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I’ve been a heavy reader for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was nearly a permanent fixture at our local library. I chewed through the best parts of the kids section by the time I was 9 or 10 and had written permission on file that allowed me to check out anything in the place that my little old heart desired. Sci-fi, murder mysteries and historical fiction were among my best friends.

These days, I tend to ignore printed media in favor of ebooks on my Kindle, iPad or iPod touch, but I’m also hooked on audiobooks. My current iPod nanos each carry a bunch of audiobooks for listening on the go. I get my audiobooks from multiple sources, including our local library, a subscription to Audible.com and occasional purchases from Tantor Media.  Audible is probably my favorite, and their download/listening app for iPad/iPhone is one of the best. The download is fast, and it’s easy to move between books without losing my place. It always remembers. It also recognizes audiobooks from other sources that are in my iTunes library. Nice touch.

Tantor released their own iPad/iPhone app in November, and I recently downloaded it to give it a try. In all fairness, it’s still v1.01, but it needs a lot of changes before I’ll try it again. Downloads are s-l-o-w. I mean really slow. It will download one chapter at a time or the entire book, but unlike the Audible app, once you start a download, there is no way to abort it. Much faster to download to my iMac and then transfer via iTunes. And playing? That was the real deal breaker. Turn off the screen and it stops playing. Huh? How did they let that pass? Fortunately, my Audible app doesn’t care if my books have been ripped from CDs or downloaded from Tantor.

One complaint I’ve heard about borrowing downloaded audiobooks from the library using the required Overdrive software is that they expire too fast for some people. Easy solution — copy the files from the Overdrive download folder to iTunes. Overdrive only looks for the files in one place. While Overdrive will transfer directly to a connected iPod, I always transfer using iTunes.

If audiobooks are your thing, try the Audible app. You don’t even have to buy your books from them, but you might want to give them a try. They have some nice sales, and their tech support people are the best.

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