Free audiobook: Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips

Free audiobook: Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips

Thanks, S. Rudder in this

Amazon Kindle community thread

for giving me a heads-up on a free audiobook from Audible.com (owned by Amazon).

You can get Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips, for free by going to this

Audible link

Note: check the price. It was free for me, and I have Special Offers activated on my Kindles. I don’t know if that matters or not. It did show with a zero price for me. It also may not be free outside the USA…just check that it is free for you before buying.

I’m not crazy about audiobooks, but without an easy text-to-speech option on my Kindle Fire, I’m having to do different audio in the car. Yes, I know my car has a radio :) , but I prefer literature, given a choice…even if some of what I read wouldn’t be considered literature by a lot of people.

I’m using my Fire at work a lot now, so I’m bringing it. That means I’ve been using it in the car, rather than text-to-speech on my reflective screen Kindles. I don’t like that as well, and I might switch back.

Getting this on the Fire wasn’t as easy as it could be, in my opinion.

There was a choice to send it wirelessly from the Audible site…but neither of my Fires* were listed. That’s probably because I hadn’t accessed Audible from them before.

I checked on the Books tab (under Cloud) and didn’t find it.

On the Apps tab, there was an Audible app.

I tried that…for some reason, logging in was a bit glitchy. I had to enter my credentials several times, and got dropped back to the homescreen at least once.

Once I got in, it was pretty easy to download one of the sections (it comes in three parts).

When I wanted to listen to it, though, it wasn’t in Books. On the reflective screen Kindles, we don’t have these content silos…everything is on the homescreen. That makes them busier, but does make it easier to find things.

To listen to it, I had to launch the Audible app again…no big deal, I guess, but when I talk to people about “usability” in software design, I try to divorce them from counting clicks. Usability isn’t about clicks…it’s about decision points. It’s hard to use software every time you have to think about what you are doing…every time you have to make a choice.

In this case, I have to think: is this a sight-reading book, or an audiobook? Obviously, I can decide that pretty quickly, but then I have to go to a different app to launch it.

When I train people, I may find somebody using ten clicks to do something they could do in two. If they don’t switch to the two, it’s usually because of decision points…or just because they are very used to it the other way.

The Audible app seems a bit strange to me, but again, I’m not used to using audiobooks. On my reflective screen Kindles, there are simple jump ahead and back buttons.

In this one, there are four tabs across the top: Now Playing, Details, Chapters, and Bookmarks. We can’t bookmark a spot on the reflective screen Kindles, so that’s nice. I can slide the progress bar to change where I am…I guess that will work. I couldn’t tap it, by the way. Oh, wait…there is a “go back 30 seconds” button…I just didn’t recognize it at first.

One weird thing: there is an instruction to remove it from the device…on the Details tab.

The file size for part 1 is 95MB. It runs for six hours, 53 minutes, and thirty-four seconds. :)

The menu button (horizontal lines in a square that you evoke by tapping the bottom of the screen) has some good things. You can share it via Facebook (which I don’t use). It also allowed me to share it via ColorNote Notepad Notes, a free app I’m finding very useful. That allowed me to see what it would say…it’s just says that I’m listening to the book and how to get the audible app.

The Menu button also lets me set the sleep mode…big improvement over the reflective screen Kindles (I’m going to start calling those RSKs, but I’ll explain it often enough when I do). I can set it for no sleep mode, 15 minutes, thirty minutes, 60 minutes, end of the chapter, or end of the Book Part.

There’s a button free option…nice! It shows me how to jump chapters, and go forward or backward thirty seconds by using the touch screen. That lets me do the following:

  • Swipe (slide your finger on the screen) down to to the next chapter
  • Swipe up to go the previous chapter
  • Swipe left to go back thirty seconds
  • Swipe right to go forward thirty seconds
  • Tap to play or pause
  • Long press (hold you fingertip on the screen for about a second) to add a bookmark

My library lets you get to your Audible.com library…that included free books I had gotten previously.

