Pixel Scroll 9/18/20 You Scrollious Scatterbrained Primitive Phile of Pixelated Pistons

(1) DC “TRANSFORMS” ITS DIGITAL COMIC PLATFORM/OFFERING. [Item by Daniel Dern.] “DC UNIVERSE Transforms Into DC UNIVERSE INFINITE!” I’ve been a happy-enough subscriber to DC Universe since its launch a year or so ago. My main motivation was the live action Doom Patrol (which I’ve loved) and to a lesser extent, l-a Titans (medium well done, though often fuzzy which plotlines were in motion, and canon-quirky, but they got Krypto, even), and for streamed comics, though not as satisfying a selection or as well organized as Marvel’s offering. But definitely worth the modest price. “New release comics are now available 6 months after they hit stores” — that’s sooner, for DC, although Marvel has already been doing this (for some issues/titles).

It looks like the price is staying the same for now, $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year.

io9’s post “The Excellent DC Universe Is Dead, and a Comics-Only Service Is Taking Its Place” helps clarify that the video content is jumping over to HBO Max.

Today DC Entertainment announced that as of January 21, 2021 DC Universe will “evolve” into DC Universe Infinite, a comics only service. It’s a shame, because DC Universe has lowkey been one of the best streaming services you could drop cash on every month—if you’re a giant nerd like myself.

The combination of old superhero TV shows, endless reams of comics, and solid original monthly programming like Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn made it a good deal…

(2) WHAT’S THAT SOUND. Cory Doctorow, in “We Need to Talk About Audible” at Publishers Weekly, is making a move against the dominant audiobook seller.

…A few months after its move in the music business, Amazon completed its acquisition of a scrappy upstart audiobook company called Audible. At the time of the acquistion, Amazon publicly announced it would remove Audible’s DRM. After all, why would a company with a self-proclaimed “relentless customer focus” impose such restrictions on audiobook users?

Fast-forward 12 years, and Audible has accomplished remarkable things. The company has helped grow the audiobook market to the point where it is a vital revenue stream for publishers. And Audible commands a huge share of the digital audiobook market—as much 90% of the market in some verticals.

But, they never removed the DRM.

…Last week, I launched a Kickstarter for presales of the audiobook. Because I am set up to act as an e-book retailer for my publishers (including both Tor and Attack Surface UK publisher, Head of Zeus) I was able to list both the series backlist and the Attack Surface audiobook on the crowdfunding campaign. As of this writing, we have raised more than $207,000.

Look, $207,000 is a lot of money. And my family’s finances have taken a severe beating since the Covid-19 crisis hit—I’m sure you can sympathize. We need this. Thank you.

But I’m not doing this for the money. Rather, my not-so-secret plan is to fundamentally shift how publishers relate to authors who are willing to stand up against Audible’s exclusive non-negotiable DRM-enforced exclusive market strategy. Giving authors leverage over Audible isn’t just about getting it to back down on its DRM policy. It also empowers us work with libraries, against whom Audible maintains a total blackout, refusing to license any of its exclusive audio content at all, forcing America’s library users to buy subscriptions through Amazon’s data-hungry, monopoly-reinforcing app.

My belief is that once more authors and publishers find they can succeed outside of the Audible funnel, Amazon will have to give Audible customers and the authors and publishers who supply the content the technical means and legal right to take their business elsewhere if they choose. And once that happens, publishers and authors will finally regain some of the leverage needed to negotiate fair deals from Audible.

I recognize that not every author can do what I’ve done with Attack Surface. That said, there are plenty of writers with platforms who can—I mean, if I can do it they can do it too….

(3) CELEBRATE AVRAM DAVIDSON. In the premiere episode of the “The Avram Davidson Universe” podcast, which debuted September 16, Seth Davis sits down with Ethan Davidson, to discuss growing up with Avram Davidson as his father and to listen to a reading of “Or All The Seas With Oysters.”

In each episode of the podcast and video series, they will perform a reading, and discuss Davidson’s works with a special guest. Podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

(4) SECOND AGE. Someone blabbed about Amazon’s production where Bleeding Cool could overhear them: “The Lord of the Rings: Morfydd Clark Talks “Massive” Prequel Series”.

… Writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay are developing the series and serving as showrunner, with Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) serving as a consultant. Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is set to direct the first two episodes. Amazon Studios produces, in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. The prequel series stars Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Daniel Weyman, and Maxim Baldry.

The new stories will take place prior to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” and look to focus on the “Second Age” – a time when the Rings of Power were first revealed. “J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team. I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never-before-seen story,” explained Bayona at the time the news was announced.

(5) SPACE, THE FINAL AUDITION. A new reality show wants to send one of you to the International Space Station in 2023. Assuming “you” means the kind of person who can win in the cutthroat world of reality TV. Deadline reports “Space Travel Reality Show Set To Send Contestant To ISS In 2023; Space Hero Company & Propagate Producing”.

Following the success of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission, which marked the return of the U.S.’ capability for manned flights and the first private company to get people into orbit, a reality series wants to send a civilian into space.

Space Hero Inc., a U.S.-based production company founded by Thomas Reemer and Deborah Sass and led by former News Corp Europe chief Marty Pompadur, has secured a seat on a 2023 mission to the International Space Station. It will go to a contestant chosen through an unscripted show titled Space Hero. Produced by Ben Silverman and Howard Owens’ Propagate, the series will launch a global search for everyday people from any background who share a deep love for space exploration. They will be vying for the biggest prize ever awarded on TV.

The selected group of contestants will undergo extensive training and face challenges testing their physical, mental and emotional strength, qualities that are essential for an astronaut in space. I hear the idea is for the culmination of the competition to be in a an episode broadcast live around the world where viewers from different countries can vote for the contestant they want to see going to space. 

(6) DUNE PREQUEL? ScreenRant’s “Dune Will Be Different Than Any Other Book Adaptation” on YouTube suggests that the indications are that the new movie will be faithful to Frank Herbert’s novel and reveals that a prequel series, with Denis Villeneuve directing the first episode, is in development at HBO Max.

(7) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

  • September 2005 Snake Agent,  the first of Liz Williams’  Detective Inspector Chen novels, was published on the now defunct Night Shade Books. Set in the near future city of Singapore Three where Heaven and Hell were very real and far too close, the series would reach six novels and two short stories before concluding for now according to the author with Morningstar.  Jon Foster provided the cover art for the first four which are all on Night Shade. The first five novels are available from the usual digital suspects. Do read them in order as they do have a story that develops with each novel. 

