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Audible Player

Download books to your Tungsten T's SD card

by Shawn Barnett

Posted May 23, 2003

Well, it used to require a special module on a Handspring Visor to listen to Audible audio books on a Palm OS device, but now the power is built into your nearest Palm OS 5 device. has a new application that is shipping with the new Palm MP3 Audio Kit (US$99, includes a free book, headphones, 64MB MMC, and card reader), and is also available as a free download from for Tungsten T users, and I've also used it without a hitch on the Tungsten C.

It works similarly to the Visor version, only now we have far larger cards than that product could hold, so less truncation of files is required. My 128MB SD card took two big books, with plenty of room to spare for other applications and photos. Each time you start the Audible Manager, it asks you to HotSync your device so it can update what books you have loaded and where you are.If you want to load pieces of books, or use smaller cards, the Audible manager software will load only what the card can hold of each book and slowly whittle away at it as you continually HotSync, removing the old portion you've already heard and adding the new. Pretty smart stuff.

New books are selected from the website and downloaded to the Audible Manager program.

The many books available from Audible come in different compression levels, and some books are only available in a few. The formats supported by the Tungsten T are 2 and 3. Audio quality is good at either level, though listening with an earbud in the car is not that easy, since the volume level doesn't go up quite high enough. It's not bad, but I'd like it a little louder. One of my vehicles has a cassette player, so I just use a cassette tape adapter. I understand that there are also radio tuner adapters that broadcast a signal to your radio.

Commuters will obviously benefit more than others. The costs inherent in creating such lengthy, mostly unabridged audiobooks means that they cost about as much as the print version. If you've ever bought audio books, this is actually a good deal. You get more for your money if you subscribe to one of their monthly plans, starting at US$14.95. This plan gets you one book plus a monthly, weekly, or daily subscription to one publication. Individual books range from around US$15 to US$40.

-Shawn Barnett

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