Audiobooks discussion

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message 1: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments I've recently become a librarian and am specifically trying to clean up audio books details in the online database. I posted info in the librarians forum and posted suggested updates to the manual specific for audio books but thought it'd be worthwhile posting here.

I was getting frustrated with the details in book editions when I couldn't figure out if they were unabridged or abridged, etc.

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Title - Should match the title of the book/language version

Author(s) - The main authors of the book should be added individually first. Then narrators of the audiobook should be added individually with the role of (Narrator or Reader).

ISBN/ASIN - ASIN field can be used for Audible Download editions.

Format:
Audio CD - for all audiobooks on CD
Audio Cassette - for all audiobooks on cassette
MP3 CD - for all audiobooks on MP3 CD
Audiobook - for digital audiobook downloads and Playaway
Other / MP3 Book - for B&N digital audiobook downloads

Edition: Should include Unabridged or Abridged. Additional information to be included here would be Collector's Ed, Library Ed, Playaway, US (or your country) Audible Download, US (or your country) Digital Download.

examples:
Unabriged - Library Ed
Abridged - Collector's Ed
Unabridged - US Audible Download
Unabridged - Playaway


Number of Pages - Number of hours of the recording if known. (This should be rounded up/down to whole number)

Description - Initialize with the default description or that from the audio publisher. Add details on the number of cds or cassettes and total length of the recording at the top of the description, if known. Adding this to the top will allow it to be seen without having to see more of the description.

Examples:
1 MP3-CD / 7 hours
6 CDs / 7 hours


==============

Examples of some of my updates:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/98...


message 2: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 1951 comments I would love it if it listed the narrator if at all possible!


message 3: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3669 comments I have only indicated "abridged" on such editions, keeping unabridged as the implied default.

I disagree about entering number of hours with Books on CD - I enter number of discs. Frankly, with Audible downloads, I'd find number of "parts" more useful.


message 4: by Vic (last edited Feb 21, 2011 09:05AM) (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments Well, apparently the # of pages use for # of hours was discussed on good reads librarian group before I joined/got involved. So, the general consensus there was # of hours in the # of pages field. Didn't make a lot of sense to me but I'll follow the rules. Interesting for audible parts. I can start adding that to the books I edit with something like "2 downloadable parts / 14 hours, 30 min".

I think having Unabridged explicitly in the edition field is helpful because so many people haven't put ANYTHING in that field so I have corrected a lot of entries to abridged or unabridged when left blank. That way you know for sure instead guessing or having to do research into the edition.

I have definitely been trying to get the narrators for most of the audios on my shelves. Been working my way through my audio shelf trying to clean up entries as I go.

Just thought I'd bring this up in the group since we're audio listeners here and I didn't know how many had librarian status. The librarians group didn't seem too concerned with the audio details...


message 5: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (goodreadscomkeridwynn) | 43 comments I am also a new GR librarian. I have sporadic time to go in and make corrections to audio books but I agree that there need to be some things fixed for sure. I prefer the number of parts to be equal to the number of pages that hard copy of books have. Even with e-books, I have noticed, that it goes by the percent of the book at the very bottom instead of by page numbers. With audios it isn't too hard to figure out percentage the way it is now. I probably should go back over and read what the librarians' group has concerning audio, just to refresh myself with it and correct as I find things.


message 6: by Stef (new)

Stef (firecat) | 43 comments Thank you for providing this information! A while back I searched the Librarians group to find out how to catalog Audible downloads. The information I found said that the Edition field should say "Audible edition." I'll use "Unabridged - Audible Download, US" from now on.


message 7: by Vic (last edited Feb 21, 2011 06:04PM) (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments I think the audio books will start being clearer if each of us audio lovers work to clean up our own shelves or pay attention to these fields when entering new editions. I know that not all of these fields may have been there from the beginning (maybe the options in the format drop down) but seriously, I'll be delirious to see unabr or abr in edition and the narrators listed with narrator or reader in the role field for all our audio books. The other stuff for me is gravy (tho I do like seeing total listening length somewhere). :)


message 8: by Sara ♥ (last edited Feb 22, 2011 10:19PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 243 comments Yeah, I was in on the CDs vs hours vs 5 billion other ways to represent length of audiobooks conversation... I'd prefer CDs (as that's the format I usually listen on), but that doesn't work for all cases. All audiobooks have a length though, so... that was the consensus. These days I just estimate the percentage.

I fill out the information for all the audiobooks I listen to, but I usually skip the "unabridged" part, as that's the norm these days. ABRIDGED should ALWAYS be noted, however, imo.


message 9: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments I recently asked question about the ASIN # for audible versions in the librarian group here. Essentially the ASIN # from amazon.com is the definititve ASIN # and not the value in the audible.com URL. Just wanted to provide heads-up on this. :)


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Aha! So that's why I got used to seeing them listed with # of CDs and all of a sudden a 13-CD book was shown instead as having something like 22 "pages". I don't think it should be equal to the number of pages the regular book has, but as long as I can easily figure out the percentage I'm happy.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 14, 2011 07:25PM) (new)

Excellent work Vic. I shall start with the audio books on my own shelf and then perhaps work out towards others in my genre of choice. What a big task!

I have to say I'm still not clear on the whole ASIN thing, even though I have read the other post you've linked to. I use audible directly for all my audio books - am not an Amazon user at all - what value is that adding here at GR if it is only used by Amazon and not even within the Audible site? I don't mind doing it if there is a general value to all readers but if it's only to close a loop to Amazon's internal record keeping then I shan't bother (I have to say I'm not the world's biggest fan of Amazon for precisely the reason that they had to introduce something different to ISBNs just to prove what a big player they are - never mind the impact on the rest of the book world).