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 18, 1824 – Richard Doyle.  His cover for Punch 6 was used for the P masthead nearly a hundred years.  Master illustrator of elves and fairies as Victorians imagined them; see herehere (“The Elf-King Asleep”), hereherehere.  Here is his cover for Jack and the Giants.  (Died 1883) [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1937 – Ed Cagle.  Fanwriter until his early death (age 43).  His fanzines were Kwalhioqua and (with Dave Locke) Shambles.  Eric Mayer said, “Kwalhioqua was such an amazing zine I even remember how to spell it.  No one before or since has written like Ed.  His humor was outrageous, warped, rude, but never cruel.  He found weird perspectives on things.”  (Died 1981) [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1948 – Joan Johnston, 72.  Lawyer with a master’s degree in theater; became a best-selling author, forty contemporary and historical romances.   Five Romantic Times awards.  Well into her Hawk’s Way series of Westerns she wrote a prequel with a Texas Ranger pulling a 19th Century woman into the 20th Century (A Little Time in Texas), expectable (by us) issues for the author, reactions from readers – some applauding, I hasten to add.  Success resumed; 15 million books in print; no blame from me.  [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1948 Lynn Abbey, 72. She’s best known for co-creating and co-editing with Robert Lynn Asprin (whom she was married to for awhile) the quite superb Thieves’ World series of shared-setting anthologies. (Now complete in twelve volumes.) Her Sanctuary novel set in the Thieves’ World universe is quite excellent. I’ve not kept up with her latter work, so y’all will need to tell me how it is. Most of the Thieves’ World Series is available from the usual digital suspects. (CE) 
  • Born September 18, 1952 Dee Dee Ramone. Yes, the Ramones drummer. He penned Chelsea Horror Hotel, a novel in which he and his wife move into New York City’s Hotel Chelsea where the story goes that they are staying in the same room where Sid Vicious allegedly killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Many predictable ghosts visit them. (Died 2001.) (CE) 
  • Born September 18, 1953 – Michael Nelson, 67.  Local club, WSFA (Washington, DC, SF Ass’n).  Chaired Disclave 41, Capclave 2002 (successor to Disclaves).  Helpful and reliable at other tasks too, e.g. Hugo co-administrator (with K. Bloom) at Torcon 3 the 61st Worldcon.  Currently Publications Division head for DisCon III the 79th Worldcon scheduled for August 2021.  [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1961 – Chris O’Halloran, 59.  Fan Guest of Honor (with husband John) at Baycon 2013.  Often found working in the Masquerade (onstage costume competition at SF cons); e.g. at the 77th Worldcon (Dublin) chief of the running crew we for some reason call ninja (instead of the existing Kabukiterm kuroko); sometimes competes, e.g. speaking of Torcon 3 she was part of the Best in Show “Trumps of Amber from Zelazny’s books.  She helped an outreach program bring six thousand free books to the 18th WonderCon.  Master’s degree in Library Science.  [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1980 – Kristine Ong Muslim, 40.  Fifty short stories, two hundred twenty poems; recent collection, The Drone Outside; recent introduction, The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature.  Co-editor Lontar 1-10 (journal of SE Asian SF; 2013-2018); Lightspeed special issue “People of Colo(u)r Destroy SF”.  Translator, particularly of Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles.  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born September 18, 1984 Caitlin Kittredge, 36. Wiki say she’s best known for her Nocturne City series of adult novels which I’d not heard of before this, and for The Iron Codex, a series of YA novels, but I think her best work is by far the Black London series. She’s also writing the current Witchblade series at Image Comics, and she wrote the excellent Coffin Hill series for Vertigo. (CE) 

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • The Far Side has the sequel EB never finished.
  • Incidental Comics’ Grant Snider is “Against Despair.”

(10) MOVIE FANS REMAIN AWOL. “Movie Theaters Returned. Audiences Didn’t. Now What?” asks the New York Times.

“Tenet” was supposed to mark the return of the movie theater business in the United States. Instead, it has shown just how much trouble the industry is in.

After five months of pandemic-forced closure, the big movie theater chains reopened in roughly 68 percent of the United States by Labor Day weekend, in large part so they could show the $200 million film, which Warner Bros. promoted as “a global tent pole of jaw-dropping size, scope and scale.” But “Tenet,” directed by the box office heavyweight Christopher Nolan, instead arrived with a whimper: It collected $9.4 million in its first weekend in North America and just $29.5 million over its first two weeks.

Theaters remain closed in New York and Los Angeles, the two biggest markets in the United States and the center of Mr. Nolan’s fan base. In the areas where “Tenet” did play, audience concern about safety — even with theater capacity limited to 50 percent or less in most locations — likely hurt ticket sales. Box office analysts also noted that “Tenet” is a complicated, cerebral movie with little star power; a frothier, more escapist offering may have had an easier time coaxing people back to cinemas….

(11) THE WRITER’S EDGE. Brad Parks, in “How Will Crime Fiction Authors Hold Up In The Coming Zombie Apocalypse?” on CrimeReads, asks several crime writers what they would do if faced with a horde of ravenously hungry zombies. Tagline: “Crime fiction writers will survive the zombie apocalypse, but only the women.”

.. “Of course crime writers will survive. You may think it’s because we have done the exhaustive research on anti-zombie weapons in addition to mastering techniques for martial arts and amazing feats of self-defense in the face of a rising zombie population. Alas, the true reason for our survival will stem from our keen ability to avoid public places and hide in dark corners for months at a time.” —Danielle Girard, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of White Out

(12) DEJA FIVE. James Davis Nicoll remembers “Five Unforgettable Books Involving Amnesia” at Tor.com. First on the list:

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny (1970)

Carl Corey wakes in Greenwood, an unfamiliar hospital. He has no idea how he got there. Indeed, thanks to his amnesia, he has only the staff’s word that he is “Carl Corey” and not, to pick a name entirely at random, Corwin of Amber. Some applied violence later and the curiously untrusting Carl Corey learns the name of the benefactor paying for his stay at the hospital: his sister, Evelyn Flaumel.

