Saturday, October 06, 2007

How much is silence worth?

Today I put an audio book on my iPod for Frankie. He moved from place to place in the living room, periodically compelled to tell me what was happening or ask my opinion. "Do you think that a bread knife is a good weapon?" (It's a St*phen King book). He has done this for more than 2 hours.


And just in case you missed it, let me say again, Frankie has been mostly quiet and completely calm for two solid hours.

In the past few days Frankie has been having, according to Hubby who has been with him, more melt-downs. Frankie told the doctor that he did not need all three of his medications and it was agreed that one of them would be reduced as a trial. The trial period from our perspective has not been going well. Frankie has torn up instructions to something we bought him because it wasn't working to his satisfaction; thrown his CD player into his closet because the batteries ran out; given up on... well everying and burst into complaints and nearly tears several times.

I have not been here for most of it, but Hubby has.

But the audiobook was like the proverbial music to the savage beast.

If your local library is a subscriber, you can check out audiobooks from Netlibrary free. They have 15 Stephen King books. Most are about 12 hours long. That is 180 hours of free audio book time. Perhaps listening to an audiobook is just as bad for his social development as playing video games, but I just can't seem to feel as guilty about it. I mean, it is a book.

The rub is that iPods won't play Netlibrary books. They will play books, but those you have to pay for and it can add up pretty darn fast.

Most MP3 players aren't set up for audiobooks. Even iPods are not great. You can pause a book and the player will remember where you left off, but you can't put in a bookmark. Netlibary has tested players and there are a handful of them that do bookmark. I just got the new Creative Zen and though Netlibrary has not (yet) listed it, it does a wonderful job. You can set up to 10 bookmarks -- all in the same book if you like. The player will remember the bookmark until you over-ride it. The Zen will also play books, which is cool because I do have quite a few books I have bought from them.*

It is $130 for the 4g version.

How long would the Frankie continue to enjoy audiobooks? How long would it work to calm him?
Oh, how I am tempted...

We just bought him a less expensive mp3 player, identical except in color to the one that Brian has. It is not a good player for audiobooks from any source. I can't take it back for a couple of reasons, including the fact that Frankie ripped up the instructions (see above) and Hubby lost the receipt. Buying him a second, and more expensive player right away seems like a bad idea. It would not be good for his character and the other boys would be justifiably jealous.

But once I bought it there would be free audiobooks...and potentially hours and hours of calm and silence...


*Just in case anyone out there is doing this, I have found that I have to use the Audible Manager software to load the audible books onto the Zen. For Netlibrary I have to first open the books in Micros*ft Media Player in order to get the license and then have to use the Zen software to put the book onto the Zen. Silly, but not difficult once you figure it out.

1 comment:

  1. Our library offers books already loaded onto players. I can't remember what they're called, but you check out the player and then return it when you've heard the book.


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