I have been experimenting with the Audible formats on the Fuze. I’ve listened to Audible books since 2001 (in format 1 on a Rio 500), so I have a fair amount of experience with the formats. I also live in the country, so my wireless connection is not nearly as fast as DSL (though much better than dial-up) and file size can be an issue for me.
According to the Audible website, the Fuze only will accept type 4 files. I am using type 3 quite successfully on it. In my opinion, the only difference in quality between 3 and 4 is at times when the book is using music for highlights in the production. The Fuze will also accept type 2 files, but the quality of those recordings is not acceptable to me. If you look at the bitrate for the various levels, format 2 is only 8kbps while 3 is 16kbps and 4 is 32kbps. The first part of Winter Study (by Nevada Barr), a type 2 file is only 24mb, type 3 is 46, and type 4 is 92mb. I routinely use type 3 files on both my Fuze and my iPod Nano (3g) because it is a satisfactory compromise between quality and file size. Not only can I put more books on the device if it is at the lower bitrate, but I can’t really hear a difference between 3 and 4 in AUDIOBOOKS (music is a completely different issue). When I rip books from CD or tape, though, I usually rip them at 96kbps.
Message Edited by sharol on 05-25-2008 06:13 AM