You’ve heard of audio books, or recorded books before, haven’t you? Many people, even the ones who use them daily, remain tongue-tied when it comes to answering correctly the following questions.
Why? My guess is that audio books in general are so convenient to use. Many of us prefer to venture into the scenes of an audio book without delay more willingly. Spending our precious time researching every detail about its creation remains a distant “maybe”.
On the other hand, there are a few details about recorded books you want to know.
‘Cause knowing them makes it easier for you to navigate around audio books with more confidence. Your improved “shopper’s education” to make the right choice is worth it.
I admit I used to be unaware of even the basic terms about audio books myself. So, I asked questions to get answers.
Guess what? I’ve found them. And I’d love to share them with you so you can save time researching the same questions. If you’d like to know the answers to the following basic questions about audio books, keep on reading.
What’s an audio book?
An audio book is a book in audio format. It is a “fun replacement” for a physical hardcover or paperback book you’d read from cover to cover. Instead, you grab-n-read books on CD, books on tape, or MP3 books versions.
What formats do audio books come in?
You can get recorded books on tape, books on CD, and MP3 books. From an old-fashioned cassette player to modern and sleek MP3 players, audio books keep you company on-the-go where traditional book reading is simply unsuitable.
What’s an MP3 book?
MP3 books are still audio books. But a clever compression technique reduces the file size to take up less recording space. Besides that, MP3’s are portable and easily downloadable. Storing them is a breeze when compared to piling up stacks of cassettes or CD’s.
How can recorded books in MP3 format be played back?
You can play MP3 audio books on any MP3 portable player. You can also play them on your home PC (need to have Windows Media Player or similar). Playing MP3’s on a laptop or MP3-enabled cellular phones is the latest trend. If you don’t have an MP3 player, but have a CD player, you can burn MP3 files to a CD using your computer. You’ll need special software to do that. Search Google for “free software to burn CD’s” :).
What does “unabridged audio book” mean?
Good question. An “unabridged” audio book is narrated (or told) word for word. It’s the printed book equal in audio format. Nothing’s missing. Nothing’s added. As a result, they are longer than “abridged” versions.
What’s an “abridged audio book” version then?
It’s similar to the printed original, but shorter. The word-for-word narration from the previous example is not exact. “Abridged” also means shortened, cut. Keep that in mind if you are looking for the original version.
What are “dramatized audio books”?
Dramatized audio books are stage-like, “play-life” versions of printed books. You get all the bells and whistles: full cast, music and sound effects. Some people prefer it; some would rather get a simple, told version by an experienced narrator.
Is there a difference between having the author of the physical book tell the audio version, or is it better to have a professional narrator do the job?
Some authors are gifted for both writing and telling their own book. Others are better off leaving it to professional “voice-over calibers”. If you can, listen to a sample of the recorded book that catches your interest. It’ll help you decide if the narrator resonates with you. Some people swear that half the beauty of an audio book is the voice-over quality.
Where’s a good place to start for a novice interested in recorded books?
An excellent place to start is to pick up a favorite story you already know about, but would like to “read” as an audio. About the length, pick “abridged” audio books to start with to cut down on time they take to play back. Once you become more skilled with recorded books, you got to check out “unabridged” editions as downloadable audio MP3 books as soon as you can.
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