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by Ray Carlson

Q. I recently downloaded an audiobook from the Library to listen to on my MP3 player. Usually, when I stop listening, I am in the middle of a chapter. When I start again, I have to spend several minutes fast forwarding and listening to find the place I stopped. Can I avoid wasting all this time?

A. MP3 players are often designed to appeal to music listeners and ignore the issues of concern to book listeners. Some will automatically return to the spot where you stopped when you turn them back on. Many of these, however, will forget where you stopped if you need to recharge the battery before you resume. For audiobook readers, the most useful are those that allow you to set a bookmark where you stopped. You can go back to that spot at any time in the future. MP3 players also vary as to which audio formats they will play.

This website gives information about several MP3 players including which formats they play and whether they will bookmark. Another way to check is to search with a program like Google or Bing for the words “MP3 player,” “audiobooks,” and “bookmarks”. You should find comments and reviews that will indicate which models make bookmarks and seem to be better for book listeners. You will see that there are a lot of people who are upset about your issue and want MP3 player makers to pay more attention to this book-oriented audience.

Published: Courier 3/21/10 - Page 7C