Audiobooks - Listening And Learning

in #bookie2 years ago

Audio Books



I'm a podcast guy. I've been listening to podcasts since before they were called podcasts - when you had to compress audio files into mp3/wma files by yourself so that they'd fit into the 4MB internal space your Digital Audio Player came with. Storage, or "memory" as it was erroneously termed back then, was quite expensive at about $1 per Megabyte.

My very first Apple product was an iPod Nano. I saved up for a while to get it, and I bought the (PRODUCT)RED edition which I still own today.

The iPhone, or smartphones generally, changed everything. Not only did it displace the need for a separate MP3 player, it also eliminated the need for so much storage space for storing audio content. This is because of high speed and unlimited Internet which made streaming audio content a viable reality. I no longer store any audio content on my phone since the Internet is pretty much very reliable where I live now. When I used London Underground and wanted to listen to music, I would actively download the albums I needed before getting on. Podcasts automatically downloaded themselves as per my settings.

I listen to a vast array of Podcasts that cover many of my interests including photography, cryptocurrency and science. In the last couple of years, I've also found myself subscribing to one or two "news" programs to keep abreast of what's going on outside my little bubble.

Even though I love podcasts, and they're often short enough to consume completely in one sitting (or standing), I had a good percentage of audiobooks as well as music in my daily lineup. As time went on however, I found that podcasts gradually took over most of my listening time - displacing audiobooks first, then music.

These days I've started to find a lot of those podcasts I listen to being taken over by politics. I guess it's inevitable in the climate we live in now. The worst case of this was a photography podcast I used to really like before the host suddenly started lashing out at "these libtards" on his podcasts. I have found myself unsubscribing to many podcasts actually, sometimes due to too much politics, but other times simply because I have lost interest in the subject matter over time.

As a result, some slots have opened up in my listening time. This is mostly when I'm doing chores, DIY or (in non-COVID times) commuting.

I recently purchased a pair of headphones which are over the ear as opposed to the now fashionable inner ear type. Music sounds much better this way, understandably since the drivers are much larger and of a higher quality. I have gone back to listening to music because of this.

I actually lost my Spotify password, and can't be bothered to go through the password recovery process yet, so I'm back to my old catalogue from way back. It's actually quite fun listening to my old music and re-discovering some gems. Also, nothing brings back old memories and gives a feeling of nostalgia quite like music. I may well lay off Spotify for a while anyway, since I'm on the free version.

Audiobooks! Goodness me, why did I ever stop listening to them? Being a slow reader, audiobooks got me through a lot of my reading days. We live in a video era, but the majority of information available to our civilisation is still in books! I'm already on my second book in the last week, and I'm loving every minute. I'm also learning an awful lot of stuff I didn't know before.

Like I said earlier, I've been bombarded by (mainly American) politics from every angle. I already have a general understanding of structure of the United States as a country, but I decided to take a deeper dive into the history of that country, in part to gain a better understanding of why things are the way they are over there. There is a lot that has been left out of the education system.

After my deep dive into America, I already have a list of other books to delve into. Some are books that apparently everyone apart from me has read, like George Orwell's 1984. That book is such a classic that the authors name is now an adjective in a fashion usually reserved for Kings, Queens and historical people of note. Victorian, Shakespearian, Darwinian and of course Orwellian are such words.

A hidden benefit of audiobooks that one may not immediately consider, is the fact that they're often recorded to the highest available audio quality - even more so than music. This is because of the length of time it takes to consume them. It is a bonus that a book is narrated by an actor with an incredibly pleasant voice. There are so many amazing narrators out there, and a good voice ads to the enjoyment of the work.

If I'm pressed to pick my favourite voice of all, it'd probably be the great James Earl Jones. What a remarkable voice. Stephen Fry is another one. There's almost nothing like an eloquent Englishman when it comes to reading in the English language. I have never come across such a book, but I'd love to be narrated to by Julie Andrews or Maya Angelou. Alas! The former lost her voice and the latter died six years ago.

Right, back to learning about American history narrated by a soothing voice. Have a nice day.

Peace & Love,



"Being a slow reader, audiobooks got me through a lot of my reading days" yup, same story here. Reading just puts me to sleep as well, not audio books and I can "read" while in my car. The next book I wanna listen to is Hustle Harder, Hustle smarter by 50 cent. wanna see what the gangsta motivational books are about and 50 been doing his thing. If you see a copy online for free do grab it and send it my way 😁

Hahaha. That sounds interesting. I have put that on my list. Won't it be hilarious if he sold it for $.50? haha.

Hahaha it would be. Maybe in 50 years 😂

I just recently started deleting podcasts from Overcast and going back to some fantasty audiobooks that I recently found on my hard drive. I've been listening to podcasts since around 2005, whenever TWiT TWiTstarted. That and Security Now were my two starters, but audiobooks have been part of my life forever. I used to get cassettes out the local library to listen to on my paper round in 1984/85. A particular favourite I recall was Wilbur Smith's Eye of the Tiger. I learned the word cheroot from that book, ha ha.

Plus one on Stephen Fry. He read the full Harry Potter series and I just relistened to the first one a couple of months ago. His writing is just as joyful.

I've been listening to podcasts since around 2005, whenever TWiT TWiTstarted. That and Security Now were my two starters,

OMG. You and I must have been amongst their first podcast listeners. I think Leo Laporte was trying to coin the term "NetCast" back then with his "Netcasts you love, from people you trust" jingle :)

I still listen to Security Now after so many years. Before Twit I used to listen to religious debates haha. There was an Irish Presbyterian preacher and and American southern baptist that had a podcast for a long time.

I also discovered some scifi and Quantumn physics books I downloaded a long time ago haha. I may start having a look at those too.

We're living parallel geeky lives man.

I remember Leo getting all in a tizz about Netcasts. I guess if anyone had the clout to change it it was Leo. Remember the hassle of having to sync it all before going out? Man, those days! I remember watching Patrick Norton on DL.TV on the first iPod with Video when my kids were babies and would fall asleep in the car, so I'd park up outside the flat and watch that show on the tiny screen.

Remember Leo did a show with Amber McArthur, Net at Night or something? I remember him talking to Larry Page and Sergei Brin when YouTube was new. It doesn't seem like that long ago, but in Internet years it was forever ago. Makes me wonder what it'll be like when my kids are in their 40s – my eldest is now 16.

Yes haha I remember most of that. I also remember a few years in Steve Gibson getting into this "bitcoin" thing haha. I wish I had listened to him back then.

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