Shuffle Problems and Audible.com

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I recently filled out a survey that Audible.com sent me. This is my letter of complaint about the bookmarking problems of their audiobooks on the Apple Shuffle.

Yes, I need to join AA (Apple Anonymous).

Hello, my name is Daniel and I'm an Appleholic.

Read the damn letter. Apple fix the shuffle before I go postal!

Please put the audible podcast on itunes. I tried to subscribe through ipodder and they said it had "no content to download." Also, please make it more compatible with Mac OSX. I tried to listen to a book today and the Mac couldn't read the file. Usually Realplayer pops up to play the content, but this time Windows Media player popped up and I got an error message.

Please pressure Apple to fix the Apple Shuffle software. This is an absolutely impertinent issue. The shuffle is a wonderful player, but the bookmarks do not stay on the shuffle. I've been downloading format 4 and it doesn't work.

Sometimes I'll pause a book, like "Ulyssess" (which has been a goal of mine to read for many years), and then turn off the player because I do something like answer the phone or yell at a taxi driver. When I turn the player back on, the shuffle starts the book in the wrong place. Now, I'm not talking about the 15 second backtracking feature which is advertised, I mean hours of backtracking. Ulyssess is hard enough, but having the bookmarks completely lost is enough to make anyone go postal.

Ulyssess isn't the only book. I recently listened to "Funny in Farsi" and it did the exact same thing. Same with "Aloft" by Chang Rae Lee and "Life of Pi." Almost every book does this. Trust me, I've tried them.

There are many, many posts on the Apple discussion board concerning this issue and it has yet to be resolved. I've actually thought about joining a different audio book program rather than change the shuffle because I'm very loyal to Apple. I understand this is illogical. BUT the shuffle is so portable, convenient, and (I don't believe I'm saying this) EXPENDIBLE. I can justify buying a $100 dollar shuffle and lose 512MB of data, but 30 gigs and $460.00 (including ipod service)? That is simply too much.

I would rather change audiobook companies or get software to break the books into smaller chapters rather then carry my ipod photo everywhere. Sometimes carrying the ipod photo feels like a welcome invite for disaster, be it theft or destruction.

I have an ipod photo and I listen to audiobooks mostly on that, but I would like to listen to in on the shuffle. The size, weight, and asthetics of the shuffle are great. Please get them to update the software, because the reason I bought the shuffle is because I wanted to listen to Audible more, but didn't want to carry around a $400 and heavier- ipod.

I was a little upset with Audible and Apple, because both advertised that the AUDIOBOOKS WOULD SYNC. Currently, you advertise that these files will sync and bookmark on the shuffle. It doesn't work and there are many, many angry people. Do a google search and it comes up everywhere.

"ipod + shuffle + audible book + problem" comes up with 36,200 hits. There are hundreds of messages on the Apple discussion page and on ipodlounge.com.

Everyone has complained to Apple and I would like Audible to add extra pressure on Apple to fix this problem. Sooner rather than later- PLEASE!

I really enjoy Audible and I don't mind paying for the content, but I'm starting to get the feeling that Audible and Apple are having some sort of pissing contest- because not everything seems to coincide together. I think that Apple and Audible could be a great partnership. Generally, people who have Apples don't spend all their time playing video games. Honestly, I don't have a game on my computer that I play. We are productive, visual, and intelligent people. Generally speaking that is (some parents buy children Apples in hope of becoming).

As an outsider, I notice the rifts. It becomes apparent when you look at the audiobook section of the itunes and the Audible.com website. I bought my first audible book about learning the Korean language through Apple and realized that joining Audible was a great idea. I understand that Apple wants people to buy the audiobooks through them, but a little more collaboration would be appreciated. Again, as illogical as it sounds, I'm an Apple fan first. Having an Apple computer makes me feel artistic, productive, innovative, hip, different, etc. I feel the same with Audible, but I Audible is a new thing and some aspects of Audible seems archaic. For example, the slow downloads, the shuffle problems, the unplayable audio examples, the unlisted podcast. Therefore, Audible seems too "Windows."

I don't speak for all Apple owners, but I speak for a big group of them. It's similar to when AOL started. We feel like we're in an instant community of like minds.

Further deconstruction of an zealous Apple owner can be provided on request.

Thanks again, and feel free to contact me.

Daniel Lee Gray
Seoul, South Korea
dnlgray@gmail.com

P.S. I'm teaching overseas in Korea and there is a wealth of a market available here, if you could control the software piracy here ;)

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