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Online Audiobook Formats - What You Need To Know


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Todays audiobook formats come in four different styles that are widely used. Each format determines the audio book quality that is delivered as well as the type of player used to listen to the audiobook. There is an audiobook format that will best suit your needs. Let's answer the popular question. . . What audiobook format is best for you?

Audio Books on Tape Made popular back in the early 1980's, audio books on tape brought an increased audio quality over the vinyl records used earlier. This was the first type of audiobook format that was easily portable mostly due to the small size of the cassette tapes. However, the smaller size does not affect the audio storage capacity of the cassette tape. Audio books on tape are able to hold up to 120 minutes of audio recording and offered a more durable audio book format. The vinyl records were prone to scratches that added to the pops and skips that were soon associated with them. The only draw back for audio books on tape is when a tape is overplayed it would stick to the player and cause the taped to become damaged as the player still played the tape. Audio books on tape also have the following synonyms:

  • Books on Tape
  • Books on Cassette Tape
  • Talking Tapes
  • Audio Books on Tape
  • Audiobooks on Tape

Audiobooks on tape are played on cassette tape players that are found inside of automobiles, home stereo systems, ghetto blasters and portable cassette players (walkman style). Even though audio books on tape are slowly being phased out by newer technologies, they are still available and used by audiobook publishers today. For the reason that audiobooks on tape started back in the early 1980's, many earlier audiobook titles can only be found as books on tape. Since audio books on tape are being phased out by the following newer formats, it is not advisable to start or continue listening to books on tape. But do not throw out your books on tape, you can easily convert tapes to CD while not breaking the bank.

Audio Books on CD Digital technology came along to replace the analog audiobooks on tape with a cleaner and crisper audio sound through the development of CD's (compact discs). Audio books on CD changed the way the world listens to audiobooks by introducing the digital technology and layered audio channels. Audio books on CD is the most used audiobook formats today, but is quickly being overtaken by downloadable audiobooks. Audiobooks on CD are preferred by retailers and rental clubs allowing for the widest range of titles available to you the audiobook listener. Just like books on tape, audiobooks on CD are played on CD players found in automobiles, home stereos, mini stereos and portable CD players. Not only did the audio quality improve, the durability also was increased greatly with the introduction of CD's. There also is a compression format that can be placed onto the CD's called MP3. This means greater amounts of audiobook reading can be placed onto one CD, a huge bonus not only for online audiobook rental clubs but also for the audio book listener.

Downloadable Audio Books Since the digital technology really helped develop CD's, it also brought downloadable audio books our way as well. Basically these audio books are converted and saved as digital audio files such as MP3 format. This format has gained popularity lately with the creation of Apple iPods and MP3 players. It seems these players have become a regular addition to our everyday lives, this is the main reason audiobooks have exploded in the most recent years. Downloadable audio books are used by audio book rental clubs, audio book retailers and by the audio book listener. Never have audio books been so portable and convenient for the industry and fans, all because of the downloadable technology. Online audio book downloads are definitely the most popular audio book format, and one to consider.

Audio Book Chips Yes that is right, audio books come in a chip format, but they taste awful (even with dip). All of us have seen and probably used secure digital cards (SD Cards), they are best known with digital cameras. These are the memory cards (sticks) that save the photos taken with digital cameras. Well, as technology advances at a rapid pace, so does the audio book formats. Audio books are now being placed onto these SD cards that are the size of a quarter coin. These SD cards offer a superior audio quality, a very dependable (no moving parts) format all in a small package. Great things really do come in small packages! The audiobook chips can be played on a wide array of players such as computers, PDA's and cell phones. Even though audio book chips are a newer format, they are a good format for audiobooks.

These are the audio book formats used by retailers, publishers, rental clubs and are available to enjoy by you. . . The Audio Book Listener! As you can see, there is an audio book format that will meet your needs, you just have to choose which one is best.

Learn to convert tapes to CD easily without breaking your bank account.

Duane Edwards is the owner and webmaster of and audiobook junkie. For more information about audiobooks and everything related, please visit us!

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