A boom in audio books on campus will result from the success of the iPod, says Gartner Group Research Director Marti Harris. Details from Campus Technology:

Harris…predicts big changes in learning devices, citing the influence of Apple’s iPod, in particular. “Audio books are going to make a big comeback because of iPods,” she says, pointing especially to electronic books. While multitasking students find it hard to read and do anything else at the same time, they can listen and do other things, Harris explains, portending a growth in audio books for students used to constant audio input. “I believe students will want to have audio books that they’ll check out and use on their devices.” So much for eyestrain from late-night reading.


  1. Well, this is bound to happen, but I should mention one thing. Audio books take a lot of time to listen; it’s much faster to read as an ebook or deadtree book. I think the audio book revolution sets in after students have left campus and are commuting to their job.

    That said, students these days probably are more attuned to how a story sounds than how it reads on a page (those who are not hopelessly lost in some labyrinthine MMOG anyway).

  2. I think you made some good points, Robert. I myself doubt that audio books will work out for the most complicated stuff. But for many, they could be just the ticket for recretional reading. They’re very popular at the Fairfax County (VA) library system near me. – David

  3. Just finishing my masters at University of Oxford and not without thanks to audio books as a great way to boost grades. I travel alot and wouldn’t have managed to get through all that reading if it hadn’t have been for audio books. There are a few texts that really do need diagrams and tables but that’s less than half of the course.

    The problem is only obtaining the books. Too few libraries stock them it seems.


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