By December 19, 2008 3 Comments Read More →

AudibleKids: Enhanced Audiobooks

Audible, the mega-retailer of downloaded audiobooks, launched AudibleKids last spring. The site is a portal for purchasing audiobooks for ages 0 to 13+up. It looks inviting and has lots of interactive features. It is searchable by category, age and grade level. Each title has a clip to sample. Users may create suggestions lists and write their own reviews. If you choose to create a profile, you can connect with others like yourself. There are printable listening guides that can be used as worksheets by teachers or parents. To entice listeners, there are a few free downloads and 99¢ specials. You can even set up a kid’s account with a preset allowance so that they may choose and download their own selections. Here’s something new on the site: Enhanced audiobooks that display the book’s original illustrations while the audio plays, either on an iPod’s video screen, on the computer screen from iTunes. There are currently both well-known children’s titles, such as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble & Where the Wild Things Are, and graphic novels adapted from classics. Take a look at the demo and see what you think. Truthfully, the static image-by-image look puts me in mind of those old iconographic filmstrips with the “beep” to turn the knob to the next frame! Only now on your iPod’s screen – everything old is new again!



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

3 Comments on "AudibleKids: Enhanced Audiobooks"

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  1.' Dan O'Neil says:

    Thanks for pointing out the enhanced audiobooks. I had not seen that new feature. I think it is a great idea–I hope that they find a way to include it on all books!

  2.' Alderete says:

    I’m having trouble finding information about the enhanced audiobooks on the Audible Kids site. Nothing on the linked-to page, and searching for “enhanced” turns up zero results. Can you update the link?

    Note that audiobooks in the AAC format (used by iTunes, etc.) has been able to show chapter artwork for a while, you can use GarageBand or Audiobook Builder to add any artwork you want. But I was unaware that any of Audible’s formats supported more than cover art, so I’m very interested in learning more.

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