Free audiobook: Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood, read by Lou Diamond Phillips
Thanks, S. Rudder in this
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
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”. ;)