Monday, April 18, 2005

iPod – Audible.com

My back had been bothering me all week, and when I finally got to the airport for my flight back to L.A. I felt that sitting in the waiting area was no longer an option. I found myself a nice spot of carpet next to the window, somewhat hidden from view and warmed by the sun, laid down with my head against my backpack, and went on reading my book.

As you probably know, Southwest airlines groups their passengers into the A, the B and the C groups, according to check-in time (check in early, you’re an A, late, you’re a C). The A group boards first, then B, then C. There’s no assigned seating.

For reasons that are entirely unclear to me, Southwest passengers tend to line up long in advance, no matter which group they belong to. My own philosophy is that the only group worth queuing up for is the C group. With the first two you’re virtually guaranteed a window or an aisle seat. Why stand in line?

With my B boarding card, I was free to read to my heart’s content. When the B group was finally called, I dawdled over to the back of the line. I suddenly realized that I was standing right next to a friend of mine. One of those once-a-year friends. That’s about how often we meet. In some ways we have a lot in common – two women in high tech, two female electrical engineers – it would have been nice to have a get to know her better, but that’s about the extent of our acquaintance.

On the positive side, when you meet once a year, there’s plenty of useful information to convey. She’s been commuting quite a bit, and her epiphany of the year is the iPod. She’s been listening to books on her iPod. She offers transfer a few of her favorites to my iPod, but I don’t have one… I’ve never considered listening to an audio book, but suddenly, thinking of my new weekly commute to Santa Rosa, the idea doesn’t sound so bad. Maybe the ideal traveling companion…

Immediate gratification, she tells me. You just go online, download the book you want, she’s amazed at how much money she’s spent on the pleasure… check out www.audible.com

Well, I get home, and I check it out. No kidding. About $25 per book (!). I’ve been feeling very loose with my money lately, but not that loose. So here’s the thought: How about a lending library of audio books? How about a Netflix for audio books? You can have only two out at a time. Return one, you get another one. Of course the logistics of the return are unclear, since it’s already copied onto your iPod, but I’m sure there’s a solution here. $29.99 a month. I think I’d spring for that…

2 Comments:

At 9:15 PM, Blogger ntobrhBM said...

Hi,
I found your blog and think you did a great job. What did we do before blogging?

Cheers,

Online Audio Book Rental

 
At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer for "Netflix for audio books?" is http://www.kitabe.com. Similar rental strategy, only applied to MP3-CD audio books.

 

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