Audio Fiction

Figuring out how to crack Apple codecs to make them playable outside the realm of iTunes QuickTime seems to be a popular past time. The latest success in this area involves the reverse engineering of Apple’s Lossless Codec, which is a direct competitor to the Windows Media Lossless format and more open formats like FLAC and Monkey’s Audio. At some point it would be great if all the codec companies would learn to play nice and let us choose which player we want to listen to our audio in. This project is another example of the Linux crowd wanting access to something that the mainstream didn’t bother to code for them. Ingenuity prevails and as a result, I’m betting we see a better alternative to iTunes pop up in the coming months. Possibly a new addition to the project that created Real Alternative.

Futurismic, my favorite source of short form science fiction has another round of outstanding stories available online. Some of the stories may offend you, some will make you think, all the stories are outstanding writing in the science fiction realm by authors who may just be the next Hugo or Nebula winner. Read them now so you can say I remember when…

Check your local library to see if they are offering a new audio book download service. A company called NetLibrary is making a large selection of audio available for download by library members. Unlike traditional audio books, which would be physically checked out one copy at a time, these audio books are available on demand to anyone who signs up at a participating library. The tricky part seems to be figuring out whether or not your library is participating in the program or not. For instance, I found out the Great River Region Library system in Minnesota is offering the service thanks to the Player Blog. I can find no indication that the libraries in either Seattle, WA or Des Moines, IA are currently making the service available and they don’t offer a listing on the site to list all the libraries currently in the program. This may be one of those services the library patrons need to lobby for in order to get in place.