on reading: books v audio books

I count audio books on my reading list, same as all other books, as long as they’re unabridged. Two links about audiobooks, the New York Times writes in defense of audiobooks in Loud, Proud, Unabridged: It Is Too Reading! while audible.com has been strutting around with this “edgy” ad campaign at dontread.org, while I applaud their chutzpah (and their printable DON’T READ posters) I’m always a little squicked out when a for-profit entity sells me stuff through a .org domain.

Speaking of audiocontent, take a listen to this recording of Ranganathan talking about Dewey from a 1964 recording (it’s noisy at the beginning, stick with it)

are audiobooks accessible? A TAP report.

Accessibility Trial of the Downloadable Digital Audio Book Service from netLibrary and Recorded Books LLC. At least twelve libraries providing content to the print impaired participated in this project. Upshot? Responses vary, though mejor hurdles mentioned include interacting with the website, dealing with DRM and usability of the Windows Media Player.

The volunteers who participated in this two-month trial had a wide variety of experiences and reactions to those experiences. Some volunteers thought this was the best digital audio book system they had ever tried…. Many of the volunteer testers noted that the quality of the texts, the narration, and the sound was very high.

Others thought the overall system was barely functional and marginally accessible. The content website, the digital rights management system, and Microsoft’s Windows Media Player software presented substantial accessibility challenges for a large portion of the group of volunteer testers.