Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Audio books on Kindle

Audible are giving away 1 free audio book - you've probably seen the ads as they are everywhere.  Well I downloaded Stephen Fry's Chronicles onto my Kindle.

The book was great, they service seems good, and the offer genuine, but the user experience was a nil out of ten.

The navigation on the kindle for the audio book was practcally non-existant. 

I read in bed.  The kindle is great for that - no heavy book, and when the kindle flops over because I have fallen asleep it turns itself off and remembers where I've read to even if I don't.

The audio book keeps on reading to you - it needs no time lapse of inaction to assume you're no longer paying attention.  So you wake up with someone speaking into you ear and you have no idea what's going on.  There's a jumble of wires around your head, and you yank out the headphones when your arms flail about thinking something is wrong.  Then when you come to yourself and realise it's just Stephen Fry getting to an interesting bit, you don't know what you have missed, don't know where you fell asleep and you are torn between spending the next 10 minutes trying to find your place, by which time you'll be thoroughly awake, or going back to sleep and staring all over again tomorrow.

I hated it.  But I enjoyed the bits I did hear so much that I'll get the book, either in kindle or hard copy. 

The audible offer does allow you to choose the device you download to, so perhaps I should have chosen the PC or ipod.

I'm not sure how a device can tell you have fallen asleep.  But anyway there should be better nav.  A chapter listing would at least let you go back to the last chapter.

Rant over, I'm off to draw a caterpillar.

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