On listening to audiobooks

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
What services or companies do you like using? I'm trying to get into audiobooks and podcasts, but I'm having trouble deciding on a supplier and an app for my phone.
I use Audible for podcasts. While there are many things to be concerned about with Amazon, their book and audiobook (and now, comics) businesses going under is not one of them. Audible also allows you to permanently download any books in your library, so you can cancel your monthly subscription and just listen to what you own at that point.

Podcast apps are very phone-dependent. Apple's Podcast app, if you have an iPhone, is terrible. But there's an abundance of great choices. Lifehacker, Gizmodo and Engadget periodically run round-ups of the best podcast apps. I use an older one, called Downcast, that allows me to build highly customized folders to arrange my podcasts, like one for my morning commute, others for what I listen to during the workday, others for music, etc.

Also note that many music streaming services are starting to slurp up podcasts and only make their podcasts available through their apps. Spotify has a ton of podcasts (most famously/infamously Joe Rogan) signed to their platform, for instance. So if you know which podcasts you want to listen to, that might guide you toward one app or another, based on exclusivity deals. (I don't like exclusive podcasts, myself, so I am boycotting Spotify, which means I've missed out on the last few seasons of the great Every Little Thing podcast, for instance.)
 
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TheSword

Legend
I've listened to a few different audiobooks when it's better than reading a book and I've realized a few things. Jim Dale is awesome, and some narrators can pull off different voices for different characters and others can't. But that view may be due to how well Dale did in Harry Potter. The most recent audiobook I've finished is Ready Player one narrated by Will Wheaton and he did a good job as well. I tried listening to Catching fire, but Carolyn McCormick isn't very good IMO or it's been a while since I last listened to The Hunger games. I'm currently listening to Ender Game which is an audio play with music and such and differences from the book. It also has a full cast like the World War Z audiobook from Max Brooks. However, Brooks was able to call upon Hollywood A-listers to do the different characters. I also came upon Stephen King's Carried read by Sissy Speck,so I added it to my wish list.

Any other recommendations for audiobooks?

Love audio books. I drive a lot with work so it’s nice to be able to put one on during a four hour drive.

Game of Thrones is very good as an audio book. It’s actually read by the actor that played the Grandmaster of the pyromancers guild in the series. He does a great job.

Wolf Hall and it’s two sequels are read by the actor that played Cromwell in the stage play of wolf hall, and he is frankly amazing. One of the best audio books I’ve heard.

The Dan Abnett Inquisitor series and it’s sequel series are also amazingly read.

The Wheel of Time took some getting used to, as the narrators are American but it was a very rewarding way of getting though a long series.

They’re probably the best I’ve heard.
 

What services or companies do you like using? I'm trying to get into audiobooks and podcasts, but I'm having trouble deciding on a supplier and an app for my phone.
I use Audible for books I can't rip from CDs I check out from the library, signing up you get three free books, then a free book each month more or less. I don't do podcasts, so I can't speak to those.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I use Audible for books I can't rip from CDs I check out from the library, signing up you get three free books, then a free book each month more or less. I don't do podcasts, so I can't speak to those.
You pay a monthly subscription of about $15, so those book credits aren't what I would consider free.

The rest of your subscription gets you access to a large number of mostly public domain books for "free" as well as a handful of exclusive limited series podcasts, which tend to be quite good, but the monthly book credits are the biggest draw for most people. (Although I'm sure Audible's marketing folks would loudly disagree.)
 


Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Some books are just read out loud, but others with good voice acting, sound effects, and even background music can make a difference.

I recommend any unabridged Star Wars book narrated by Marc Thompson. Jonathan Davis is also good, but Thompson is my goto for a good Star Wars ride. There are several excellent series with Thrawn.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Robert Ingliss's reading the unabridged Lord of the Rings is so friggin' good you'll even listen to all the appendices (or at least I did). He also did the first three books of LeGuin's Earthsea Cycle (which is a shame he was not around to do the next two which turn into a feminist critique of first three).
 


TheSword

Legend
And do you have a good concentration on a book you listen to? I'm asking because I've tried to listen different books, and I just can't concentrate. After some time, I realized that I had no idea what had happened a few minutes ago.
So I listen only to podcasts, or interviews
Sure. It depends how interesting the book is.

I think some people pick things up better visually, some through audio, some have to feel something to pick it up.

Audio books work for me. I’m near the end of the Witcher Series of audiobooks. They’re very well read.
 

Robert Ingliss's reading the unabridged Lord of the Rings is so friggin' good you'll even listen to all the appendices (or at least I did). He also did the first three books of LeGuin's Earthsea Cycle (which is a shame he was not around to do the next two which turn into a feminist critique of first three).
That's ... recursive.
 

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