent and Overdrive for free stuff from the library (though I've pretty much picked through my local library at this point) - This is using my Android EVO 3D phone and my Android ASUS Transformer Tablet.

I'd like to see in audiobook format
Magazines (Ensign)
WWLT (going back to the beginning)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:36 am
by mfmohlma
I'm using an Android-powered Samsung Exhibit II 4G.
No preference, but most books seem to be hours long at least.
I'd like to see all of the magazines (not just Ensign) and the Church News.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:16 pm
by jdcr256
I occasionally use my Android cell phone (EVO) to listen to audiobooks (both Audible's .aa files, and other .m4b files), but I mostly use my iPod touch. I use the iPod because I listen to my audiobooks at double speed and haven't found an Android app that does a good job of that for both .aa and .m4b files. Granted I haven't looked again lately, because I have the iPod, and it works.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:10 am
by RBCall
I am not a big fan of any .m4b, .m4p format, something about open standards, and open source comes to mind. I personally use a Cowon D2 plus, and before that I used Iriver products.

I know lots of folks who will not touch an .m4b or any format container that could contain DRM. I also know lots of people who avoid such companies that lock down customer choice.

I would suggest you have a look at how Amazon is doing it, I think that everything will be in the cloud. Yes you are in a niche, and might be successful for a while, but the way things are going everything will be networked, and forgeting your file on your locked down product and wanting to listen to it might turn people off.

People like me will most likely encode it to a proper format anyway, even if you have bookmarks and other metadata to help the user. If your talking to audible, you might want to talk to Amazon as well, you could open up a new market just with the Kindle brand and Amazon's network.

People in the end are more willing to click on a web app, then any other method especially if they have to do any work involved. Such as downloading Itunes, or using a certain player.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:55 am
by hedrickef
Thank you everyone for your replies. We have been looking heavily in to producing more audiobooks for different Church content. Currently we are restricted to distributing our audiobooks either through LDS.org or iTunes Podcasting. We have been looking specifically at Audible, which is the largest distributor of audiobooks. Audible gives us the most variety on our ability to distribute to more places. Audible is used for distribution in iTunes and by it's parent company, Amazon. Which means that if/when we publish through Audible, the format will be a ".aa" file.

We want to be careful to not offer too many formats and so we are being particular on which audio formats we are doing. Currently we are offering .mp3 and .m4b and this will most likely continue until the next best format. We are going to continue to develop and create more content in the audiobook format. Your feedback is always appreciated. Thank you!

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:03 am
by Biggles
hedrickef wrote:Audible is used for distribution in iTunes and by it's parent company, Amazon.


I thought iTunes was part of Apple. :confused:

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:07 pm
by jdlessley
Biggles wrote:I thought iTunes was part of Apple. :confused:
The sentence could have been restructured to say "Audible is used for distribution by it's parent company, Amazon, and in iTunes." I understood what hedrickef meant only because, like you, I know iTunes is Apple.

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:57 pm
by kelliebryson
So I've found previous sessions of General Conference in audiobook format through iTunes, but I can't seem to find the most recent (April 2012) sessions. Is is available? I really like it in audiobook format so much more than in mp3. Mainly so I can keep the speakers in the original order/session and I don't have to download the talks individually.

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:07 pm
by aebrown
kelliebryson wrote:So I've found previous sessions of General Conference in audiobook format through iTunes, but I can't seem to find the most recent (April 2012) sessions. Is is available? I really like it in audiobook format so much more than in mp3. Mainly so I can keep the speakers in the original order/session and I don't have to download the talks individually.


If you go to the April 2012 General Conference page, then you'll see that to the right of each session name, there is a download icon. Click on this icon, and you'll see a popup; in that popup, one of the download options (under the Audio heading) is m4b format.

It appears that the m4b format is available only on the download link for each session -- not for the whole conference (which might be desirable) and certainly not for each talk (which wouldn't make much sense).