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Commercial: Rule 34 audiobook now available

14 Comments

1:

Oh hell yes.

Is this DRM-free? I can't tell easily from the site.

2:

Neat, but is the dialect comprehensible to a colonial like me?

3:

Audible has DRM, but my personal experience is that it's the third least offensive DRM I've ever been subject to. I'm talking about in practice -- only two other DRM schemes have gotten in the way of me wanting to do my thing less than Audible's has.

(Those are: Apple's DRM that they used to use for iTunes and still use for video and apps, and Microsoft's DRM that they use on the XBox game console.)

The problems I've had with Audible DRM:

1) It's scoped to a computer, not to a user account on the computer. So the very first time you activate Audible content on a Macintosh, if you're logged in as a non-admin user who can't store the machine-scoped credential, it doesn't work quite right. Do this as an admin user (even if the account only temporarily has admin privs) and you're fine. Most user won't notice this.

2) The newer 2nd-generation AppleTV devices don't support its DRM, so I can't play it back on them unless I use AirPlay to stream them from a device on which it does work. It works on every other device I have that I want to listen to audio books on. The built-in audio features of every iPod ever made (plus iPhone and iPad) support the DRM, but there's also a standalone iOS app and an Android app, and these have some advantages in terms of managing your audio book library.

Of course YMMV, particularly if you don't use the same mix of devices as me (these days, mostly MacOS/iOS with a little Android... and with Linux on servers, but that doesn't interact with audiobooks). But my understanding is that their Windows software is pretty decent and even includes the option to burn the books to a CD-R to listen on a CD player. Haven't tried it myself. If you use Linux on the desktop I do not know what your options are.

I've been a satisfied Audible customer since May of 2003, when I bought my first book there -- a book which I can still re-download at will today. It's definitely my preferred source for audio books, when there's no DRM-free alternative.

(And the book I bought back then is one I've listened to every year since. It's a collection of Poe stories and poems, read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone. Yeah. I play it aloud in my office every Halloween.)

4:

Incidentally, if you want a very inexpensive Audible book that you can use to determine if you'll have problems with the DRM, this is my recommendation:

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00551W570

5:

Charlie, have you listened to it or not? I've noticed that audiobooks tend to succeed or fail mostly due to the sound of the narrators voice.
This release also shows why why we need an international release copyright system for ebooks and audiobooks. The audiobook isn't available for Australians yet, however it is already floating around "out there" for the less patient or law abiding.

6:

I don't do audiobooks or podcasts at all, so I've never listened to any of my audiobooks. (This is probably a side-effect of me not commuting -- no long drives/bus rides to work -- and listening to background music in the office: words being disruptive to my chain of thought while writing.)

Besides, I have a sneaking fear that I'd find a narrator with an American accent reading one of my books incredibly grating.

7:

Interestingly, having heard you read an excerpt from Rule 34, I now near only that section of the book in a Scottish accent. Without the cue my brain won't parse even the thickest prose into the correct phonetic form without conscious thought.

As for the American accent, I'd think it would vary by book (for most readers); Glasshouse or Singularity Sky would not be affected by the reader's accent, but others should be heard in very specific voices.

8:

Great, but why ?, oh why doest the audiobook has regional restriction that doesn't allow to buy it from everywhere in the world (Switzerland for my part).

I was going to buy it, but I can't !

9:

Because Recorded Books LLC only asked for North American audiobook rights when they offered my agent the contract. And, not being silly, she didn't hand over rest-of-world rights for free.

(Mind you, if they'd asked for world English language rights we might have been unable to do a deal because my English language rights in book form are split between NorAm and UK/Commonwealth, and I seem to recall the boilerplate describing sub-rights are different in the different territories -- because we're dealing with two different publishers.)

10:

I don't do audiobooks either, but from choice would prefer the following accents (by "series" where possible):-
1) Merchant Princes - New England for narration and "American" characters; Germanic English for the "medievil World" characters who speak "German"; BBC English for the "Greater British Empire"; Chinese English for the "lost family" (if I've kept that straight) (When will "Trade of Queens" finally come out in paperback?)
2) Laundry - Generally BBC English, with other regional accents where applicable.
3) Halting State, Rule 34 - Embra accents mostly!
4) Others - People who speak clearly, but I don't have a particular expectation for a specific accent.

11:

ok, thanks for the explication.

I'm still sad, but it makes more sense once explained.

12:

Well, I just wanted to say I read Rule 34 on me hols and it was great! - so buy the book/audiobook!

13:

I never would have considered audiobooks hadn't I shared digs with a blind person who vastly preferred them to braille books (They take up a lot of room, for one thing).

I don't commute either but I used to listen to them a lot during walks and my daily run, though for the last few years I've switched to language audio courses.

The books are usually read by a single person doing all the voices & accents though occasionally they bring in 2 for male and female voices. I recall the guy who read the male parts in the Vorkosigan books did an almost perfect Aral Vorkosigan but always affected a whiny querulous voice for random background characters that was a little grating.

One time a sci fi novel had characters constantly sending each other SMS type messages, and the author chose to show this with a cute jargony little header and the audiobook reader had to go and say all that nonsense every single time for pages and pages of dialogue.

14:

That has me wondering how an audiobook of Iain M. Banks' "Excession" might sound.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on November 3, 2011 2:09 PM.

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