Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: My iPod and Creative Speaker

Last Thursday, I told you about my love for audiobooks.

Today, I’m going to tell you about how I listen to them.

I have definitely listened to audiobooks on CD, on cassette (after digging out a Walkman…because I don’t think we have any other cassette players in the house!) and on my first iPod (not even a color display!) but my current set up is the best. It’s “old” in the world of iPods, but it’s great, and I’m not even sure how the new models will/would compare!

My first iPod!
A blast from the past! My college graduation party in 2004 with my first iPod!

My current setup includes an iPod Nano 3rd generation (which I got in…gasp! 2008) and a Creative TravelSound i80 Speaker Dock. The whole package is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and makes for audiobook-listening on the go!

3rd gen iPod Nano and Creative TravelSound i80 Speaker
My 3rd gen iPod Nano and Creative TravelSound i80 Speaker.
Bonus, you can see the hour-long track that I use the click-wheel to navigate through!

This set up has served me well for the past 4ish years, and has even been dropped in the toilet once. The speaker has a rechargeable battery, so I plug it in every once in a while overnight and I’m good to go. (Also, when you plug in the whole shebang, the iPod gets charged, too!)  The sound quality isn’t fantastic (say, compared to a Bose Wave Radio) but it’s good enough for my books! The speaker is loud enough to be heard over my sewing machine and our extra-loud vent hood. :)

Lately, I’ve been downloading my books from the library’s online collection, but when I have to make iPod-friendly audiobooks from CDs, I use these great instructions:

This method creates CD-length tracks (usually about an hour each), so each disc of your audiobook CD is one track on your iPod. They’re neat and easy to navigate.

Well, they’re easy to navigate on my 3rd gen iPod Nano. I like the click-wheel for navigating within these hour-long tracks. I haven’t tried doing this on a new iPod Nano with the touch screen, but I know I didn’t like the in-track navigating on the iPod Touch, that little slider bar just wasn’t precise enough. (And, good to know: most downloaded audiobooks do have “chapter” markings which make them easier to navigate, but most downloaded MP3 audiobooks are still just hour-long tracks with no divisions…so the click-wheel is nice.)

I haven’t yet found another truly portable speaker system for newer iPods. I think some of them have an external speaker, but I’m not sure it would be loud enough for my needs. (The book has to be louder than my sewing machine at full speed!) The Creative TravelSound i80 doesn’t get crazy loud, but so far, it’s almost always loud enough for me!  (In fact, in my worry that I won’t find another great system, I totally ordered another Creative speaker from Amazon…as a back-up in case mine dies! Haha, what a worry-wart! And I guess if my iPod dies, I’ll have to turn to eBay?)

If you find a newer system that works, let me know! And I’ll do likewise! :)

(PS On my super-loud riding lawn mower, I use earbuds!)

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