There are many people out there in this world who for many years have depended on audio books for their reading pleasure, or even for their academic books. Academic books has always been several steps behind, and now audio books seem to be behind as well. These books can be purchased from your local book store, borrowed from your local public library, and some are even found on line. However, these books have not kept up with technology the way many other forms of media have.
Audio books are still pretty much available just on tape or CD. Technology has not made audio books available through the smaller listening devices the way that music has. Product development goes according to public demand. Who listens to audio books? The first two thoughts that come to mind are the visually impaired, and senior citizens who may be visually impaired but also have other disabilities as well. These folks tend not to be among the vocal public in demanding their needs and so have been overlooked. It is good to acknowledge one company and that is Apple and iTunes who can accommodate through their ever popular iPod, audio books. It seems that with all of the other electronic devices out there, and the constant development of new one, that the visually impaired folks who could use some listening help have been over looked.
In 2005, the Zen Micro updated their device and fixed the problem, but the problem is that it is not compatible with other devices. This device is available for just under $240. If senior citizens are the ones who are needing these devices and they are living on a fixed income, even that seemingly low price is out of the market for them. What we need to do is establish some advocacy, whether you are one of those in need or not. Whenever you visit electronics stores, ask for devices that will read audio books, or ask how the device you are interested in will read an audio book. Make these needs known among some of your other friends as well. There may be a time in the future when we find ourselves with some type of limitation, and it would be nice if we had advocates for us. Stand up and speak so that others may listen!