Wishlist - how can the iPod handle books better?

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david1951

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I thought it might be useful to hear comments from others about how Apple / Audible / 3rd Party developers could improve the way that the iPod handles audio books in future.

My impression is that the audio book handling was just band-aided on after the iPod was originally designed for playing music (you can see that in the fact that any audio content on the iPod is called a "song").

My own desire, first expressed in another thread, is for much greater control over bookmarks. There should be more certainty about retaining bookmarks, and it should be possible for the user to set a number of persistent bookmarks for a given book.

Why? Well, for a start, it's often difficult when listening to an audio book to flip back to an earlier incident or chapter - yes, it can be done, but it's a pain, and you lose your current position. Why couldn't there be a mechanism on the iPod which listed saved bookmark points, and then let you jump to them?

And we shouldn't be able to lose the current bookmark so easily. Bookmarks are IMPORTANT for audio book users.

Any other wishes from audio book users?
 

bsoplinger

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I've #####ed loudly and often here about the iPod inability to create user defined bookmarks. They'd be helpful for long music pieces also. For that matter, remembering where you were in *any* song would be good, not just audible books.

Setting the scroll delay for the display would be nice too. I have my backlight set for 5 seconds, more than enough to see if its dark to navigate but not enough to see the whole name of what's play to make sure I navigated to the right place. For that matter scrolling of long names during navigation would be nice too.
 

gshipley

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bookmarking

I agree 100%. Bookmarking is essential for us audio book listeners. As much as I love the iPod, I would ditch it in a second if I found a device with at least 20gb of storage that would bookmark correctly. I think the archos jukebox might with the open firmware but am not sure. http://rockbox.haxx.se/


My wishlist is as follows:

Bookmark any audiobook regardless if its a audible file or not.
Have multiple bookmarks for a audiobook.
Have a interface for viewing/editing/deleting your bookmarks.
Save the bookmarks so they do not get overwritten every time you sync.
Be able to back your bookmarks up to your computer.


I know some of this is possible with some workarounds (ie converting mp3 audiobooks to m4b etc) but I want a good solid intuitive interface for this.
 

arsolot

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I would agree that the wishlist items already mentioned regarding "bookmarking" are of the highest priority.

Interestingly, I've lost my place in each book I've ever listened to at least once (and this doesn't mean accidentally touching the RW or FF buttons). I get very frustrated with this issue but am willing to work around it since I enjoy the audio books so much.

So, if the "bookmarking" feature is fixed, then I'll be much happier.

Another, less important, feature not mentioned so far: How about a feature that rewinds the book for a set amount of time, like five or ten seconds? While I know how to rewind using the pause/play button combined with the center button and the scroll wheel, it would be nice to have a feature that would take the book back ten seconds. This would be useful for rewinding when one is interrupted during listening, e.g., by the phone or someone talking to you.

Also, it seems most .aa files have a feature that starts the book a few seconds before the last-listened to place. It would be a good feature to be able to set that time period manually.
 

robert

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Fix Lost Bookmarks and add TiVo like 30 sec or more replay for next software upgrade

In order of priorty:

1. FIX bug of lost bookmarks from sync or deep sleep. Added facility with bookmarks: Personally added bookmarks, easy way to bookmark books obtained from sources other than Audible. (CD audio books purchased and loaded onto iPod for convenience, for example)

2. Short user defined Replay ability. When interrupted with my iPod locked and in my pocket, I want to easily "rewind" back to where I last 'heard' the book (this one could save marriages). If I missed something, I want to rewind and listen for a name, a slurred or difficult pronunciation, or may want to replay a particulary good, complicated, or quotable passage. A TiVo-like 30 second infinitely repeatable replay with the < button would be great.

3. Replay of few seconds upon restart. So that words, sentences, thoughts don't get chopped off.

4. Simple and easy transfer of Audible books from Audible Manager into iTunes on pc based computers. Make the software so that it synchs iTunes with Audible Manager either automatically or simply.

Lets hope someone at Apple who can do something about it looks at this thread and follows through.
 
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bsoplinger

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Re: bookmarking

gshipley said:
I agree 100%. Bookmarking is essential for us audio book listeners. As much as I love the iPod, I would ditch it in a second if I found a device with at least 20gb of storage that would bookmark correctly. I think the archos jukebox might with the open firmware but am not sure. http://rockbox.haxx.se/
I have a jukebox and I love it as far as features. I hate it as far as size goes. I have a spare 20G 2.5" drive sitting around, so I could easily upgrade my 10G player to 20G ;) Trouble is, its still be honkin' HUGE! Not to mention heavy. The amount of work and the features added to the jukebox is truly amazing. It takes a very underwhelming player and makes it very nice. Too bad its big and heavy, the iPod wins hands down as a portable device. The jukebox is sort of like the 'portable' CD player. Remember when they'd come with a carrying case, as if you'd actually walk around with one of those big things dangling and bouncing around. I won't even start to talk about 'portable' 25" TVs!
 

fossicker

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arsolot said:
Another, less important, feature not mentioned so far: How about a feature that rewinds the book for a set amount of time, like five or ten seconds? While I know how to rewind using the pause/play button combined with the center button and the scroll wheel, it would be nice to have a feature that would take the book back ten seconds. This would be useful for rewinding when one is interrupted during listening, e.g., by the phone or someone talking to you.
The iRiver players allow you to designate the FF/RW buttons to do this (and give you a choice of the amount of time)

This has the advantage of solving the problem of accidentally hitting one of those buttons and completely losing your place.