Escaping the hospital, he confronts the woman in question, who turns out to be no more Evelyn Flaumel than he is Carl Corey. She is, however, his sister. In fact, Corwin has a number of siblings, a Machiavellian litter imbued with powers unknown on the Earth on which Corwin woke, many of whom are rivals for the otherworldly Crown of Amber and some of whom might, if they knew he had escaped Greenwood’s comfortable oubliette, simply kill him.

(13) SHATNER RARITY. Available for bid through September 24 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions — “William Shatner Shares His Memories of Growing Up Jewish — Signed ‘Happy Chanukah William Shatner / Capt. Kirk Proud Jew'”. Image at the link.

William Shatner autograph essay signed ”William Shatner / Capt. Kirk Proud Jew”, with Shatner describing his happy memories of growing up Jewish. Composed on his personal embossed stationery, Shatner writes about ”Some Hanukkah Memories”, in full, ”First of all I’d like to say I recently released a Holiday album – I was going to call it ‘Dreidel Dreidel’ but then I thought better of it. Maybe I should have – maybe.

I was born in the Notre Dame de Grace neighborhood of Montreal Quebec Canada to a Conservative Jewish family – my Paternal Grandfather ‘Wolfe Schattner’ anglicized his family name to Shatner. All four of my grandparents were immigrants – they came from the Austria-Hungary and Russian Empires – location of present day Ukraine and Lithuania.

Third – during my childhood – the menorah stood somewhere on the mantelpiece – it was silver and black from use no matter how often it was polished – it stood there until used and then it was used with great reverence.

Fourth, my mother standing over the frying pan, pouring in a mixture of potatoes – ground-up potatoes into the sizzling fat – the oil – and frying up potato pancakes. The memory of those potato pancakes with applesauce and the family crowding around eating the pancakes is a memory that is indelible. / Happy Chanukah William Shatner / Capt. Kirk Proud Jew”. Single page measures 7.25” x 10.5”. Near fine condition.

(14) BY JOVE. “Hubble Captures Crisp New Portrait of Jupiter’s Storms” — NASA has shared the images.

Hubble’s sharp view is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet’s turbulent atmosphere, including a remarkable new storm brewing, and a cousin of the famous Great Red Spot region gearing up to change color – again.

(15) BOGUS LEGOS. NPR interviews “Lego Fans Tricked By Counterfeit Kits”.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Legos are more than a toy. They’re an investment. The company that makes those little plastic building blocks pulled in more than $5.5 billion in sales last year. They often sell Legos in special kits, sometimes depicting famous movie scenes. And they retire those kits after a while, making them collector’s items for fans and upping their value. But where there’s money to be made, there are also scams. Let’s go into the world of counterfeit Lego sets with Stacey Vanek Smith and Sally Herships from the podcast The Indicator at Planet Money.

SALLY HERSHIPS, BYLINE: Tom Glascoe (ph) lives in Dayton, Ohio. He has three kids, and they all love Lego, which is how he got into trouble. He’d been looking for a Lego X-Wing Resistance Fighter for his son.

TOM GLASCOE: And so perusing Facebook one day, I saw an ad for it for what seemed to be a low but maybe not too low of a price.

HERSHIPS: The X-Wing was half price – just 30 bucks.

GLASCOE: The pieces weren’t the same quality, and they didn’t go together quite as nicely as regular Legos.

(16) PETA CALLS FOR PEEPS PURITY. “PETA Demands That Just Born Make Vegan Peeps Because ‘The World Is In Turmoil’”Delish covers both sides.

