Our preferred method for obtaining audiobooks is from Audible.com, as part of our monthly subscription. For about $11 each, we receive an electronic-only version of a book, broken in to manageable chunks of 5-6 hours long each. The files arrive pre-encoded in a format which is bookmarkable in iTunes and on an iPod, and have all appropriate meta-data attached. The subscription format is both cost-effective and highly usable. Audible.com’s major liability is the selection; while there are thousands of books from which to choose, if you get interested in an author who has been writing for a while, chances are good Audible.com won’t have the older books, at least not yet.
The next best method for getting audiobooks is to borrow them on Audio CD from the local public library. While the procedure for importing them into iTunes is laborious, the price is right. This is an ideal way to experiment with authors you don’t know, to find books worth paying for. However, like Audible.com, the selection can be limited.
So, what do you do when you want a book that’s not available from either method?