March 22, 2013

Audible Addiction and Device Annoyances

So, I don't own a single Apple device.  Mainly, because I hate buying things, and I think they are too expensive.  But, also, partially, because I don't love the closed system approach to technology that they take and I have enough technology in my life to ignore them, for the most part.

Anyways, this resulted in me using a Sansa Clip for the first several years that I ran with auditory input.  Small.  Cheap.  Lightweight.  I loved it for music and language lessons, both Spanish Pimsleur and Mandarin ChinesePod MP3s.

But, then, I decided I wanted to try running with Audible audiobooks.

So, E bought me a Philips GoGear Vibe for Christmas a couple of years ago and all has been well ever since.

In fact, I've developed a bit of an addiction to audiobooks.  After I've scheduled or completed my language lessons for the day (if I didn't set this rule, I'd never finish my language lessons) I listen to audiobooks when I run.  I listen to them when I garden.  I listen to them when I drive, walk, do dishes, laundry...

After the LA DNF, I pulled my device out of my pocket and listened to the end of Lost In Translation while waiting for E.

That book (and likely the water I'd poured over my head and sweat) were the end of its electronics.  I spent the next several days fighting with it to get it to stop cycling through the menus or actually respond to the interface.  Finally, I declared defeat and ordered a replacement from Best 4 Best, an Amazon Fulfillment Partner.

I ordered 1-day shipping.  I'd developed an audiobooks problem, you see.  (Also, I use my MP3 player to do Mandarin lesson review).  Best 4 Best didn't bother to ship my device for 3 days.  I was underwhelmed, but tried to be reasonable.  Their estimate was arrival today, and the device did arrive today.

Unfortunately, despite pristine packaging, it was completely non-functional.  After I failed to get it to do anything interesting with the cables and Windows, E confirmed that it wasn't even "enumerating" via Linux.

So, yeah.  That didn't work.  I printed a return label, packaged it up, and convinced E to head with me to Fry's.

They carried exactly one device that was listed as a supported MP3 player on audible.com: The RCA TH1814. It came with a coupon for a free audible book. I tried to redeem it, but I was informed it was only available for 1st time audible users. I tried to transfer a file from my library to the RCA. It was informed the RCA only supported *enhanced* audible files. I then tried to transfer the *enhanced* file from my Audible library and supposedly it worked. Windows explorer saw it there, in all of its glory, in the Audible folder. But the minimalist interface only allowed me to access the songs in the "Music" folder.

No problem, I thought, I'll just copy it to the "Music" folder.  Yeah, that didn't work either.  The Manual informs me that despite the coupon in the packaging, "This Device does not support Audible files."

So, tomorrow, I'll be gardening with my audiobook playing from my Samsung Galaxy SIII via the Audible Android App.  And after that?  Well, if you have any recommendations, I'd love 'em.  Otherwise, I'll hold my breathe that Best 4 Best comes back to me with a functional solution in the form of a new (or refurbished but functional) GoGear Vibe.

2 comments:

SF Road Warrior said...

I'm audible / audio books obsessed as well. (2 hours a day of commuting, not to mention treadmill time, gets you through a LOT of audio books....) I've always just used my phone & the audible app, which seems to work great. The only problem is that my phone is really too big for running with outside, so I have to hold it, which is annoying.

Biting Tongue said...

@SF Road Warrior -- yeah, I refuse to run with my phone. It's just too big. The TM approach is fine, but outside, it just won't do. So, I have to spend the cash on a smaller device with the same functionality, unfortunately.