[Athen] RFBD Audio Access MP3 Compatibility

Todd Schwanke tschwanke at wisc.edu
Tue Dec 23 13:10:16 PST 2008

Here at UW-Madison we are successfully using the Creative Zen 8 GB Portable Media Player
I recommend the Creative silicone sleeves and screen protectors as the screen and cases are a soft plastic.

We were initially going to use the SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8GB. The features looked the best and the wheel made it more iPod like. And, it was just about the only one I found that seemed to have a decent ability to use an expansion micro-SD card, which we thought would be helpful if we downloaded additional books for a student. However, in syncing our first couple books they took a half a day or more, which wasn't at all practical. They'd start out fast and then pages would get slower and slower and we couldn't find a fix. Another issue we found with the Fuze is that you couldn't put bookmarks in audiobooks unless you reclassified them as some genre of music. Additionally, you could speed up or slow down playback, but it had the same tone problems at the old tape players.

So, we switched to the Creative Zen 8 GB and that worked pretty well. Sync's still aren't particularly quick (about 20min per book), but are way better than the Sansa.

If students want portable and discreet it seems they are choosing this device over CDs. However, if the ability to change playback speed is particularly important to them, then we are finding that they are choosing to stick with the CDs. One real success we had was a student who said that having the compact size of the audio player was an incentive for him to start using his audio books more, which made him realize that they helped and caused regret that he had not used the CDs more when they were available, despite the form factor.

I haven't had any students yet come in with cell phones that do WMA/DRM that we could put their audio files on, but I'm eager to see how well that works.

If anyone knows of a site that does a grid comparison of features of different audio players and phones including WMA, DRM, iTunes, etc. that would be really helpful.

Another hint is to watch out for the Windows Media Player autosync if you are connecting multiple devices to a computer. If the available content is less than the storage on the player it will start the autosync upon connection and you'll end up inadvertently using up your book licenses even if it only manages to sync 1 page of a book.

Happy holidays,

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Maureen Bourbeau
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:20 PM
To: athen at athenpro.org
Subject: [Athen] RFBD Audio Access MP3 Compatibility

Wondering if anyone has sucessfully used these RFBD downloadable audio files on portable MP3 players? And if so, what MP3 players will it work with (specific vendor and model info would be great).

RFBD's website is vague on the issue and only lists vendors such as Creative, Samsung, SanDisk and Sony with no specific model information. I'd like to give our students a little more information if it is available. Or is it simply a trial and error activity?

I'd appreciate learning from someone else's efforts :)

Wishing you all a restful holiday.


Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

More information about the athen-list mailing list