One of the great things about audio books is that there are the different media players that can be used to listen to them. This is wonderful news for those among us who like to have a choice rather than be limited to just one way to listen to audio books.
“Books on tape,” cassette tape audio books or CD audio books are a good option for people who enjoy listening to their audio books while lounging on the sofa or in bed. The PC or laptop is also a good option for this kind of listening. Most likely your PC or laptop already has a media player built into the operating system. If, for some reason, your PC does not already have a media player, there are plenty of free downloads available on the Internet. Two of the highest quality and most popular free players available are Windows Media Player (which usually comes standard with the Windows operating systems) and Real One Player (www.real.com).
If sitting around listening to books doesn’t interest you, there is also a great selection of portable media players available these days. A portable media player, such as an mp3 player or iPod, allows you to enjoy your audio books while you’re on the go. Whether you’d like to listen to audio books while doing chores, exercising or walking your dog, portable players give you the freedom to do just that.
Previously, the most common portable players were CD and cassette players, also known as “walkmen,” but as technology and industry expand, portable devices that play mp3 files are quickly becoming the new standard.
Products such as audio-ready PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) like the Casio CASSIOPEIA and Compaq iPAQ, for example, are gaining popularity among business professionals since these tools are primarily personal organizers, but they also have mp3 capabilities. These products are usually on the more costly end of the portable technology spectrum, selling between $400 and $600.
Compatible portable audio players are the more cost effective devices. These include your basic mp3 players, which can purchased for about $50 as well as devices like Creative’s NOMAD Jukebox 3 and the SONICblue’s Rio 900. These devices are more sophisticated than your average, run of the mill mp3 players, and while being more expensive than standard mp3 players, they are cheaper than PDAs and have more capabilities than mp3 players. Some can even play and store video and picture files. Devices like these are in the $150 to $300 price range.
No matter where your preferences lie, if you’re a walker, a jogger, commuter or a couch potato, there is a variety of audio players from which you can choose. From your basic, old fashioned radio/cassette tape player to PCs and laptops to the new ultra high tech personal digital assistants, there is no doubt you can find a media player you can use to listen to your audio books that suits both your style and your budget.