Audible will release a free, original Homeland audiobook on Sunday

After the new episode of Homeland airs this Sunday, the Amazon-owned digital audiobook service Audible.com (s AMZN) will release a free, 30-minute “soliloquy by congressman-turned-fugitive Nicholas Brody,” the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall). Narrated by Damian Lewis, the actor who plays Brody, this is “Audible’s first stab at creating new content for a TV drama,” and Audible hired a writer to work on it in collaboration with Homeland writers and Fox (s NWS).

How to create your own audiobooks

For authors who want to use their own home equipment to narrate an audio version of their own books, or if you want to record your kids reading their favorite stories for posterity, you can do it with a microphone, and iPad and GarageBand.

Amazon’s Brilliance Audio launches inspirational/self-help publishing division

Amazon’s audiobook company, Brilliance, is expanding with the launch of Grand Harbor Press, a self-help and inspirational publishing division that will release books in print, digital and audio formats. Its first title is by Will Bowen, who previously published two books with Random House’s Doubleday.

Amazon-owned Audible will sponsor much of the Guardian’s book content

As newspaper book sections shrink or disappear, the Guardian is teaming up with the Amazon-owned Audible.co.uk to sponsor much of its books content in print and online. The companies are also launching “The Guardian Audio Edition,” a free weekly selection of articles read aloud.

Amazon-owned Audible: Hey authors, want $20 million?

The Amazon-owned digital audiobooks site Audible.com is launching a new program, “Audible Author Services,” that pays audiobook authors $1 per sale through Audible.com, Audible.co.uk, and iTunes. The audiobook publishers do not receive any of the funds.

How-To: Join Audio Files Together Into Audiobooks

It can be a real hassle putting an audiobook into iTunes when it’s split into many different files. Lucky for you, I have a method, absolutely free, to make listening to books a pleasure again by combining all the separate files into one audiobook file.

iTunes 9: Keeping In Sync

iTunes IconiTunes 9 brings about a much more flexible setup for syncing. It’s definitely an improvement, in some senses, but still far from perfect. In fact, many might be quick to term some of the options as “feature creep.” Check out some of our thoughts on the new options and look at the side by side screenshots of the syncing options to get an idea.
Syncing in general has been improved in the sense that users can now drill down and sync more specific content. Music can now be synced by a combination of playlists, specific artists or genres. Podcasts can be synced by specific episodes and TV shows can be synced by specific episodes or seasons.
New altogether is the ability to sync iTunes U content which also has its own category, instead of being mixed in randomly between podcasts and music. Photo syncing has also been greatly enhanced, allowing support for specific albums, events or faces. Searching has also been enabled in many of these areas to allow you to quickly narrow down your choices. While these are all great features, they have really intensified the syncing interface. Hopefully it’s not too much for some users. Read More about iTunes 9: Keeping In Sync

iTunes 9 Wishlist: 10 Ways Apple Can Improve Its Media Organizer

iTunes Icon

With Apple’s (s aapl) music oriented media event right around the corner, everyone is abuzz with thoughts about new iPods, Apple TV updates, tablet rumors and more. The one thing we can all but guarantee besides new iPods is an update to iTunes. But what will this version bring? Social aspects have been rumored, but there is still room for improvement. So, here’s my Top 10 wish list for iTunes 9.

1. More Stable & Efficient On Windows

This particular point doesn’t apply to me, as I am a Mac user, but I do know that the Windows version of iTunes has suffered in comparison to its Mac brethren. Though some of the programming technologies in the Windows world are not as robust as their Mac equivalents, I do hope Apple will continue to optimize iTunes as it adds new features. Currently, it’s just a resource hog.

2. Better Audiobook Support

iTunes is a great application to manage your audiobooks and Apple’s partnership with Audible makes it even easier to buy them. What really strikes me as problematic though is how cumbersome it is to sync specific audiobooks to your iPod or iPhone. At the moment, it’s either “all” or “none.” When you consider that some audiobooks have multiple files and some users have insanely huge collections of audiobooks, it really seems like an issue Apple would have refined already. Due to their length, most users listen to one or two audiobooks at a time and don’t need to bring their entire collection with them. The only solution to this dilemma is creating playlists for specific audiobooks and that’s more time consuming than it should be. Read More about iTunes 9 Wishlist: 10 Ways Apple Can Improve Its Media Organizer