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April 14, 2005

Dangerously Close to Extreme Resources

Danger Audio Learning Lovers. Our Resources section is about to EXPLODE onto the scene. We've entered in dozens of authors and publisher pages we're just wrapping up the navigation to them so you can get to them. I personally don't know of a resource quite like it and I have been on a quest for such a thing for the last year or so. In all fairness there are some sites doing similar things, but nothing quite like us I don't think. Anyway here's the LearnOutLoud.com "competition". But I prefer to call them allies in the quest to make us all LearnOutLoud! Here's what I've found:

AudioFile Magazine

-It's the Number One site for professional Audiobook Reviews on the Net. An online archive of over 16,000 reviews many of which are free but many of which you must be an AudioFile Plus suscriber to access and that costs $48/year which also gets you 6 issues of their printed AudioFile Magazine and their Audiobook Reference Guide which I've used extensively. I thought the Audiobook Reference Guide was going to be like a Videohound for audio books, but it turned out to be an 80 page booklet listing Audiobook Publishers & Distributors which was very useful for us to use but not necessarily useful to the average audio book listener. But maybe it is. I won't go into their site any further, but it pretty much rocks for audio book lovers and I'll let you look for yourself. Here's a pretty nice link to a publisher resources page they have:

http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/other_resources.cfm

Audiobook Café

Where Spoken Word is Spoken About. Heck Yeah. And I see they have a whole MP3 Audio Archive of Interviews with Authors, Reviews & Excerpts from Audio Books, and their Radio Show: Coffee & Conversation all which you can download for free. How have I not downloaded this stuff?! And then they have what appears to be 1000s of print articles, interviews, reviews, and so much more. And they've even got forums which I just posted in. What a great resource!

AudioBook News Service

-Tons of free reviews with links to the publishers that sell the items. Awesome.

And here's some other sites which you can make up your own mind about:

http://www.discoveraudiobooks.com
http://www.audiobook.ws
http://www.webaudiobooks.com
http://www.audiobooksguide.com
http://www.rentbooksontape.com
http://abcentral.conforums.com
http://www.terrypogue.com (lot of dead links here)

Ok. Check 'em out. And check our Resources section out too.

 

April 12, 2005

New Author Pages Up!

TomWolfeBlog.jpgIt's been a busy weekend for me at the LOL HQ. I've been sweating and refining over a series of truly unique (and beautiful!) author pages. I've been reading alot of biographies and pouring over countless bibliography pages so you don't have to. What's the point of going to a retailer page and not getting a good idea of everything available by an author? We're trying to remedy that at LearnOutLoud.com. You'll find alot of different and varied authors such as one for the dapper fellow pictured to the right. This man is American Hero Tom Wolfe. Here he is pictured in one of his many awesome white suits (he must have a bright closet). I think he's doing some gardening or something similarly austere while thinking up his next society-skewering opus. Go for it Tom, yeah!

Anyway, I hope you get as much from these pages as I have in compiling them. I've actually sought out many of the authors that have interested me here so I can assure you that these pages have practical value. If only I had had more of these when I was in highschool. I would have been a genuis alot earlier. Here's the latest batch of authors; look around and tell me if I can add anything or am totally off base with my findings:


  • Bill Bryson
  • Douglas Adams
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Stephen W. Hawking
  • Daniel Goleman
  • Tom Wolfe
  • Suze Orman
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Jim Rohn

  •  

    April 12, 2005

    Free Audio Books!

    Everybody wants free audio books. No matter what place I'm finding the audio book lover I'm also finding the guy or gal who wants it all and wants it now and wants it real free. I like the reply of most audiobook lovers to these people. Dude go to the library. And I do go to the library and you should too. But the audio book selection at the library can suffer from time to time. And your iPod is sitting there without any fresh audio book downloads on it. So you want some audio books and you want to download them right now for free. Well then check some of this out:

    FreeAudio.org
    Project Gutenberg
    Free Classic Audio Books
    Audiobooks for Free

    And I always remember to tell people on that last one to click the AK-47 at the top of the page. If you don't you're missing out big time.

    So that's free folks. It's usually public domain which means the titles it offers were published before you were born. And there's some other free sites with 1000s of titles where a computer reads eBooks to you. Bad idea. But that Free Classic Audio Books listed above is a computer narrated audio book site with pretty decent narration. It's still cold and inhuman, but as the computer evolves it will eventually put to rest the need for a Frank Mueller. Capturing all the subtleties of human emotion and speech this neuro-scientific supercomputer will put to rest the days of narrators and then there will be a massive free flow of computer talking books on demand at the click of a button and we'll be so awash in a sea of aural information that our brains will explode. Until that day enjoy the few free downloads available.

     

    April 11, 2005

    Tips for Audio Learning

    I've been scouring forums at iPod lounge and just wanted to share some points of interest on the nature of audio book listening:

    "Do you exercise, mow the lawn (special ear buds necessary), run errands, clean out the garage, clean out closets, sit in the bright sunlight of a beach or pool where reading is difficult, etc? If you do even a few of these, you would be surprised how much time you can clock every month. As long as an activity is not mentally consuming or involves other people, why not capitalize on that time to listen to a book. Also, sounds like you might prefer sitting in a chair and listen to a book -- I do that myself when into an engrossing book."

