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  1. #1
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    downloading book's

    so besides downloading song's for your ipod while touring,what about downloading book's,it could be a great way to spend a lonely evening in your tent, waiting for the morning.has anybody done this and can you recommend some good sites and books.i came across this one audible .co.uk,there is a few cycle touring books on this site .thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, there's the Gutenberg Project - all for free.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

  3. #3
    Senior Member reiffert's Avatar
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    I like:
    PRI - Selected Shorts (http://www.symphonyspace.org/shorts) New and established writers, readings from a wide range of actors and actresses.
    Ira Glass - This American Life (http://www.thislife.org/) Themed story telling with commentary
    Scientific American -Science Talk (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/) Wide range of science topics
    WNYC - Radio Lab (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/) "..show about curiosity. Each episode is an investigation..."

    Podcasts, though most have archives. Most will send you to the library for more.

  4. #4
    getting bent Engyo's Avatar
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    I do this, but not audio books, rather e-books. Read them on either my Palm TX or my phone. The Kindle doesn't look like a bad option either.
    Namaste, Engyo
    2008 Rans V3 - steel steed
    1984 Trek 620 - old warhorse

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engyo View Post
    I do this, but not audio books, rather e-books. Read them on either my Palm TX or my phone. The Kindle doesn't look like a bad option either.
    You read while riding your bike?
    I second the gutenberg project. Here is another one.

    http://gutenberg.net.au

    They have a LOT of ****.

  6. #6
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrenetis View Post
    You read while riding your bike?
    I do.

    I put audio books on my music player and listen while I ride. It is like listening to the radio while driving a car.

    Since it is a book, I only listen using one ear bud, leaving the other ear to hear road noise.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  7. #7
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    I've recently discovered audio books, they're awesome - I listen to them while in the car during my work commute (~45min) and also on the trainer.

    I get my books from librivox.org - they're books in the public domain read by volunteers. So far, I've listened to "the reluctant dragon" "the time machine" "the sleeper" and "treasure island" - currently working on "king arthur and his knights" all have been excellent thus far.

    I save them to the pc and sync them w/ the 1gb ipod we have... works great.

  8. #8
    40 yrs bike touring
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    An additional source Apple iTunes has a wide range of free podcasts including complete semester lectures from many major universities on many subjects. They also have free old time radio series that are quite entertaining.

    I only use the iPod when in camp NOT while riding the bike when distractions can be fatal or at least painful.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    My wife likes book on CD when she's driving. Last summer she had The Secret Life of Bees, which I had read once, but really liked. I thought it would be fun to listen to it during the long, lonely hours on tour.

    When I ripped it to Windows Media Player, I discovered that each of the CD's had a title, which seemed randomly chosen. That meant they wouldn't play in order on my MP3 player. I changed the titles and thought I was good. But when I got out on the road, I discovered the original titles were embedded, and the MP3 player followed them. So I had section after section out of order, and no way to tell which was which. They didn't even have a narrator announcing what they were at the start of each section. It was impossible.

    When I got home I fixed the problem in about 5 minutes by creating a playlist on Rhapsody and putting the sections in the correct order. It was easy to do because the new names I had given the sections still showed up on my computer (just not on the MP3 player.) Unfortunately, I've had no desire to listen to the book since I got home. I don't have long stretches of lonely time here. Maybe next summer.

    Anyway, if you should rip books on CD onto your MP3 player, check before you leave home that the tracks are in the right order. If not, create a playlist, put them in the correct order, and check that before you leave home.

    The Kindle looks like a good product to me, but expensive. I'm trying to figure out if I can justify the purchase of one.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I listen to audio books on my long (car) commute. On tour, I wished I had some when I crossed Eastern Colorado and Kansas! Unfortunately I had sent my old school iPod home. Now that I have a iPod Shuffle that weighs just about nothing I am likely to tour with audio books. I'd probably mostly listen to them off the bike unless crossing something like Kansas.

    BTW: it is also possible, if not legal, to rip audiobook CD's from the public library to listen to them on an iPod or other mp3 player.

  11. #11
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Could someone please tell me how much narrative a 2 gig iPod might hold? I was just curious as to how many typical books, pages, time, or number of cd's that it might contain. I realize that some of these metrics will have little comparative value when there is such an enormous variability of material. Thanks.

  12. #12
    succumbs to errata jaypee's Avatar
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    I used Plucker on my Treo and just downloaded stuff from Project Gutenburg. Handy for rainy days in a very small tent.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    it is also possible, if not legal, to rip audiobook CD's from the public library to listen to them on an iPod or other mp3 player.
    I get all of my audio books from the SF library which has a huge (thousands) collection of them. As for legality, it is hard to see who ripping something checked out from a library and listening to once would be anything but a technical violation.

