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  1. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    MP3s & Ipods...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CharlieVer, Sep 14, 2009.

    Okay, I'm old by many people's standards (young by others) being in my mid-40s, and have yet to move past CDs and DVDs into the magical world of MP3s and Ipods.

    This question is for all you people who are in the 21st century, unlike we old folks. ;)

    I listen to audio books, a lot. I'm on a very, very limited budget, and I check out my audio books from the library.

    I've recently discovered that I can "check out" from the library by downloading to an MP3 or Ipod, and some of the books I want, I can download but my library cannot get on CD, even from another library through the intra-library loan system. So I'm interested in getting an MP3 or Ipod. Seeing as I have a very limited budget, I want to buy the cheapest darn thing I can get that will actually work.

    I almost simply went out and bought the cheapest thing available, but it occurred to me that I don't know how many GB I need to reasonably download a few audio books. Then, I discovered another issue:

    Many of the titles I want to download through the library system say this:

    This title cannot be used on all MP3 players; it can be used on devices that support DMR protected WMR files and it can be used on Apple devices.

    Does this mean I must buy an Ipod and not an Mp3? What other devices "support DMR protected WMF files"?

    What is a "device that supports DMR protected WMR files"? I have no idea what this means, I've never even heard of that one.

    Also, what size do you think I need to download a few audio books at a time?

    And where would I get the cheapest model?

    Also, some of them say you can burn them onto CD...does that mean they'll burn onto CD as a "regular CD" or as one of those "mp3 CDs" that normal CD players can't play?

    One more question... when downloaded (or burned) and when I'm listening to it, will it have "tracks" like CDs do, so I can listen and start again at the track I left off on?

    Thanks,
    Charlie
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've got an ipod nano. I got it off of ebay for about $80 and it holds 8gb. I put The Count of Monte Christo on it (40ish hours) and it took up about 3gb. I don't know about the drm stuff though because I just check out the cd's from the library and put them on my ipod, then delete them as I finish them up.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Charlie - I think you should check with your library first to see on which players they allow you to download. Our library system used to only allow you to download on Microsoft's Zune, but then just recently they've expanded it to Apple's Ipod or Iphone. If the Ipod is allowed, buy it from Costco if you can since their return policy is so hassle free, or google it and see if there are better deals. Amazon and Best Buy are good, too.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I took a look at the few audio books I have. In terms of space, it seems that for every hour of audio, you need anywhere between 50-100mb of space, depending on the quality. The Count of Monte Christo falls in that range, so I'd say it's a fairly good estimate. You will probably be best off buying a player that has at least 8gb of space. I only have an ipod so I can't comment on any other models or mp3 players. I got my ipod 3 years ago and it's still in great condition, so I would recommend getting one. I got mine off Amazon, and it was a little cheaper than buying it from the store. Overstock is another site that sells stuff for a good price.

    Once you get the audio files, you can burn them onto a cd, and it should play on all modern cd players. I think Windows Media Player has a basic cd burning function which is fairly easy to use.

    The audio books I have all have tracks like a normal cd. One of them has a new track for every new chapter. The others are more informational and/or educational audio books, but even they have tracks that you can skip, repeat, etc.
     
  5. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think he'll be able to burn them to cd's because the library specifies that you need a device capable of reading files with drm (aka, copy protection)
     
  6. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Plus, they really don't want you doing that.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    IIRC, Windows Media Player also lets you rip tracks from an audio cd. It's been years since I did this, and I'm guessing cds have better protection software now than they did back then (I don't think many audio cds from 5+ years ago have any protection at all). Depending on how old the audio book is, you may still be able to do it.
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    DRM stads for Digital Rights Management, and is basically just some fair-use software that prevents you from casually making copies of the files. It unfortunately also means that you only get one shot with te files; if anything goes wrong with them, you can't make copies so will have to buy it again. For this reaon, among the others mentioned above, I would recommend using an iPod with iTunes. The iPod is a pretty reliable piece of hardware, and iTunes (the program that manages the music and audio files you want to put on it) is very intuitive and simple, so opportunities to lose your data are minimal. You might have to pay a little extra but they really are the best, I think. But be wary about buying second hand or from any dodgy looking parallel import places - fakes are rampant, so be sceptical when you see "bargain" iPods.
     
  9. Doug J
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    Doug J Active Member

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    One other thought. My library actually gives or rents MP3 type devices just for listening to books. You might want to see if that's an option - much cheaper than buying one. And technology is changing so rapidly still - prices will plumet further in a year or two.

    But for ownership - we are a iPod family - and as long as you don't buy a first generation model - you should be fine. For example, Apple just announced a new iPod nano version last week (video recording and radio jamming built in) - so the "old" version of the nano should be coming down in price as they close out the old models. Target, Walmart or Sam's Club - seemed to have good prices when closeouts occur.
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some people here have already talking about the copy protection stuff that could be an issue with putting an audio book onto an MP3 Player. That being said, if you are able to download them onto your computer permanently, I'd go with a regular MP3 player. If all you want is to listen to audio books, you don't need anything more than that. Plus, depending on the brand, they will cost less than an iPod because they don't have the Apple label attached to it. How many GB to get depends on the size of the files and if you want to keep them on the player or not. I'm sure the library web site will say how big each file is.
     

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