    "Actually, reading a book makes me very sleepy. When I sit down to read, I'll more often than not be able to read only a few pages, without much comprehension, before I feel like sleeping. On the other hand, while listening to a book, I can move around and do things like work out, laundry, dishes, drive, etc."

    "I listen to audio books while, driving, exercising, doing yard work, housework, anything that does not require concentration to the other task."

    "I find there is a thin line where you can focus on the audible book and perform another task simultaniously, and perform both well. There seem to be an inbetween brain state where I can drive, work, etc. and listen to a book. If I am not in that place the book goes into the back ground or the task suffers. It's hard to explain, but there a place I can go to where I can multitask. I find as I get older the line gets thinner and thinner."

    "I listen to audio books when I go to bed. I do a 15 minute sleep timer EVERY night. Sometimes I'll do 30 minutes. I usually fall asleep in about 5 minutes. But it's such a great way to get to sleep. Other than that, I try to pick some sort of house project to work on at night - sewing curtains, re-wiring a switch, painting a room, building shelves, etc - that is a perfect time for the books."

    So there you go. Learn Out Loud.

     

    April 8, 2005

    Kiyosaki and Some Audio Book Forums You Should Enliven

    Heya, today I put up the Robert T. Kiyosaki page for all you guys and gals that are wondering how to handle your money. The Rich Dad series is quite, quite... QUITE extensive and could probably make anyone rich if they listened to it enough. Hope this page is of some help!

    I'm also going to give you some links to some web forums me and David have been haunting this week. Some of them could use a little new blood and I think the good people visiting our site are just the kind of well, blood that needs to be put into these forums.

    The first one I want to point your direction to is Audio Books Central. This site has quite a few members but the traffic ain't so hot. Nobody responds to me and I'm getting lonely. There's some good topics however and its a shame people are picking up the baton a little more over there.

    The next one I've been looking at is the MSN message Board On Audio Books. This one has a real proffessional layout and it informs me of when I've got replies via my email address. Real handy. Me and David have been talking on this one alot.

    Then there's a new monster: the ipod lounge forums. This one is so busy and so cool that you could probably spend a day posting on it. In fact, I think david just did today. Excessive, but fun. I reccomend this one the most, not only if you want to talk about audio books in the spoken word section, but also if you have any (and I mean ANY) concern with regards to your IPOD. Don't worry, I don't have an Ipod yet either and I'm still finding ways to be relevent on this forum. Go there right away!

    Hope all is well friends. I'm going to go jog now and get the rest of the day's light before it gets too dark. Bye.

     

    April 8, 2005

    Indie Audio Book Scene

    I was just turned on today to what may be an underground independent audio book and spoken word scene. And it seems there should be. Who's going to stand up against Simon & Schuster Audio and Time Warner AudioBooks of our feudal corporate globe. Because let's face it. Even though hundreds of thousands of books are published each year, the stuff that makes it to audio book is usually the junky best sellers. As the audio publishing industry expands (and it is the fastest growing sector of the publishing industry) then hopefully some more obscure and more intelligent material will be recorded for our listening pleasure.

    In the meantime though there is an independent spoken word scene. And with digital download this is a lot easier. Today I was suggested a few sites:

    www.mperia.com
    www.cdbaby.com

    And these are independent music resources with spoken word sections from indie authors and narrators who charge nominal fees for their stuff to be downloaded. Here's another punk rock label with spoken word titles I found:

    www.alternativetentacles.com

    Granted I don't think a lot of indie rockers are intelligent enough to lay down their own high quality audio book but they go to Noam Chomsky and get him to do it. Any way it's interesting. I don't think the state of audio content is anywhere near the dire straits of the popular, radio-played music world, but with the world of podcasting and more digital downloading of spoken word, popular independent producers of great audio learning content could start popping up. And I guess by independent I mean not owned by giant multinational corporations, but I think a lot of audio book publishers are more or less independent or so we think but the AOL-Time Warner's and Rupert Murdoch's Harper-Collins's of the world cast a wide swath. What I'm saying is we need a punk rock genre of audio book. Maybe.

     

    April 8, 2005

    Audio Samples For Rent!

    Just wanted to give a note to all of you that the Brian Tracy Author Page is up and running and looks to be a great addition to our other author pages. Tracy is best suited for those that are interested in pursuing or enhancing their business career. From what I've looked over today, he has many titles that zero in particularly on sales and marketing.

    In other news, I wanted to give you all some more links to sites that feature audio samples. This time I'm focusing on audio membership sites, figuring they have to feature some kind of sample right? Well.....

    Audioqueue is first up. With categories like "Appearance" and "Feelings" I felt like their page layout was a little too... inaccessible maybe? I went on, hoping for detailed product descriptions repleat with 20 minute audio samples for you all to hear. I was again, as per usual in this hard, hard life, disapointed. No samples, just a picture (sometimes even that isn't available) and a brief description followed by a plea to sign up for their 20 buck a month club. I might check the competition out before I go with you guys.