There was also a Narrator Speed option, and a way to quit. With the speed button, I could up to three times speed…I probably would. It can also slow down to half speed.

I’ll probably try it out. For those of you who like listening to audiobooks, I think the interface seems pretty good…I’ll be happy to hear your feedback. Well, not like microphone feedback…that’s so annoying. ;)

* Yes, I’m on my second Kindle Fire. The first one got scratched (it might have come scratched, not sure). I contacted Kindle Customer Service on Sunday via live chat…and had the replacement on Tuesday. I didn’t switch things until last night, because I had already loaded things for work that I needed on Wednesday. Reloading was easy, though…I probably could have switched it Tuesday night. As is usually the case, Amazon gave me a return label to print. By the way, it was a bit funny to see it come labeled as “Bufo’s 10th Kindle”. :)  I’m in the double digits! Those Kindles haven’t all been for me (my Significant Other and offspring have Kindles), but I have been through a few. Since I write about these, I keep one of each model as a reference. The only model I haven’t had is a Kindle DX. My main reading model at this point is a Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only. I’m preferring the experience as a reader to my Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi. Since I have a SmartPhone, the 3G browsing on the Kindle Keyboard is less important to me than it once was. Oh, and I did like the name “Wheeler” for the first Fire…that’s from the Fire member of Captain Planet’s team. I almost kept it…but I’ve never migrated a name in my head from one Kindle to another. So, the new one is Schwinn…because it is a “Two Wheeler”. ;)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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9 Responses to “Free audiobook: Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    Schwinn…because it is a “Two Wheeler” … Brilliant!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!
      :) Well, the Wheeler name was already “spoke-n” for. ;) I’m such a card…in the spokes…thwapthwapthwapthwap… (or, if you are a Thurber fan, tapoketa-tapoketa-tapoketa).

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    Thanks for the free audiobook tip. I haven’t tried listening to audiobooks on my Fire yet, probably will not: the best devices for audiobooks are very portable ones you can slip in your pocket for reading ‘on the go’ and that can download via wi-fi. In my case, an iPad Touch, but any smartphone would work as well. Anything larger than that (including a Kindle) is too large IMO, unless you plug it into a sound system so you can wander around and do other things while you ‘read’. And they take a lot of storage; Kindle’s don’t have enough to download more than a handful of them. Smartphones generally have more storage for music/video, etc.

    The Audible app is I believe just the standard Android Audible app. It is pretty good, and much better than using your standard MP3 player, but they need to think about syncing bookmarks/notes/reading position so you can restore these if you should want to move to a different device or want or need to re-download to the same one: if you delete the content, your bookmarks are gone. It’s nice that unlike Kindle K3/KTouch, you can begin listening before the download is complete. I wonder if they have plans to offer fully streamed content (‘listen anywhere’).

    I’ve been an Audible subscriber for over 3 years and have trouble keeping up with the one-per-month allocation (I’d rather have a backlog of unused credits than a backlog of reading), because I mostly read these when driving or doing yard work, sometimes when waking up early or when I have trouble falling asleep. In other words, ‘supplemental’ reading, when it would be inconvenient or impossible to read text on a page.

    Nevertheless, it has grown on me over time, and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed some of the books I read this way more as audiobooks than I would have as text. Some of the readers are fantastic! But in general I’d still like to read text instead, especially when coupled with TTS for greater flexibility: audiobooks are hard to navigate in a ‘random access’ fashion, at least in their current form.

    ePub3 (maybe KF8 for all we know) offers some solutions for synchronizing text and recorded audio, but that’s a way off, and seems like there will be some issues around the relevant ‘rights’ to publish such hybrid media.

    I think that listening to audiobooks, like listening to TTS, is a ‘skill’ that can be acquired and improved on. But like any skill, you have to put in the time.

