Portable Reader & Music Storage

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Steve CDN

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There are two forms of media storage that are beginning to interest me.  One is portable music, and we see the prices of Ipods, Zen and Dell players dropping in price.  The other is the availability of popular magazines in digital form, downloadable (for a price usually less than the print version) in pdf format.

Is there a portable storage and reader than can be used for reading pdf files of magazines and/or books  other than a laptop computer?

Better still is there a portable device where I could carry around my pdf magazine articles plus my music?
 

Ned

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PocketPC or Palm PDA will handle both the PDF and music files.
 

Steve CDN

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What type of display do they provide Ned?  If I were to dnload a magazine like National Geographic,  can an entire page be displayed and read or would it require zooming in to read a paragraph?

If this can work, I can see myself subscribing to the online versions of some of my favorite magazines, and do away with forwarding printed versions.  My concern is whather my weary eyes can read the PDA display.
 

Ned

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The display sizes are generally small compared to a typical PC monitor.  Check the specs on the various PDAs for the details.  I don't think I'd like to read National Geographic on a PDA, but straight text files would be ok.
 

Steve CDN

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I've begun with a search on "pocketPC" and found Microsoft has a lot of info outlining the their OS as well as lonks to various types of devices.  When I go to the stores to see the real thing, I'll bring along samples of kind of material I would like to use to see how it displays.

Thanks for the tips, Ned and if anyone has first hand experience with one of these, I'd be interested in learning their experience.

Do the PDA versions of software on the home PC reside permanently along with the data in these devices or do you have to load the software and its data on a separate flash memory card and insert it when you need it?
 

Ned

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The PDAs have their software built in, it doesn't reside on any other PC.  There will usually be PC software for synchronizing the PDA data with the PC.  There is also some limited storage but you would usually use a memory card to give more storage.

Personally, I don't think I would like to read large documents on the small screen of a PDA.
 

Tom

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Steve

I'm with Ned. I previously tried downloading and reading ebooks on a Palm device, but gave up.
 

Steve CDN

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Thanks for the input!  It seemed like a good idea, but I had no idea of the limitations of the screen size.  I still like the idea of the digital form of magazines,  so the laptop might just be the best screen size for that purpose.

 

lucyakers

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I joined the Phoenix Library ($20./yr) and download Overdrive audio books to listen to on laptop. Also check out CD's and copy them to Iomega Zip and then to flash card for PDA. I have a battery-operated speaker and put it and the PDA in a basket that I hang in a tree when I work in the yard.
Bluetooth ear piece should work but I can't get it to override the PDA's speaker.

I have a Dell and think HP might be more compatible. Adobe eBooks won't work with Dell but Mobi Pocket Reader and Microsoft Reader do. Mobi books are read by a weird computer voice so I don't use them.

Also found free poker game for PDA that works great.
 

rhmahoney

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I am finally appraching the end of a major project to transfer all of my cassette tape audio books to MP3 files on the computer. Now up to 6000 tracks/91 GB of books and the whole library is now over 40,000 tracks/300 GB!

All that and I just ordered 4 new CDs tonight! The blog "boing boing" had an item on a tiki festival in Florida with a photo of Yma Sumac who is to perform. Went to the link and find that she is still alive and singing. Her 5 octave vocal range, exotic latin compositions and the album covers made me a fan in the 50s.

 

Pat

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rh:  How are you converting the books on tape to MP3?  What software do you use?  Do you have to play each tape to convert it?  Or is there some ultrafast tape reader?  I have no trouble converting books on CD to MP3, but I haven't seen tapes done.  There are often more desirable titles on tape that are not yet available on CD at the library.

--pat
 

rhmahoney

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"rh:  How are you converting the books on tape to MP3?  What software do you use?  Do you have to play each tape to convert it?  Or is there some ultrafast tape reader?"

I use Audio Hijack Pro from Rogue Amaeba on my Mac to capture the audio stream in real time I am using a 2 well tape deck to play the tapes. The program can be set to start a new file after a period of silence.  5 seconds of -50 dB quiet does the trick best, Though a few books end up with 2 or 3 sides/file instead of the desired 1 side. That is why this project is taking 2+ months to do. I have a lot of books and a bunch of old radio programs taken off the air.
 

Pat

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rh:  Confirms what I thought.  You have to play tapes to digitize them.  I have limited my MP3 books collection to books on Cd for that reason.  I further limit my collection to mysteries, so I have copied about 230 books from various libraries.  Some are in such pitiful condition, that they are unreadable.  I use Musicmatch.  Works fine.  Boring job, though.  It's quicker than playing the tapes, so I can't do much while I'm copying.

I notice at Amazon that books on CD are getting close to the hardcover prices.  I do only unabridged, also.

--pat
 

Karl

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Russ,

.... Yma Sumac who is to perform. Went to the link and find that she is still alive and singing. Her 5 octave vocal range, exotic latin compositions and the album covers made me a fan in the 50s.

There are a few 'vocalists' around that can hit the high notes too, but Yma Sumac could actually sing in the complete range. I too was surprised to hear that she was still singing, and if so - well, obviously alive! What a great talent. Thanks for bringing back the memory.
 

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