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I just went to update one of my recent listens and came across another 'situation'. What to do where the audible version of a book is clearly a downloadable version of somethng also/previously released as CDs. So everything is the same in terms of narrators etc but audible have bought the rights to the old recording and made it available as a download - essentially the only difference is format. Are these two different editions for GR?


message 13: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3669 comments If you go to Amazon.com, it gives the Audible ASIN# for that edition.


message 14: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments Bernadette wrote: "I just went to update one of my recent listens and came across another 'situation'. What to do where the audible version of a book is clearly a downloadable version of somethng also/previously rele..."

Yes, this will then be a new edition.

Bernadette wrote: "I have to say I'm still not clear on the whole ASIN thing, even though I have read the other post you've linked to. I use audible directly for all my audio books - am not an Amazon user at all - what value is that adding here at GR if it is only used by Amazon and not even within the Audible site?..."

Well, I was conflicted on ASIN #s as well but they are defined as Amazon #s. Audible is now an Amazon company and links directly to the Audible book from Amazon site. (US at least) I think the biggest reason to do it is so if someone else wants to add the right edition of a book on their shelf they can. It seriously annoys me when the ASIN listed in audible URL doesn't match the ASIN listed on Amazon site but I dutifully use the one from Amazon.com.


message 15: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3669 comments I find it a duplication of entries in theory when it's the exact same production, with Audible serving as solely a vendor (as opposed to an Audible, Inc. production). However, it does help others down the road to look for a specific Audible entry, rather than hunting around among possibly several possible audio choices.


message 16: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments John wrote: "I find it a duplication of entries in theory when it's the exact same production, with Audible serving as solely a vendor (as opposed to an Audible, Inc. production). However, it does help others does help others down the road to look for a specific Audible entry, rather than hunting around among possibly several possible audio choices. "

I agree.


message 17: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 33 comments I also participated in the long discussion about length and was ultimately convinced that number of hours makes sense. This also helps because audiofile magazine reviews a tremendous number of audiobooks and always gives the length in the review, but only sometimes lists the number of CDs, etc.

Anyway, I've tried to update the ones that I listen to, correct the narrators, etc.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Vic wrote: "Well, I was conflicted on ASIN #s as well but they are defined as Amazon #s. Audible is now an Amazon company and links directly to the Audible book from Amazon site. (US at least) I think the biggest reason to do it is so if someone else wants to add the right edition of a book on their shelf they can. It seriously annoys me when the ASIN listed in audible URL doesn't match the ASIN listed on Amazon site but I dutifully use the one from Amazon.com. "

OK, I'll think about that. I hate going to Amazon, I hate giving them even more influence than they already have by using their self-created numbers... (I nearly gave up my Audible subscription when they were bought by Amazon I hate Amazon that much) but if other people are potentially going to search by that reference then I might be prepared to make an exception...maybe.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

John wrote: "If you go to Amazon.com, it gives the Audible ASIN# for that edition."

yeah but if I go to Amazon.com I break out in hives and my head twirls around on my neck, Linda Blair-style.

I really hate Amazon :)


message 20: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3669 comments There are things about them I'm not keen on either. But, if it's THAT traumatic for you, message me and I'll add the item for you.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

John wrote: "There are things about them I'm not keen on either. But, if it's THAT traumatic for you, message me and I'll add the item for you."

Very gallant of you John, but I must not ask others to do that which I am not prepared to die doing myself.

Or something like that.

With wine and chocolate to fortify myself I'll cope :)


message 22: by Alan (last edited Mar 19, 2011 01:37PM) (new)

Alan (alanmintaka) | 188 comments Actually Amazon uses ISBN numbers for newer books. The only time they use ASIN numbers is when there isn't an ISBN available, either because the book predates ISBNs, or because it lacks an ISBN for some other reason (an Audible audiobook, for example).

Not sure I understand what all this disdain for Amazon is. It's a big mail-order house to be sure, and uses catalog numbers like any other mail order house to track its inventory. Where it can, it complies with the ISBN standard. So what?

For the record, there are book DB's that read barcodes on books AND accept Amazon ASIN numbers as input. Such DBs scan Amazon, LOC, Barnes & Noble, WorldCAT and other online libraries to obtain book info. Thus, Amazon is also a repository of book information, just like any other online library.

However I don't see similar disdain expressed towards WorldCAT, which uses its own OCLC numbers. If Amazon's ASIN numbers are "bad", why aren't WorldCAT's OCLC numbers also "bad"? Librarians can use both repositories along with many others to obtain useful book info.

In my case I've found both Amazon and WorldCAT to be very useful in identifying books that don't have ISBNs. There are genre-specific online libraries too, like ISFDB.org, which can be mined for such info.

I don't know what the rules are in this forum for recommending commercial DB products. That could constitute SPAM if abused. Since my track record here has been SPAM-less, I'll take the chance. One of the commercial DB's that uses ISBN, LOC, and Amazon ASIN numbers to collect book info is BookCAT. What makes it very useful is that it also scans barcodes, so that ISBN numbers for newer books don't even have to be entered manually. I'm using it to prepare a table of books to upload to my Goodreads shelf. Another commercial DB that supports barcode ISBN input is Collectorz, though they use a proprietary database model.

Just some thoughts about that horrible monster Amazon, ASIN, ISBN, and book cataloging.


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