December 21, 2009

A New Kind of Audio Book

The holidays mean travelling for my little family, so before each trip we stop in at the library and pick up an audio book for the long drive. This morning I was by the library with my daughter so we went in. My daughter pulled out Ella Enchanted, a book we enjoyed as a read aloud a few years back. But the box said it needed a battery and headphones. (?) I opened the case to find what looked like a cassette tape with buttons. It's a new device called a Playaway. With a AAA battery and a set of ear buds you can listen to an audio book without a CD player. It's like an MP3 player with a preloaded audio book.

I am not very electronics savvy, but I was able to figure out this Playaway within a couple of minutes. There's a play button, volume, fast forward, rewind and a button to speed up the reading, kind of like a x2 on a DVD player, but it's still very easy to listen to. There is one other button I haven't figured out called "6 graphic equalizer presets". It seems to control the quality of the reading but I am fine with whatever the current preset is.

We got Ella Enchanted for my daughter and Bleak House for myself. There is a wide variety of offerings from classics to children's to modern (Danielle Steel, Beverly Lewis, Gresham, 39 Clues, Clifford, The Brutal Telling). These are so cool. So far, the ones I looked at are all unabridged. They have the same readers as the traditional audio books. They are expensive to buy but my library is stocking up.

I'm impressed and looking forward to a long drive with Dickens.

*I don't work for Playaway and have received nothing for this review.


bermudaonion said...

What a great idea!! It reminds me of the audio tour things you can rent at museums.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

It's like a throwback audio books. A great idea! I want too get my little cousin one.

Nicola said...

My library is switching over to these too! They are pretty cool.

I think it's a great idea to stop the copying of library audio books, downloading CDs to mp3 players, etc.

Zibilee said...

This is a very cool little gadget! I have not yet seen these in my library, but I hope they will be coming soon. I also hope you enjoy the Dickens, he's one of my new favorites right now.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

My library has these too and I think they are a great way for people to get to try audios without having to invest in a MP3 player.

Melwyk said...

I love these because I work at the library and have to fix all the broken cds, cases, etc. These would be SO much easier from my end!