Archive for September, 2006

Free eBook Podcasts at Podiobooks.com

September 15, 2006

If you like listening to audiobooks, check out Podiobooks.com. This site is so named because it offers audiobooks that you can download as podcasts. The books are presented in serial fashion – with each chapter or group of chapters in its own file. When you “subscribe” to a book, you decide how often you want to receive a new chapter,with choices ranging from once a month to once a day. A podcast feed is created, and you add that feed to your podcatching program. (You can also download book files directly from the site.) Some books are still being recorded, while others are complete. If you’re reading a complete book and decide you want more chapters before they’re scheduled to be delivered, you can either change the schedule so new chapters are delivered sooner or use the Release All button to make all chapters available now. If you don’t like a book, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

All books are free, but there is a Donate button on the subscription page for each book. Half of any money you donate goes to the author, and the other half goes to site maintenance. Donations are the only compensation authors get for putting their work on the site.

There is quite a variety of books available, including detective drama, fantasy, science fiction, public domain books, and children’s literature. Most books are read by their authors. Each book is described, those which are particularly appropriate or inappropriate for children are labeled as such, and many have been rated by listeners. It’s also possible to leave and view comments about the books.

If you’re interested in publishing work you have written on this site, you can find detailed information about submission guidelines and tips for getting started on the >You, too, can create a Podiobook page.

Thanks to Merrill Louise for reminding me of this site. I read an excellent book from there called The Pocket and the Pendant a year ago, but had forgotten about it. The site has grown tremendously since then.

Podcasting and Music Download Articles in AccessWorld

September 15, 2006

The September issue of AccessWorld, the technology magazine produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, includes an excellent introduction to podcasting by Jenifer Sutton. It explains what a podcast is and how to download them as well as listing a variety of resources for finding podcasts that interest you.

The July issue included a wonderful article about sites where you can legally download music by Janet Ingber. A variety of sites are described, including eMusic,iTunes, and Napster. System requirements, accessibility, and restrictions on the files you download are also discussed. I’m sorry I didn’t post this information sooner, but it’s been a busy summer.

Blog On! Reviewed in AccessWorld

September 15, 2006

If you haven’t read Blog On! and would like more information about it, the September issue of AccessWorld, the technology magazine produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, includes a review written by Deborah Kendrick.

iPods Now Updated through iTunes

September 14, 2006

When I went to the Apple iPod Download site today to see if there were updates for the older iPods, I discovered that updates are now handled through iTunes 7.0 rather than through this site. So if you own Anapod Explorer, you’ll need to keep iTunes on your system if you want to update your iPod. iTunes 7.0 is not currently usable with Brian Hartgen’s scripts and set files, however, so don’t download it yet.

New iPod Shuffle Released

September 14, 2006

On Tuesday Apple announced the release of a new iPod Shuffle, as well as a new iPod Nano and Video. These products are supposed to start shipping sometime in October.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the new Shuffle from Apple’s iPod Shuffle page and iLounge:

  • The new Shuffle is smaller than the old one – only about an inch and a half long, almost square, and weighing half an ounce. It has a built-in clip to make it easy to attach to almost anything.
  • There is still no screen.
  • The controls are the same except that there are two switches on the back – one for power and one to switch between ordered and shuffle play.
  • It holds 1 GB and plays the same formats as the old Shuffle.
  • USB connectivity and charging are handled through the headphone jack, so a dock with an attached USB cable is required.
  • Its casing is metal, not plastic, and is designed to be more robust than the casing of the old Shuffle.
  • It comes with newly designed earbuds, which the iLounge reviewer liked.
  • It costs US$80.

These sound like some nice changes, particularly having separate power and playing order switches. The only down side is that iTunes 7.0 is required to operate the Shuffle, and there are apparently significant changes between this and the previous version of iTunes. This means Brian Hartgen will have to rework his iTunes scripts. Let’s hope this won’t bbe too difficult!