    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Could someone please tell me how much narrative a 2 gig iPod might hold?
    The number of books you can put in a set amount of space depends on the sampling rate you use when you rip the CDs. Since it is a book and I'm not worried about the sound quality, I use the lowest sampling rate I can (32 kbps, I think). At this rate, you may be able to get up to 10 books in 2 gigs. The issue is that not all books are the same size. You average non-fiction book is between 6 - 8 discs and rips down to 200 - 300 Megs. Again, it depends on the sampling rate and the size of the book. Also, you may want to have some music on the player, as well, for when you don't want to listen to books.

    I have a 4 gig player (not an IPod) that I filled with music and books for my recent trip to France. I used it everyday and didn't run out of things to listen to.

    The problem that BigBlueToe had is common. For some reason the people who produce audio books don't label them properly. If your player's software relies on the CD titles to organize them, then you will have problems getting your audio books to play the book in the right order. The player that I have lets me choose the order so that isn't a problem.

    Some odd cautions about listening to audio books. Since I ride a couple times a week and always listen to books when I ride, I listen to over a hundred books a year (listening time for your average book is around 8 - 10 hours). Since I only listen to non-fiction books I am finding it harder and harder to get ones I haven't already listened to. While I could listen to fiction, I don't find it as interesting. Also, when you are exposed to so many new ideas, stories, and authors, it is hard to discuss them with someone because they haven't read the book. I have found it frustrating to get excited/shocked about something I heard while riding but have no one to talk to about it.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  14. #14
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    The amazon kindle comes w/ free cellular download so you can really get them (print or audio) anywhere that AT&T goes. And free cellular internet too though w/ a not too slick interface.

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Using books from Audible.com there are several formats. For a 7 hr 54 min book the choices were 30, 56, and 113 MB respectively. So you can fit a lot of books on 2 GB. Assuming an 8 hour-ish book that works out to as many as 66 books or as few as 17 depending on which format you pick.

  16. #16
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    Go to the iPhone App Store and download 'Classics' (it's 1.79 in UK, I guess around $3.00 in the States?) - it's a bunch of pre-packed eBooks:

    Pride & Prejudice
    Dracula
    Treasure Island
    Alice in Wonderland
    Call of the Wild
    Robinson Crusoe
    The Jungle Book
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Paradise Lost
    Huckleberry Finn
    The Time Machine
    Gulliver's Travels
    A Christmas Carol
    The Metamorphosis
    Hound of the Baskervilles
    Flatland

    Not bad for $3!

  17. #17
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Al, somebody please correct me if I'm wrong here but I think a lot of the "classics" are available at gutenberg for free.

  18. #18
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Having looked through many pages of their catalog, I think many of those books are on librivox.org as well.

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    Sadly, even though the ebooks are free from those sites, I think you still need to shell out for a reader app for the iPhone, assuming the ebooks are in a format compatible with the available readers. But we're still not talking megabucks...

  20. #20
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I've never carried my Kindle on a tour, but I had it with me for Bike Virginia last summer, where it was carried with my luggage by the tour organizers. I really love this thing. They're coming out with a faster updated version in a couple of weeks. My only problem is rationing myself. I have a queue of five or six books I've already bought that I haven't gotten to. Not to mention the complete works of Twain, Dickens, Melville, journals of Lewis and Clark etc. that I've downloaded from Gutenberg.

  21. #21
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    Sadly, even though the ebooks are free from those sites, I think you still need to shell out for a reader app for the iPhone, assuming the ebooks are in a format compatible with the available readers. But we're still not talking megabucks...
    the books on librivox.org does not need any reader apps.. they're .mp3 files... you can download individual chapters as mp3s or the entire book as a zip file. Basically they're recordings of someone reading the book.. sometimes different chapters are read by different readers, sometimes the whole book is read by one reader. Sometimes, the readers "do voices" and really do a great job. You can sign up to record a chapter or two yourself to help contribute to the site. It's a really simple concept but hard to explain, a quick visit to the site would be best. Myself, I'm not much at reading aloud.

  22. #22
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    For free sci fi (edited and published, just not fanfic), check out www.baen.com/library. HTML text that you can read on any handheld.

    The free library is an experiment (so far successful) to prove that open DRM-free access can actually increase an author's sales by lowering the costs of trying a new work. The library often includes an author's early works or the first book or two in a series to entice people to buy the later books. (Also often available electronically for about the cost of a used paperback.)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavush View Post
    the books on librivox.org does not need any reader apps.. they're .mp3 files
    Ah, right - they're 'audio books' then, as opposed to 'eBooks'. With eBooks, you have to actually read them, by lookin' at them an' stuff.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    Sadly, even though the ebooks are free from those sites, I think you still need to shell out for a reader app for the iPhone, assuming the ebooks are in a format compatible with the available readers. But we're still not talking megabucks...
    The eReader app from Fictionwise is free.

  25. #25
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    Ah, right - they're 'audio books' then, as opposed to 'eBooks'. With eBooks, you have to actually read them, by lookin' at them an' stuff.
    yeah, not really safe to be reading books while driving on the interstate.

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