Finally, it’s summer time! Since I work in a public school system, that means eight or nine weeks working with few people around. Lots of time working alone. So I’ve been loading up my iPod with lots of free audio books.
The sources of free audio books on the World Wide Web is pretty wide. I’ve written about a few authors who podcast in the past. There are many others out there. Here are some sources I found for books I wanted to read:
For classic stories and older tales that are now in the public domain then check out LibriVox. I downloaded ten days of audio for my summer listening pleasure. Between my regular podcast listening and these stories then my summer alone time should be full.
A few things I might suggest about exploring free audio books is that you should be prepared for wide degrees of quality recordings. Some are very good and professional. Most are very fine amature recordings. But some are downright bad and the quality distracts from the story itself.
Then there is the telling of the tale itself. Like a good joke, some people can repeat a good joke and get everyone laughing. While others, like me, can ruin a great joke with poor delivery. This is true of narrators as well. So I advise picking a chapter and having a test listen before spending lots of time and bandwidth downloading hundreds of megabytes of audio files. I just can’t hear the story through some narrators tone and inflection. But some narrators are true actors and can really add to a story with their voices.
I’ll report back in a week or so with a report some of the first stories I’ve listened to.
Google Browser Sync has been a favorite tool for me since it’s public release. But with the release of Firefox 3 the question of when Google Browser Sync would be updated has been answered with it’s death knell. Apparently it was nothing more than a personal project for someone and will not be supported further.
Well, I have always understood that you get what you pay for. And Google owes me nothing for this great free Firefox addon. But I fear what this means for the many other free services I use from Google. What happens if they decide that Google Apps for Your Domain is no longer profitable?
I’m moving on and am now using Foxmarks to syncronize bookmarks between the several computers I use. It works very well and settles my need. Another free service. Yes, I get what I pay for.
I have long wanted a way to synchronize my address book across GMail, Yahoo, and my Mac. I was a Plaxo user for while until they were gobbled up by Comcast. Even Plaxo didn’t give me all I wanted. It would not push contact info to Google.
A few weeks ago I tried out a new web service called Soocial. It solved the Gmail Contacts problem syncing with my Mac Address Book. I used it for a week and was happy.
Then my birthday came and my wife gave me an iPod Touch. As of OS X 10.5.3, if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone then the added feature of a Google Contacts Sync appears in Address Book preferences. I couldn’t wait to try it! I completely forgot that I was set up to sync to Soocial. When I synchronized next the streams crossed and my address book blew up. Everything tripled! It was not pretty.
Fortunately, I have good backups and it didn’t take long to clean up the mess. I turned off Soocial for now. I’m currently just syncing with Apple’s tools and it’s working pretty well.
I turned 39 years old today. Happy birthday to me!
Well, through the wonders of online social networking and the sharing of my personal information to those I have friended through the many social networks I belong to, many people poured out well wishes today. It’s pretty amazing that so many people around the world would enjoy typing happy birthday to me! And quite frankly it is very flattering.
So thank you one and all for the prayers and best wishes on my birthday! I’ve tried to respond throughout the
day and thank everyone. But I’m not sure I saw all the messages and fear I will miss someone if I try to list everyone here.
I am humbled and blessed that I have been able to enjoy the association with so many interesting, caring and sharing friends. Thank you all!