In a perfect world, you could assign that functionality just for specific kinds of files (e.g. audible) or genres, but I'd be fine with changing the functionality for all types of files. If I'm listening to music, I don't often want to skip a track.
 

pmoto

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How about a feature that would allow you to toggle between showing elapsed/remaining time for the entire book to one that shows elapsed/remaining time for the current chapter/section?

I think this feature would be very useful. First, when starting a new chapter/section I would know exactly how long it will take to listen to the full section. If I only have 20 minutes of time available to listen and I know the section is 45 minutes long I might wait to start the section until I have more free time so I can get through the entire section.

And secondly, while listening to a section I would know exactly how much time remains before a chapter break occurs (I typically try to stop my listening sessions at these "natural" breaks). When short of time, if I knew there was only 5 minutes until the next section break I would be much more likely to continue listening to the break than if there were 25 minutes remaining in the chapter.
 

BillClinton

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I've been ripping some audiobooks into iTunes and have been "joining CD tracks" (joining chapters so I have one larger book file), and then have been using the script "make bookmarkable". I would like to have little hashmarks on the timeline that shows the chapters (tracks) where they have been joined.

I agree with the other statements here including a "programable" rewind button - Yes, you can hold down the rewind button to get to where you want, but a "set-able" time would be a very nice feature.
 
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Hey! Go to this URL and submit your suggestions for the iPod. I have submitted some already. Apple will get read it.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html

Or

go to apple.com & click the ipod + iTunes tab & then click on the ipod underneath the tabs. Go to bottom of the page on the right hand side & you will see a box that says:

Share your feedback with us and help make the iPod even better.

I already suggested to open up the notes so we could read books & notes longer than 4k-the limit on the notes section.

You have made some very good points and you should submit them.
 

W9FIF

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Isn't it funny, ya go along not knowin' what you're missing till somebody brings it up? I've been listening to audio books for almost 3 years, never heard of or knew I needed a bookmark. Now, I still don't. I usually pay attention to what I'm listening to.
Maybe it's just me.

As usual, my 2 cents worth! ;-)

Write down where you are in the book? You're kidding, right? I sometimes take a week to finish a book, so..... I press "pause" to stop, then when I press "pause" again, my book starts back up where I "paused" it. Yeah most of us have a life, we jus' don't spend it c/o crap that doesn't matter!
 
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bsoplinger

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Guess you are able to sit for hours at a time to listen to a complete book W9FIF and never need to be able to resume listening. Me, I actually do things in between listening to my books, including listening to music and want to be able to go back to where I was. Without bookmarking I have to write down the time into the track so that I can pick up where I left off.
 

0101010

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bsoplinger said:
Guess you are able to sit for hours at a time to listen to a complete book W9FIF and never need to be able to resume listening. Me, I actually do things in between listening to my books, including listening to music and want to be able to go back to where I was. Without bookmarking I have to write down the time into the track so that I can pick up where I left off.
But, the ipod automatically bookmarks when you exit the book you are reading.
Why do you need to write down your time?
 

arsolot

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0101010 said:
But, the ipod automatically bookmarks when you exit the book you are reading.
The bookmarking feature is not reliable and fails for reasons that, to members of this forum, are unknown.
 
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Micky

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Heyho!

I?d like to have something like a on-screen keyboard to browse through the songs. It takes some time to get to "W" using the wheel...or is ther anything like that i don?t know about?

Thanks,

Micky
 

arsolot

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david1951 said:
I disagree about the reasons being unknown. I think we are narrowing it down in this thread: (click here).
Maybe the bookmarking problems have been narrowed down for users of 3rd Gen. iPods. I'm using a 2nd Gen. iPod and the issues appear to me different. The fact is, it doesn't work properly. I say this regardless of the various work-arounds that are discovered.
 

david1951

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arsolot said:
The fact is, it doesn't work properly. I say this regardless of the various work-arounds that are discovered.
I don't disagree. The whole purpose of this thread is to inform ourselves (and, we hope, Apple) about what can be improved. You are quite right that this aspect of the iPod desperately needs to be improved for audio book listeners.

Nevertheless, a good strategy is "know your enemy", and thus I'm pleased to have been able to make some sense of what the iPod is actually doing (I just wish it did it better).
 

AMRivlin

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Speed up Slow Down

I like listening to my books when I do things, but so activities I partake in require slower reading or a button that would play the last 30 seconds over again.

If we could speed up / slow down for different activities.

Talking to boss, i need to speed it up so I can concentrate just on the book (Kidding, I need it to slow down so I can listen to both) Or what if I am reading a web page my brain goes haywire.

Ok maybe I am being a snob, but wouldnt that feature help?
 
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