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Selecting Your Audio Book Player

Selecting your audio book player is an important part of the process of enjoying and making the most of an audio book collection. Sometimes you may already have a set of devices that you want to see whether you can use and sometimes you may be starting from scratch. One key thing to remember is that there aren't that many devices that are specifically made to listen to your audio book. The IPod audio book combination seems to be the safe bet but once you look into what you are going to use your digital player for you can figure out whether you are willing to live with some compromises. A true audio book player includes features that make listening to your book as easy as reading a normal book in print.


List of Devices That Can Play Audio Books:


  • Computers - With software like Windows Media Player or similar most desktops and laptops can play your audio book files.
  • PDAs - HP, Dell...
  • Digital/Music Players - Creative, IRiver, Rio, Toshiba, Samsung...IPod (but the process is tricky if you don't buy from ITunes)
  • Cassette Tape Players - For those with audio books on cassette
  • CD Players - For Audio Book CDs sold in stores, for those who burn copies onto disc. Please keep in mind the MP3 format can not be played by all CD players including those in older cars
With the innovations of internet technology, the ideal audio book player is an MP3 player or any other portable media device with large memory capabilities. Downloads of audio books in digital format are often large, so it takes a large memory to store even a few of your favorite books. The most popular MP3 players are iPods. Audio book players, specifically made for enjoying audio books, are quickly becoming popular as well. With these devices, you can bookmark particular pages or sections so that you can resume listening at the last place you left off. An audio book player is also compatible with a greater number of the audio books available for download. iPods are typically only compatible with audio books downloaded from the iTunes service.

Audio books are a convenient and popular way to enjoy your favorite books. Their growing popularity has added demand for new advances in technology to appreciate them. While audio books on tape are considered old-fashioned, some people still prefer this method for playing their audio books. Downloads, however, have surpassed both cassettes and CD audio books because of the ease of accessibility. Digital formats are also more cost-effective and space-efficient, which is an important thing to keep in mind.
Some good questions to think about could be:


  • How often will I be buying audio books?
  • How many will I be buying?
  • What format are they going to be in?
  • When and where will I listen to the audiobooks?
  • What space requirements will I need based on the above?
  • How easy are the devices that I want to buy?
  • How easy is it to buy and download the audiobooks at the specific store I choose?
Before investing in a new audio book player, evaluate your specific needs in order to choose the best player for your lifestyle. If you are an avid book lover a combination device like the Sony Reader can cover not only audiobooks but ebooks as well. Most stores allow you to download in different formats and different sized depending on your quality needs and whether you want to invest in large memory devices or memory expansion cards. It is definitely a good idea to try to use what you have first and then base your purchase of an audio book player on how your collection grows.