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Old 03-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
kilofox
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Publishers Phase Out Piracy Protection on Audio Books

Article from the NY Times

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Some of the largest book publishers in the world are stripping away the anticopying software on digital downloads of audio books.

The trend will allow consumers who download audio books to freely transfer these digital files between devices like their computers, iPods and cellphones -- and conceivably share them with others. Dropping copying restrictions could also allow a variety of online retailers to start to sell audio book downloads.
With publishers like RH and Penguin releasing non-DRM audio books, one can only hope that publishers and authors might extend this to ebooks as well. I really think the tide is turning on DRM. However, I do think DRM is still good for any type of subscription/rental model.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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I must admit that I didn't even know that there WAS any DRM on audio books . Most of the ones I buy are simply DRM-free MP3 files!
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #3
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The only problem I have with MP3 audiobooks is that my MP3 Player (a SanDisk Sansa Express) doesn't keep my place in an MP3 file when I shut it off. Not a problem for a 2 minute song, but more than a slight annoyance for a 6 hour audiobook.

If anyone knows a solution to that, I'd be extremely grateful to hear it.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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NatCH:

Tell the publishers to spend a bit more money and....Oh, wait.
Was thinking of audiobooks on CD. My wife listens to those. How annoying it is to have her listen to the same story over and over if I mistakenly push stop rather than pause.

For a standard downloaded file, I suppose that the only solution would be many smaller files. Otherwise, I do not know of a good technical way to mark placement in an audio file. Smaller files may mean a more cluttered folder, but more convenient searching and playing. So it is with paint, so it must be with audiobooks.
;-
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
The only problem I have with MP3 audiobooks is that my MP3 Player (a SanDisk Sansa Express) doesn't keep my place in an MP3 file when I shut it off. Not a problem for a 2 minute song, but more than a slight annoyance for a 6 hour audiobook.

If anyone knows a solution to that, I'd be extremely grateful to hear it.
The Kindle keeps my place in mp3 files. Jealous?
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
For a standard downloaded file, I suppose that the only solution would be many smaller files.
I've seen that solution, and I even have some freeware around here somewhere that will nicely chop the files up for me. If I ever have to go that route, that's my back up plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
The Kindle keeps my place in mp3 files. Jealous?
Nope, not in the slightest. My PRS500 does it too. If I wanted to use my reading device to play audio, I could have been doing it for a whole year before yours came along.

I'd rather play audio on my MP3 player, which gets something like twice the battery life while playing audio files that my Reader does, and use my Reader for reading, where I get most of a month's use on a single charge. You jealous?
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
I'd rather play audio on my MP3 player, which gets something like twice the battery life while playing audio files that my Reader does, and use my Reader for reading, where I get most of a month's use on a single charge. You jealous?
I'm actually not sure what "jealous" means. Why don't I go look it up o my Kindle? While I'm at it, I think I'll check Wikipedia for the etymology of the word.

No, I'm not jealous.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:33 AM   #9
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It's not so much that the publishers "decided" to phase out this technology. The fact is that DRM stuff are useless to begin with. Just think about CD album, which of it isn't / couldn't be ripped?
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
If anyone knows a solution to that, I'd be extremely grateful to hear it.
I don't have an immediate solution, sadly. Generally speaking, though, when you're into audio books it's a good idea to get a player that can run Rockbox, which has extensive bookmarking support.

I use a (nowadays positively antediluvial) Archos Recorder running an ancient release of Rockbox to listen to podcasts on my daily commute, and the last time I lost my place in a file that wasn't due to a) failing batteries, or b) my own stupidity, has been ages ago.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:05 AM   #11
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I know it doesn't help with the player you already have, but having an MP3 file pickup where it left off on power-down is one of the main features I test for when buying an MP3 player. If that doesn't work, the player goes back to the store. The Creative Muvo line (the little ones that run on a single AAA-cell) supports this, as does the iPod Nano (and I assume all iPods).

One thing about those non-MP3 audio books is that they seem to support user-selected bookmarks (at least on an iPod). I don't know if that is a feature of the audio file or the player. This doesn't do me any good, as I always refused to use anything but MP3 files, due to DRM issues. Looks like this is changing.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:51 AM   #12
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If it had occurred to me, I'd've checked for the MP3 resume thing beforehand. An example of how even a lot of research on a device can still miss stuff.

I was looking primarily for something to play audible.com files a the time, and wanted to avoid iPods for a variety of reasons (one of them being simple stubbornness ). With Audible files, the playing software does the bookmarking automagically, it's one of the features of audible books ... and probably one of the reasons it didn't occur to me to look for bookmarking in MP3 files. (sigh)

I'll have a look at Rockbox, and see if there's any chance of it working on my player.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
NatCH:

.... For a standard downloaded file, I suppose that the only solution would be many smaller files. Otherwise, I do not know of a good technical way to mark placement in an audio file. Smaller files may mean a more cluttered folder, but more convenient searching and playing. So it is with paint, so it must be with audiobooks.
;-
My first post here (congratulate me! ), so bearing that in mind...

I don't know how it did it, but my PhatNoiz car audio system automatically saves my place in a book from Audible. Not sure if that was because of being set up to handle Audible content, or something in the PhatNoiz operating system. But it's a big help!

Couldn't that be done with other downloadable audio? Or maybe only with Audible's stuff (which had it's own set of pesky problems)?
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gr8day2b View Post
My first post here (congratulate me! ), so bearing that in mind...

I don't know how it did it, but my PhatNoiz car audio system automatically saves my place in a book from Audible. Not sure if that was because of being set up to handle Audible content, or something in the PhatNoiz operating system. But it's a big help!

Couldn't that be done with other downloadable audio? Or maybe only with Audible's stuff (which had it's own set of pesky problems)?
Audible uses its own software and can keep track of your location even if you switch to a different book and then return.

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Old 03-04-2008, 12:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I'm actually not sure what "jealous" means. Why don't I go look it up o my Kindle? While I'm at it, I think I'll check Wikipedia for the etymology of the word.

No, I'm not jealous.
And after that you can go spend a few hours charging the battery while we read our books.
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