    Audio-To-Go features no samples and their product pages are so brief they just fit them all on one big page insteand of breaking them up individually. I think I like them, but I guess their presentation doesn't it really do it for me either. Seems to me, these audio book clubs are forming a pattern of no audio samples. How am I supposed to know what I'm getting from a picture? What if I'm one of those guys that's just casaully browsing. What if I'm not an avid reader and I don't know who an author is? This stuff seems catered to people in the know and I feel like a loser.

    Audiobookclub, what my good friend and co-worker david has called the BMG of audiobooks, has alot of samples! I'm listening to this one from James Patterson's "3rd Degree". I have absolutely no idea what this book is about other than that it seems to be some kind of detective story involving avid runners. Hah. The audio sample is ok. For some reason I want GREAT quality audio samples because I feel I deserve nothing less when I get something for nothing.

    Simplyaudiobooks was by far my favorite of the audio book rental sites. This is just the tops as far as presentation and product description. They basically have all your basic top sellers but alas, they don't have any audio samples. My search was in vain, but I left the place with a smile so I guess the world isn't so bad after all.

    Ok, so this sort of turned into an amateur hour referendum on the state of audio book rental subscription sites. I didn't mean for that to happen and I think its giving me an idea for a new article. As it stands, i found no audio samples on any of these sites but I hope the information is useful nonetheless. At least it was for me. I think I'll go now. Final thoughts? Uh, the grapes I'm currently eating in front of the computer are real sour. Yeah! Have a good day wherever you are.

     

    April 6, 2005

    Found a Great Forum For iPod Audio Book Listeners

    Today I found some very popular forums at www.ipodlounge.com. This site looks like an awesome resource for iPod lovers and I've just begun to look at it. I downloaded their free 2005 iPod Lounge Buyers' Guide. And I also checked out their Books and Spoken Word section in their forums which discuss Books on CD, Audible.com, and Podcasts all relating to your iPod. Check out the forums for yourself: http://forums.ipodlounge.com

     

    April 6, 2005

    Audio Samples On The Web

    We've been recording some podcasts recently and to spice things up a bit we've been giving a showcase of a few handpicked audio samples culled from various web resources. Not every retailer has an audio sample of a given book so it became a search that yielded only a few results. I want to give you a look at the websites that offer samples. As you'll see, some of them offer an extensive selection (audible) while others are just plain paltry (Audio Renaissance)

    First off we'll start with the aforementioned audible.com. They basically have every title they carry repleat with a good sample Most are good quality here's one for "America: The Audiobook "

    By far the most generous with their audio samples is Nightingale Conant's website. They offer multiple samples from a given book with added bonus of each sample being an average of about 15 minutes long. You basically can hear the whole book at that rate. Quality is crummy but you get what you pay for on this count. Here's some words of wisdom from Brian Tracy's "The Power Of Clarity"

    By far the worst supplier of audio books is Audio Rensaissance. I hate to rage on AR because I believe they are one of the best providers of quality audio books and lets face it, audio samples are a perk, not a normal feature. Nevertheless, they have nothing more than a small page of samples for their newer releases. This is great if you want to hear a brand new hot off the press best seller, but now if you want to hear one of their more obscure titles. Audible just plain beats them to the punch. Here's a look at their page for audio samples.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give you a brief look at what's out there. There are only a few more pages that offer samples. There are a few retailers and publishers that offer samples for select titles. The most notable and comprehensive providers are: Blackstone Audio, Harper Collins, and Time Warner Audio. If you look through their catalogues, you'll see many if not most offer samples. I do think this is a unique and cool feature every retailer/publisher should offer. It not only gives a better example of what you're about to buy, but it also utilizes the medium in a special way unique to its strengths. Yeah. Hope this was of some help.

     

    April 5, 2005

    Self Development Publishers

    In preparations for tomorrows Focus on Self Development podcast I entered in 4 more Self Development Publishers and they are:

    New Harbinger Publications
    New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network
    Effective Learning Systems
    Himalayan Institute Press

    The one that interested me most was New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network which has produced over 2,000 radio programs of dialogues with leaders in every walk of life. In depth talks with everyone major in self development are here:

    Ram Dass
    Joseph Campbell
    Shakti Gawain
    Andrew Weil
    Wayne Dyer
    Leo Buscaglia
    Bernie Siegel
    The Dalai Lama
    Deepak Chopra
    Thomas Moore
    Marianne Williamson
    Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi
    Jon Kabat-Zinn
    Dan Millman
    Thich Nhat Hanh
    Neale Donald Walsch
    Caroline Myss
    Eckhart Tolle
    Jack Kornfield
    Louise Hay

    And the list goes on and on with artists, religious leaders, and tons of people I haven't heard of. Literally thousands of titles that you can get from them on audio download. And many of them have lengthy samples that you can listen to online. An enormous resource from some of the greatest minds of our time.