Peeps, as it turns out, can’t seem to catch a break. The brand’s production is under fire again this week, albeit for an entirely different reason. Actor James Cromwell sent a letter to the CEO of Just Born demanding that the recipe for Peeps go vegan, because “the world is in turmoil.” ICYMI: One key ingredient in peeps is gelatin, which can be obtained from pork skin and bones.

“We use pork derived gelatin in our Peeps marshmallow to achieve a light, soft texture,” Peeps explains on its website: “Gelatin allows us to incorporate small finely divided bubbles allowing you to bite through the marshmallow cleanly with a creamy mouth feel.”

The demand is oddly-timed because the manufacturer has already said their will be no Halloween or holiday Peeps at all due to the pandemic.

(17) BUTTERFLY EFFECT. In the alternate timeline I now occupy, an author called Chuck Tingle plugs his Hugo nominations on the cover of his recent novel.

In this thrilling tale of The Tingleverse, you decide which path to take. With multiple endings to discover and several consequences to face, the reader is the star of the show as you fight to see your name in lights!

Will you and a punk rock unicorn take over the fine art scene after a battle with giant rats in Venna Beach?

Will you encounter The Valley Girls, a roving band of desert-dwelling barbarians in diesel-powered war machines, and live to tell the tale?

Will you find yourself house-sitting for dinosaur superstar Bob Downer, Jr. in the Tinglewood Hills, only to discover things are not exactly as they seem?

The decision is yours!

(18) WOOKIEE WEAR. Yahoo! News is there when “Adidas and Star Wars Launch Fur-Covered Chewbacca Sneaker”.

Adidas has teamed up with Star Wars once again, this time paying tribute to one of the series’ most iconic characters with an eye-catching sneaker collaboration.

The duo revealed their Rivalry Hi Chewbacca, a fur-covered high-top inspired by the beloved wookiee warrior, earlier this week. It features a neutral-toned color palette to represent the sci-fi desert landscape and hardware embossed with the words “STAR” and “WARS” on each shoelace.

Adidas and Star Wars also gave a nod to the belt Chewbacca wore during Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by adding a strap on the tongue of the show, and an image of the of the big-hearted wookie covers the soles.

Adidas RIVALRY HI STAR WARS SHOES Ode to Chewbacca https://www.adidas.co.uk/rivalry-hi-star-wars-shoes/FX9290.html CR: Adidas Originals

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Jurassic Park for 8 Cellos” on YouTube, Samara Ginsberg accompanies herself seven times playing the theme from Jurassic Park while cosplaying in a furry green dino costume!

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, James Davis Nicoll,  JJ, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Darrah Chavey, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

19 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/18/20 You Scrollious Scatterbrained Primitive Phile of Pixelated Pistons

  1. Thanks for the title credit!

    (5) Terry Bisson had the first trip to Mars as a reality show as I recall in Voyage to the Red Planet.

  2. Michael J. Walsh says Night Shade lives on as an imprint of Skyhorse. And they keep on publishing.

    Correct but the publishing house did go defunct and left a tangled mess with some of its contracts. I’ve got an audio recording of Kage reading The Empress of Mars up on Green Man Review because Night Shade failed to actually release the limited book and compact disc set they had contracted for with her.

    Now playing: Shadowfax’s “Folksong for a Nuclear Village”

  3. (2) Audible really is a problem, and I hope Doctorow can inspire other authors with the platforms to do so to join the challenge.

    (16) PETA isn’t an animal welfare organization; they’re a “People for the Extinction of Tame Animals” organization and they can go take a flying leap.

  4. Lis Carey says Audible really is a problem, and I hope Doctorow can inspire other authors with the platforms to do so to join the challenge.

    Ok, explain to me how DRM is a problem as a customer who only listens on two devices, both iOS based, and has been using Audible for a decade now. Genre wise, it has everything I’m looking for. So why should I care?

  5. @Cat Eldrige–

    Ok, explain to me how DRM is a problem as a customer who only listens on two devices, both iOS based, and has been using Audible for a decade now. Genre wise, it has everything I’m looking for. So why should I care?

    “Audible Exclusives” are audiobooks that no other vendor can sell–and which libraries can’t buy and lend. That’s a problem.

