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Unabridged Thrawn Trilogy Audiobooks
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cheshire
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Joined: 04 Jan 2004
Posts: 4421

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Unabridged Thrawn Trilogy Audiobooks Reply with quote

Hi folks. I don't know how many of you got the Heir to the Empire unabridged 20th Aniversary audiobook on CD, but I really like mine. I've got a few problems with the narrator putting too much emphasis than what I feel is appropriate at times, but overall it's been a great addition to my audiobook library.

I saw that they're going to be releasing Dark Force Rising and The Last Command unabridged on June 26, 2012:

http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/blog//2012/01/24/thrawn-trilogy/

They will only be available for digital download from bn.com, audible.com, and a few others. I'm not sure how Audible does all of its work, but I know my friend snagged a book from them, and essentially the book was divided up into MP3s so large that only one track could fit on a single CD. (It was pretty inconvenient if you had to stop in the middle of a CD and had to find your place later.) The last time I did a download from a randomhouse book it was several shorter MP3s which were very convenient. Does anyone have any idea what the standard format is? I'd just like to know what I'm getting myself into before I make the purchases.

Anyone have a clue?
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cheshire
Arbiter-General (Moderator)


Joined: 04 Jan 2004
Posts: 4421

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Price and acquisition
Just in case anyone was wondering, I wound up getting my audiobook downloads from Audible.com. You have to sign up for a trial membership (where you hand them your credit card number, which I don't particularly like with "free" trials, but I understand why it has to be done). Upon signing up, I was able to get Dark Force Rising for free as a thank you for signing up for the service, and I was able to buy The Last Command for about $23. Two books for $23, and that doesn't sound too bad to me.

Download
There were a few inconveniences from that point. You cannot download the books as MP3s. (Boo!) And in order to get them, you have to install Audible's download manager. You cannot install the Audible software on an external FAT 32 drive, and should install it on an internal hard drive (I installed it successfully on a NTSF hard drive). Technical support had no idea what the difference was, but I wound up figuring out the situation on my own after a while. Then, once installed it began loading the sound files as .aa files coming complete with Auidble's Digital Rights Management. (Boo!) You can install it on select mobile mp3 players. Some support .aa files, some don't, and your Audible software has to verify your player to make sure you aren't being naughty and sharing the files with your mom, brother, uncle, cousin, sister, friend, roommate, tribal deity, and ex-mother-in-law.

But, after a brief download, I had them. My nice, new shiny electronic audio entertainment. Each book came as two separate files, and they had several "bookmarks" within them so I can more or less easily stop and start the book from generally where I left off.

Burn to CD
It was pretty easy. Unfortunately, you can only burn it to CD by using iTunes. (Boo!) If you didn't really want iTunes before, and you want to listen to your audio book on your CD player (which is really why I bothered to get the thing anyway), then you have to have iTunes. In the end, the burn went really well. It broke the files up into 7 min 34 second tracks, and put about 10 per CD. I like audiobooks with 3-5 minute tracks, but I'm not going to gripe.

Once on CD, I found that I could easily rip the tracks on to MP3. It had the incorrect author, book data, and everything... but that can be altered later if/when I care to do so. It's a little more work, but I can get them on MP3 if I want.

Content
Like many of Random House's audiobooks, it's narrated by Mark Thompson. He has a reasonable range of voices that he uses for the characters. I'm rather used to the old abridged versions that I listened to in high school until the tapes died one form of death or another. But now I have the satisfaction of the unabridged audiobook. Mark Thompson isn't my favorite narrator in the world, but he does a fair job. He is perhaps a little over-enthusiastic in the action sequences, and the Star Wars sound effects and music usually add to, rather than detract from the narration. Usually. There are times it seems a bit forced or awkward, but all in all, I'm satisfied with the audio tweaks.

Summary
It was worth it. I haven't yet cancelled my free 14 day subscription. It'll cost a few bucks next month if I decide not to cancel, and, of course I must take active steps to cancel. I found the cancellation button pretty easily, so cancelling shouldn't be a hassle. I'm told that the audio content is mine to keep when I cancel, and I can cancel at any time. I may hang on to get one more audio book, since I wouldn't mind having an audio version of another (non-Star Wars) novel.

If you like audiobooks (and my family loves them on car rides and the like), and you really enjoy the Thrawn Trilogy, then this would be a fine addition to your collection.
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Nico_Davout
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Joined: 09 Feb 2009
Posts: 384
Location: Sevilla, Spain

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I listened to the HTTE sample and it sounds pretty good. Unfortunately.....

cheshire wrote:
Download
There were a few inconveniences from that point. (...) Some support .aa files, some don't, and your Audible software has to verify your player to make sure you aren't being naughty and sharing the files with your mom, brother, uncle, cousin, sister, friend, roommate, tribal deity, and ex-mother-in-law.


....such things makes me to resign from buying it. It should be possible to download it in mp3/mp4/ogg/any other file type and copy & paste on my MP3 player as I wish without forcing me to use any software I don't want to install (and make my Windows register even bigger).
It's good I can still buy a SW book and borrow it to my mother.....
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