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Why you should try audiobooks and audio dramas. 🎧 πŸ”–


🎧 πŸ”– An audiobook is a recording of a book being read out loud by a narrator and they're a great way to enjoy books if you don't have the time for reading. Just like books, it offers more descriptive details than a movie does. It's usually one narrator reading it, using his or her's powerful voice to make the book come alive ,but sometimes an audiobook will offer music, sound effects or different voices for each character. Since the 90's, audio books are so popular now that many publishers release the audio version of a new title simultaneously with its print counterpart. Your local library may even have an audio book section.

Radio dramas or audio dramas are little different, without visuals, a audio drama is like a movie in your mind and it depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story without a narrator being literately descriptive like a book.

Radio dramas were very popular in the United States and Canada from the 1930s to the 1990s like Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey and Pacific Garden Mission's Unshackled!, but began to decline. However, it remains popular in most of the world especially the United Kingdom and Japan. In the US and Canada, there's been a rise on popularity again with podcasts and indie audio from the decentralized internet and their mostly free.

With mainstream movies and traditional TV shows declining in the Western world, their's people that want to make their own stories but it costs alot to make an visual story, especially one that requires heavy SFX, people and locations. With audio only productions, it costs $0-$3,000 cheaper than visual content, giving more indie content creators freedom and opportunity for making their own story in that medium. Film and TV auteurs mostly cannot make their own masterpieces like a book author because of big corporate influence and control, so that's why they smell. Audiobooks and audio dramas are getting popular every year for both consumers and creators, as a great alternative to storytelling.

Visuals are expensive, audio in infinite. You can do alot of things with the power of sound.

You can listen to them on Audio CD, Podcast or streaming from the internet. 

So why you should try and listen to audiobooks and audio dramas?

- Using you imagination

When you listen to the descriptions of places or hear sounds of the ocean waves, you can close your eyes and imagine your own version on what's going on in your head without requiring you to see. They allow you to multitask, engaging in a story while completing other activities that don't require your concentration.

- The story is longer than a movie

With the exception of serialized TV shows and mini-series (Game of Thrones, BSG 2003, Dune 2000, Fullmetal Alchemist, The Stand, War & Peace) etc.), movies however are typically 2 to 3 hours long max (sometimes over 4 hours long). People, especially a casual audience, can't sit for that long on one sitting in the theater (or home). Most of the time, movies or books-to-movies have to cut alot of content for pacing, so it won't be boring or too long and it doesn't give you the same narrative perspective or exposition as a book.

Books give you more details on what's going on from the world around them and tells you what the characters are like and what they're thinking in their heads (rare in movies and TV). But sometimes a cluster of too much details can ruin a book's story and pacing, so they'll have to but it in appendices like Dune or Lord of the Rings.

Depending on the title, general adult audiobooks are 9-20 hours or longer and audio dramas can be over 3 to 8 hours long.

- Listen everywhere and anywhere

What's great about audio, that you can listen to them on the go!

If your a truck driver on a long journey, a person on the long trip, or with a family on a vacation road trip, you can enjoy them on the road.

If your ear is bored while hiking, jogging and biking, you can take your head phones and listen while enjoying the great outdoors.

If your a multitasker or at home, you can listen while your occupied doing something like in the kitchen, the desk or garage.

Want to give your eyes or body a rest? You can lay down, close your eyes and let your mind blow away with imagination.

- Use less data for stream or download

Visual components of videos requires alot of internet data and storage space to download and stream, but audio is different, depending on the format, compressed sound takes less data. Casual listeners wouldn't know or care the difference between compressed and uncompressed, but audiophiles love uncompressed formats.

But if your conservative on internet data, you can buy audiobooks and dramas physically on Audio CD or MP3-CD. However, due to the influence of Amazon's Audible monopoly, some of your favorite audio content may be Audible exclusive. 

What's the difference between Audio CD and  MP3-CD?

Audio CDs are your normal CDs with uncompressed LPCM audio that you can play on any CD player, DVD player or Blu-ray Player. But if the audiobook and drama is long, you'll have multiple discs in one package, Game of Thrones is over 40 hours long with 21 CDs. (80 minutes per CD)

MP3-CDs are CDs that can play only on a MP3-CD enabled player or on a computer to transfer the MP3 audio files to another device. The advantage is MP3 files are compressed and take less disc storage space, only using one disc, but the disadvantage is that not all CD players can read them. However, most DVD and Blu-ray players can read MP3-CDs. 

- Great for the blind

Audiobooks and dramas are great for people that are blind or visually impaired that cannot see the great (or bad) visuals of film and TV. They can use their imagination and enjoy them without their eyes. There's devices like Victor Reader Stream and Milestone 312 that have been designed specifically with the vision loss community in mind.

There's a movie audio service created by PBS called, DVS, Descriptive Video Service, it was created for the blind to have audio description on TV shows and motion pictures. Most movies post-2015 have DVS audio on disc. 

As audiobooks and audio dramas are getting more popular, cheaper to make, easier to obtain than video and more decentralized/competitive than movies/TV as they are becoming dull and corporate, audiobooks and dramas are great alternatives to storytelling and are highly recommended.🎧 πŸ”– 

Recommended audiobooks

- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Both Rob Inglis and Andy Serkis versions)

- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

- Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund

-Halo: The Flood by William C. Deitz

-1984 by George Orwell (Both 1986 and 2007 versions)

-Animal Farm by George Orwell

- The Iliad by Homer (Anthony Heald/W.H.D. Rouse)

- The Odyssey by Homer (Anthony Heald/W.H.D. Rouse)

Recommended audiodramas

- The Hobbit (British BBC version is recommended, American version not so much)

- The Lord of the Rings (BBC)

- King Solomon's Minds

- Adventures in Odyssey

- The Chronicles of Narnia

- I love Bees (Part of Halo)

- Hunt the Truth (Part of Halo)


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