I love my iPod. I’ve had numerous models over the last few years and each one of them has filled a unique niche. My video iPod has seen the most duty as my main conduit for audio books. The large capacity and small size of this unit make it ideal for taking audio along in the car.
I have found that listening to audio books while I’m driving is a great way to learn new things in an otherwise unproductive time. I’m a Kinesthetic learner (hands-on) by nature so the actual motion of driving (steering etc) makes it easier to learn things from these books than just sitting in a chair or lying in a bed listening.
My smaller iPods (mini & nano) have been very useful while exercising and on outside walking trips. Nothing makes a walk more enjoyable than invigorating music or a stimulating audio book. The small size of these units make them ideal for the high motion of physical activity. The Nano is especially useful as it is based on Flash memory which is not prone to skipping when the unit is jostled around.
Over the last year I’ve listened to over 60 audio books while driving or exercising. This has been an amazing experience as I have fulfilled my goal of participating in a successful Personal MBA program. Audio books are more limited in their selection, but there are hundreds to choose from in the business and personal development areas.
One of the new developments that represents a huge opportunity for parents is the new lower cost iPod shuffle. You can now get a 1 gig unit for $49 which will hold multiple audio books and uses flash memory that is perfect for the high activity lifestyle of kids.
Now you can get each child their own iPod and download age appropriate audio books. They can listen while walking to school or on the bus. The really cool thing is that many of the books that school age children are required to read for class are available in audio format.
Now your kids can literally do their book reading homework while in the car or out riding their bikes. This small iPod shuffle is the most bullet-proof of the iPod units and the light weight means they can take it almost anywhere.
Whether it is Huck Finn for the younger kids or Steinbeck for the older crowd, the audio version makes a great addition to the written book. I know when I was a kid that my reading sometimes meant skimming the book on the way to class. With audio books they will have heard the entire story through and will easily be able to go back and give a detailed book review.
The nice thing about the Apple iPod versus other units is the bookmark function. If you pause the audio at any point the iPod automatically puts in a “bookmark” which makes it easy to come back to exactly the right spot. Many other MP3 units do not offer this feature which makes studying the audio book much more difficult.
In short, the new less expensive iPod shuffle can help your kids learn while they play and get better grades too. If they should happen to drop the unit, it will most likely survive unscathed because of the lightweight design. And in the unlikely event they lose it, you’ll only be out $50, instead of hundreds for the other units.
Audio books are widely available through Amazon.com or from direct download from Audible.com or iTunes.