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April 19, 2005

PayPerListen.com

payperlistenthumb.jpgSo I was looking at what seems to be Audible's main competition today. They are PayPerListen.com, the electronic download sector of Audiobooks.com. They've about 500 audio books available for download on MP3 from Blackstone Audiobooks, In Audio, Tantor Audio, SoundWorks, Wiley Audio, Full Cast Audio, Hollywood Theater of the Ear, and Penton Overseas. With the exception of SoundWorks (which publishes a lot of famous speeches) all these publishers are already on Audible although PayPerListen seems to have a few more titles from each of them and they may have different ones. PayPerListen's main advantage over Audible for us consumers is that if you aren't an Audible member and you're just buying digital audio books a la carte, PayPerListen seems to sell their downloads about $5-$10 cheaper than Audible. But check because it varies and a few times PayPerListen was more expensive when I browsed.

Downloading seems easy enough even though you have to wait for a confirmation e-mail before you can download it. They have to clear your payment first and then they send you a link with a user name and password and you then have access to you audio book which comes in 1 hour MP3 segments you download. So unlike Audible you don't have to download any software to download the audio books. Like Audible once you've purchased the audio books they are always in "Your Library" so you can go back and download them again or you can download them in segments at a time.

PayPerListen.com's downloads are encoded MP3s as opposed to Audible's AA audio. Audible's audio put the audio book right in the Audiobook section of your iPod if you have one so that you can bookmark it there. PayPerListen's MP3s can be uploaded on to any MP3 portable player. They did mention though that because of a deal they made with publishers that you can't burn their encoded MP3s onto CD which is most likely bad for those who want to download their audio books and burn them to CD. You can come to your own conclusion on PayPerListen.com's browseability with its dozens of categories but they have a nice advanced search. So it's good Audible has a competitor. Tomorrow I'll tell you a little about the Spoken Network which is another up and comer in digital downloading. Until then LearnOutLoud.com!