    Not everyone wants to listen on just two devices, and they might even want to listen on devices Audible doesn’t provide an app for. No, I’m not aware of any specific examples right now, but it easily could happen. What if Amazon/Audible gets into a spat with some smartphone manufacturer?

    They promised they were going to dump the DRM. They haven’t. They easily could, but they haven’t. They used an empty promise to lull people into not protesting their market consolidation.

    I get audiobooks from Audible, Libro.fm, Chirp, Serial Box, and Authors-Direct, just off the top of my head. Lack of DRM plus a good source-independent listening app would simplify my life. DRM prevents that–and Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla on this.

    And I hate being treated as a presumed thief. I want to read or listen to the books I’ve bought when, where, and on the devices I want, not steal and illegally distribute them.

    You may not care about any of this, but I do.

  6. 10) End of the world or no end of the world, the audio in Nolan’s films is so muddy I’m no longer willing to watch them without benefit of subtitles, pause, and rewind.

  7. So why should I care?

    I own around 4,000 digital songs. I bought a lot of them from Amazon because it didn’t use DRM and others from Apple stopped using DRM. I’ll be able to listen to these files forever.

    I care about DRM because I’ve had so many experiences where some media I bought stopped being available. Everything you own that has DRM eventually won’t be accessible or will have an ongoing cost that’s burdensome.

    I admire what Doctorow is attempting.

  8. Ok, explain to me how DRM is a problem

    Well for me: I use an iPod, I hate, hate, hate the latest version of iTunes (it wouldn’t stay with the network drive the music and podcats live on, repeatedly resetting itself onto the tiny but far c: drive) and the interface, especially for podcasts is awful. Older versions are much better. Except that the poxing DRM means that I can’t put Audible purchases into my iPod. DRM only works with the latest version.

  9. 8) Dee Dee Ramone was the bassist for the Ramones. He also was the primary song-writer for the band so he has a LOT of genre credits for songs included in movies. As an actor he was in Bikini Bandits which is totes genre as it involves the titular heroines being killed, given a quest by the Devil and being opposed by the Pope (portrayed by Dee Dee). Reviews are decidedly mixed.

  10. (2) I’m glad to be out of it; audio books (or ebooks of any kind) never held much appeal for me.

    I’ve listened to three audio books in my life: Now Wait for Last Year (read by Luke Daniels), Lolita (Jeremy Irons), and Q-in-Law (cassette tape circa 1992; John de Lancie and Majel Barrett). The first two I already knew well; the last was borrowed from a friend, and still my only exposure to a Trek novel other than Blish’s 1970 one.

  11. NickPheas says Well for me: I use an iPod, I hate, hate, hate the latest version of iTunes (it wouldn’t stay with the network drive the music and podcats live on, repeatedly resetting itself onto the tiny but far c: drive) and the interface, especially for podcasts is awful. Older versions are much better. Except that the poxing DRM means that I can’t put Audible purchases into my iPod. DRM only works with the latest version.

    So how old is the iPod and which iOS is it using? Most of the iPods are fairly old at this point which means newer software doesn’t working with them. I’ve had no problem with the several year old iPhone I’m using either itunes or Audible.

  12. Liz Carey says “Audible Exclusives” are audiobooks that no other vendor can sell–and which libraries can’t buy and lend. That’s a problem.

    They’re developed in-house. Do you expect a publisher to share an anthology they’ve develop with other publishers?

    Not sure why libraries can’t purchase and lend. Have you been told this by a Library? Remember that Audible can only do with a given work what the publisher allows them to do. Publishers more often than not control what can be done with the audiobook. And much of Audible carries is a sublease of existing productions, say Simon Green’s Ishmael Jones series.

  13. @Cat Eldridge–

    They’re developed in-house. Do you expect a publisher to share an anthology they’ve develop with other publishers?

    We’re not talking about “sharing with other publishers.” We’re talking about selling to or through other vendors, which is something that happens routinely. Publishers don’t typically limit sales to one vendor.

    Not sure why libraries can’t purchase and lend. Have you been told this by a Library?