    Speaking of TTS, note that Kindle Touch has added this feature to the PDF viewer. They have also added PDF TOC/bookmark browser, and PDF hyperlinks are supported, finally delivering navigation features that make it more usable. There’s also a fit-to-width zoom mode, invoked by double tapping on a column of text, after which the normal page turning gestures navigate to the bottom of the column, then to the next column (if there is one), then to the top of the next page, etc. It has elevated PDF support to where it is nearly as good as Sony’s (though I think the new Android based Sony reader has regressed, so KT may actually be the best now, except that it can’t handle Adobe DRM). I am certain that TTS is nowhere near as reliable when used with PDF (depending on the progeny of the PDF, reading order can be a real mess), and have not experimented a lot with it yet, but it is a step to making them more accessible on Kindle. There is probably a lot of content in PDF that would work perfectly fine in TTS mode (even where text is too small to read comfortably).

    Let’s hope they add back orientation options in an update, though (landscape, inverted etc.). Landscape would provide useful options especially for PDF and the browser; ‘Inverted’ operation would be especially nice, to keep the power button and any wires out of the way when you need to rest the bottom edge on a surface (such as when reading while lying on your back).

  3. Zebras Says:

    Bufo, I already had audible on my account, so I found the Audible App on the Fire easier than you did in terms of not having to sign in and reinputting my credentials, however, I find the interface confusing, I was forced to use it for a couple of days after breaking my K keyboard while waiting for my Touch to arrive. Wish finding content worked more like the books, so you wouldnt’ have to re-think what you were doing. So, I’m using the Touch as my primary audible source, which has one large improvement over the keyboard in that you can skip around rather than having to go chapter by chapter.

  4. AugustFalcon Says:

    Just tried to get the book by following your link on my Kindle Fire. Unfortunately the Audible website doesn’t work very well on the Kindle Fire… major issues with fonts, scaling and layout.

    It gave me the option of signing in using my email address and Amazon password. I did so and then it had me fill out a few fields in a form, e.g. address, phone number, etc to set up my new Audible account. Then, when I submitted the form it told me my name was INVALID! This of course was the same name I have been using on Amazon for many, many years. In fact, it retrieved the name from the Amazon database based on my email address.

    Being confused and concerned about this I then selected the Chat option and asked the very helpful Chat operator “How my name could be invalid?” [Note: the Chat interface is even worse on a Kindle Fire than the general Audible website --- massive scaling problem rendering it incredibly infuriating to use] The very helpful chat operator interpreted my question as a request to reset my password [it wasn't] decided to reset my password to a very simplistic and obvious choice [by the way, it was my AMAZON PASSWORD!!!] without asking me first. He also put a helpful link right in the Chat stream to the Audible site to allow me to log in.

    I ended up logging in to Audible.com and then right back out of the Audible site. Then I put down the Kindle Fire went over to one of my desktops, logged in to my Amazon account and changed my Amazon password back to one which is relatively secure.

    Might go back and attempt to download the book from the Audible site but I am not certain that I have sufficient energy left to jump through the additional hoops you described. I have some security concerns too, now.

    #AudibleOnFireFail… that’s my sad story for this evening…

  5. Darc Ranger Says:

    One difference I noted between the Aneroid app and the iPhone app is that the iPhone app will list and play mp3s that are tagged as audiobooks under a separate tab. I miss that option on the Fire. I have been with Audible for a while and love the cloud storage of books I got from there. It was actually my first cloud experience since I did not start using my Kindle until this summer with the Kindle Keyboard.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Darc!

      I haven’t tried this yet, but you might be able to move one of those other files into the Audible folder on your Fire and are then able to use the Audible app with it. We can put MP3s into the Audible folder on a reflective screen Kindle and then are able to treat them like audiobooks.

  6. Round up #54: B&N loss, useful Fire, Kindle expands « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] I Love My Kindle Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books « Free audiobook: Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips [...]

  7. Round up #56: Gifting NOOK Books, RvR 10 years later, Fire usability/parental controls « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] earlier post [...]

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