As eBooks gain momentum, we should lend an ear towards the humble audiobook, which has been around for decades and was originally designed for those who could not read.
When Apple launched the iPod nearly ten years ago, it opened many ears to a whole new way to listen to music, but the iPod proved to be useful for far more. Audiobooks occupy just as important a place in my iPod universe as music. Every day I spend between one to two hours listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
I have always enjoyed audiobooks and podcasts, mainly in the car (especially on long trips). My son and I used to overdose on Harry Potter and Tom Clancy as we drove all over the province on long fishing trips. In the early days we brought along cassette versions of the books, but as more content became available in digital form, the iPod took over.
While my consumption of audio books was heavy in the summer fishing season, the rest of the year it was on the back burner – until a new puppy came into our family and I inherited a new role, that of dogwalker.
Now I walk between one to two hours a day, and my consumption of everything audio has spiked! I keep up-to-date on technology news through podcasts and keep myself entertained by adding audiobooks to my rotation. My daily walks are a quality way to spend time with my dog, get some fresh air and exercise, and listen to great content.
If you are just beginning to explore the world of audiobooks and podcasts, then you will need to visit a few different sites. Without question, iTunes is the best place to go for podcasts. Audiobooks are an entirely different animal, and while iTunes has a good assortment available, Audible.com is the leader in this space. They have a vast library of titles available as well as some some great subscription options.
The iPod is not the only medium for audiobooks. Most of our smartphones, tablets, and even our in-car GPS units can act as a player. I will discuss these options in detail in future posts.
For now, drop in to iTunes, have a listen to a podcast or two, and maybe take a look at the book offerings. Music is great, but listening to a good book is a joy!
Steve Dotto is the host of Dotto Tech, a weekly radio show and podcast on technology,