    Yes. Audible won’t sell them to libraries.

    Remember that Audible can only do with a given work what the publisher allows them to do. Publishers more often than not control what can be done with the audiobook. And much of Audible carries is a sublease of existing productions, say Simon Green’s Ishmael Jones series.

    When publishers (other than Audible) control the audiobook, it’s usually available from multiple vendors. For instance, I can check both Audible and Libro.fm to see if one has a better price than the other.

    But once I’ve made my choice, because of Audible’s DRM, I can’t also decide which player I like better.

    No platform lasts forever. I, and you, have outlived several. Having bought the books and audiobooks in my library, I want to keep them, not have them disappear because Bezos or his successors make some bad business decisions–or just decide that they won’t support old formats anymore.

  14. The UK company Big Finish, which produces audio adventure similar to old radio shows for properties like Doctor Who, sells its audios DRM-free, in high quality mp3 or m4b downloads and as CDs, and they sell through multiple retailers. They’re a relatively small operation with a limited product range compared to Audible, but they’re a counter argument to the idea that Audible is the only way to go. Good luck to Cory Doctorow.

  15. Liz Carey say But once I’ve made my choice, because of Audible’s DRM, I can’t also decide which player I like better.

    I’m curious as to how much difference you see between the players. And what makes a good audiobook player? I’ve not a lot of experience here as I either use the Audible app or the default Music app on an iOS device.

    Now playing;: Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok”
    Now reading: Frank Tuttle’s The Five Faces: The Markat Files, volume eight

  16. @Cat Eldridge–

    I’m curious as to how much difference you see between the players. And what makes a good audiobook player? I’ve not a lot of experience here as I either use the Audible app or the default Music app on an iOS device.

    Both Audible and Libro.fm have good apps, but they’re not the same. What I want from an audiobook player app is that it plays the book well, it’s easy to stop and start, easy to tell how far along in the book I am.

    Libro.fm and Audible both play the book well. Initially, the Libro.fm was not as easy to start and stop; I had to go into the app to stop and start it. The Audible app, on the other hand, I could stop and start from the controls on my headphones. Much easier! I could stop it quickly when I needed to talk to someone, and restart it after. The Libro.fm app, on the other hand, I had open the app to do that; it was a nuisance.

    But Libro.fm fixed that, and now I can do that on both apps.

    I want to know how far along I am in the book; Libro.fm shows me the percentage of the book I’ve completed, clear and unambiguous. Audible shows me, by default, how far I am in the chapter I’m currently listening to. Which, hey, so does Libro.fm. It doesn’t show me how far in the book I am. For that, I need to go to the display of the chapters, and that shows me the chapters, and the time for each chapter, and not for the total book, and so, hey, I can either add up the how much time I’ve listened so far, and work out the percentage–or I can just check how many chapters I’ve listened to, and pretend they’re all close enough in length that it’s worthwhile basis for deciding what percentage of the book I’ve listened to. Calling that a very rough estimate is being kind.

    You may not care about those things. I do.

    And Libro.fm fixed the thing on their app that I liked better on the Audible app. Audible hasn’t responded at all to my suggestion that they could do the thing I like better about the Libro.fm app.

    A thing that is purely aesthetic and personal: The Audible app is black screens all the way, with white or light-colored text etc. I hate that. The Libro.fm app is mostly white screens with dark text; much easier on my eyes.

    There are other apps from other audiobook sources, and for the most part, I find them okay, but I think Audible and Libro.fm are the best, from my point of view.

    This is not a detailed, point by point comparison of everything I like and dislike about the different apps, but just a few of the most obvious things about the two I use most. Nor is this a suggestion that you should agree with my preferences. i think we should both have completely free choice on which app we like better, regardless of the sources of our audiobooks.

  17. @Lis Carey

    (16) PETA isn’t an animal welfare organization; they’re a “People for the Extinction of Tame Animals” organization and they can go take a flying leap.

    New (to me) and accurate. Well done!

    Regards,
    Dann
    You’ve got to vote for someone. It’s a shame, but it’s got to be done. – Whoopi Goldberg

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