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11 July 2003 @ 12:25 pm
Thinking  
I've been thinking about buying a subscription to Audible.com. I found them through Amazon while looking for audiobooks. I mentioned the audiofile/mp3 version of audiobooks before. The fact that they're listpristed the same as audio tapes is insane, however everything on Audible.com seems to have been "marked down" to reasonable prices, usually $15 - $20 a book, ie well within the range where i said i would consider buying them.


The possible problems with the site, one, they have an association with Amazon, who i'm still pissed off at about the one-click thing and their other more recent patent foolishness. I asked audible.com about it, and they claim that no money used to purchase thigns off their site goes to amazon (i have no idea if buying them through amazon would give amazon a cut, though i would guess so.) Doing some research on the web seems to indicate taht the deal was amazon got about 5% of audible.com stock and $30 million for the deal, in exchange for promoting them in their book listings. So if i can believe what audible.com says, and i found no evidence to contradict them elsewhere, buying stuff at audible.com helps amazon, but only in the way that more buisness will tend to raise their stock prices thus increasing the vaule of Amazon's 5% share. Second, they use encryption on their audio files, which are either mp3s or soemthing similar, which makes it difficult to convert them to other formats. Although i really prefer open formats, they provide a program that can be used to burn the files as audio CDs, meaning i could play them in my car with a little work on my part, and i've also found some advice on the web about how to hack around their encryption to convert the files to plain mp3s.

So although i have a couple reservations, they're not very big ones, and they're the best site for such stuff that i can find online, unless someone can suggest anyone else who they think is good..

I've checked out www.audiobooks.com and www.audiobooksonline.com, and although they both have some pretty good prices, they also have some crappy prices, and their selection is very mediocre. One doesn't have A Wizard of Earthsea at all, and the other only has it in cassette form =P They both offer MP3 CDs as well as everything else, but that doesn't really help me any more than downloadble audio fils do.


If i do decide to get anything from them, i'll probably go for the membership format at the one year interval. For $20 a month they let you download any two of their books per month. At $10 a shot there are certainly 24 books i'd be willing to get, and if you do the one year membership they give you an el cheapo $50 mp3 player that can play their audio file format. At $10 each i'd even be willing to try out random books that i haven't read before but that look interesting, although i do worry somewhat about spoiling the first reading impression.

I'm also somewhat debating about getting Halo if it ever comes out on PC. I've been looking at the Red vs. Blue movies, which make a decent advertisement for it. However i'd still be giving money to microsoft through Bungie, although it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as supporting the XBox.

However really the only thing Halo seems to have going for it is the sci-fi plot. If we're talking sci-fi, i never finished HalfLife, if we're talking quality of game, and if we're talking quality, 1942 is probably as good and has a lot of people in the office playing it, and i haven't managed to get that yet. So as much as i'm thinking about it, the odds of me actually going out and getting it (if it's even ever available on PC to get) are pretty slim.
 
 
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