April 2008

iPhone user interface quirk #1 for audiobooks

by Michael Alderete on 4/23/2008

Dan Sanderson provides a clear explanation, including pretty good photos, of one of the user interface “quirks” that can get you when using the iPhone for audiobooks, namely, the iPhone’s indicator and toggle buttons for Repeat and Shuffle modes are somewhat hidden, not 100% clear, and can be toggled accidentally if you’re not careful.

When listening to audiobooks, you of course want both Repeat and Shuffle turned off. On standard iPods, you do this in the main settings menu, and it’s effective for all tracks. But on the iPhone, as Dan explains and illustrates, the setting is harder to find, until you know where it is, and can be turned on and off while fiddling with your place in a track. See Dan’s full post for the details.

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Free audiobooks via podcasts

by Michael Alderete on 4/16/2008 · 1 comment

The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran a story about fledgling authors who get their start by publishing their books online, via podcast:

Take my book. It’s free. Giving away books as podcasts is new way to promote sales.

The basic idea is, the author reads their novel a chunk at a time, recording it, and publishing the recordings on a regular, sequential basis. A chapter a week is a common pattern. Interested listeners can download the recordings and listen to them on their computer, iPod, whatever. For free.

The best news is that iTunes can make receiving the periodic recordings totally automatic. Once you subscribe to the author’s podcast, the chapters will be downloaded automatically as published, and can even be automatically transferred to your iPod. Very slick.

The article has more details about the hows and whys, including references to the podcasts for several authors who got started podcasting, but are now professionally published, so it’s not just “hey, look at this cool technology” informative, it’s also got direct links to new authors and books for you to check out.

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