A Series of Unfortunate Events

I have a bit of a special relationship with this series. In elementary school my art teacher would play the audiobooks while we worked. I believe it’s also how I was first introduced to Harry Potter.

I’ve never read the books. I definitely don’t remember any of the stories from 13-15 years ago. The one thing that has stuck with me is that I know I enjoyed listening to the stories.

Now Netflix has adapted the first couple of books in season 1 of its new series. It may be time to read the first few books and watch the series. I mean, a trip down memory lane never hurt anyone.

What’s your experience with this series?

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FREE STUFF

Well, mostly.

I like free stuff. You like free stuff. Everyone does, right? Anyway, audiobooks are cool, right? Especially for those of you constantly on the road. Or maybe you listen to them while at work or working around the house.

Audiobooks.com is making it hard not to give them a shot. They’re offering FOUR free audiobooks (two of your choice and two Christmas books) when you sign up for a free trial and use promo code CNETDEALS.

I’m not one to listen to audiobooks. So I’m not aware of what’s a reasonable monthly price, but the price after the trial is $14.95 a month for one book. I honestly think of that as way overpriced. You’re essentially paying for that one book just like you would without the subscription. Welp. Audible is priced exactly the same as this site. Just checked.

I think they’re both overpriced and will never get my money. But maybe you think otherwise. If yes, use CNETDEALS when you sign up on audiobooks.com to get your four free books!

On Amazon Echo’s new Feature

I don’t have an Amazon Echo device. I’m even a little surprised that it’s as popular as it is. It isn’t much different from what smartphones can do. But now Amazon is trying to improve the device as time goes on, and I think they’re doing just that.

Alexa (the device’s name) will now be able to read any of your Kindle books to you. Her voice may not be quite the same as a voice actor reading an audio book, but there’s no subscription needed. It’s completely free.

Free is always nice to hear, especially when you see the prices of individual audio books or an Audible subscription. I think Amazon is on to something. I don’t use my Kindle and I don’t listen to audio books, but millions of readers enjoy both.

Do you have an Amazon Echo? What do you think of Alexa now being able to read Kindle Books?

Have you Heard of TuneIn?

You probably haven’t. But you likely know a radio station they broadcast. One of my favorite stations I listen to each day happens to be one of theirs. I think. Because there’s a little message they play when returning from a commercial break a that says “a TuneIn radio station” and I never knew what it was talking about until today.

TuneIn is aiming to compete directly with SiriusXM. They currently offer free listening of over 100,000 stations, but now they’re offering a paid tier. Which is nice, but I wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t have something to do with books. And it does. They’ve reached agreements with several Big 5 publishers to include some 40,000 audiobooks at launch with their paid service.

I’m not sure exactly how it’d work, but I guess there would be a few different stations that simply play audiobooks instead of music or talk shows on the radio? Maybe they’ll be separated by genre? I’m not sure. And I’m not sure I even like the idea.

We already have Audible, right? I think they’re currently the biggest player in audiobooks. They offer their audiobook library for a fee each month, but you can obviously decide on your own which books you listen to. And you can also always buy a single audiobook if you’re only interested in one. But audiobooks streamed through the radio seems a bit weird for me. I don’t think it’s the best use of the medium, and I’m not sure the company will see many new subscribers just for this part of the service. There’s also music and sports involved in their new deal.

What do you think of TuneIn offering audiobooks in their new paid tier? And how do you think it’ll work on the radio?


On this day in 2014 I published ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Blogger Edition. You can read the post, but the video is no longer online, so you’ll just have to believe that I did it.