Apropos Audio

I never thought I’d be so excited for a new audio release. Honestly, for all the time that RA has been recording for Audible, I have said that I am not an audio fan *at all*. It turns out, I was *not* an audio fan because I didn’t have the right environmental circumstances to enjoy and value audio books. I simply feel bad if were just to sit on the sofa and listen to an audio book, doing nothing. But with a junk journal on my desk and the headphones on, it becomes the perfect win-win situation. So, anyway, the countdown is on; tomorrow is release day for A nearly normal family, and it really doesn’t come too soon because I have been listening to so much audio crap in the last while, I can’t wait for some quality stuff.

Talking of audio and quality…

Aha! Is Richard in the studio as we speak? And who is he recording for? Is this going to be an audio book of the Marc Aurel text, or is it VO for a documentary? Questions, questions, questions…

Meanwhile, Audible is now totally on board with harnessing the Armitage Army for their social media marketing. It’s not the first time that they have tweeted about RA, of course, but usually it is in context with an upcoming release. And this tweet is definitely not.

For a long while I ignored Audible on Twitter because their MO seemed to be “mention Armitage, bag all the engagement, ignore the tweeps”. In laywomen’s terms: They baited the fans with a reference to Richard in order to get lots of likes, replies and RTs, but they never engaged back and replied to the comments of the fans. That kind of behaviour makes me mad every time, and if it happens more than twice, I usually stop engaging because I do not respond well to exploitation. However, in the last while they seem to have copped on and changed their social media strategy because I have had a couple of exchanges with Audible. Which is why I replied this time.

Seriously, without bigging myself up, but I definitely like that idea better than all those suggestions of RA reading the phone book. I mean, how often do you have to look up phone numbers? Plus, the phone book doesn’t really have any social skills. But Alexa does. Just imagine, you could ask Alexitage to tell you a joke – and a blonde walks into a bar… 😂 The more I think about it, the more I like this idea and the more I am sure it will never happen. Armitage would be giving away one of his best assets, and oversaturate the market. Although *I* can never get enough!

Anyway, the whole Amazon machine seems to be slowly falling in love with Armitage, though. My Google Alerts had this little snippet for me today.

“Read David Copperfield.”

Richard Armitage brings his unique voice and interpretation to this Dickens classic. Follow David Copperfields life journey while he encounters villains, saviours and eccentrics. Listen for free on Echo until 30 June.

Mh-mh. *Guylty nods vigorously* Definitely worth while for Armitage. Maybe not so much for Dickens.

By the way, if you haven’t yet read Armidreamer’s fun post on the subject of Armitage’s voice, please do so! Especially as she has voice snippets to listen to!!!

One more sleep! I leave you with a little gallery of audio-gone-visual.

I always find it most amusing that it is in the studio recording for erotic romance Wanderlust that Richard is decked in a highnecked, thick cardigan. Armour? 😂

Bonus:

*drools* Yep, I know. In the end, the visuals are always better than the just the voice. And the combined package is unrivalled. *over and definitely knocked out*

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53 thoughts on “Apropos Audio

  1. I couldn’t have timed it better, I have a credit that’s just waiting to be used! 😁 I keep getting emails from Audible suggesting that since I’ve listened to a Lauren Blakely book in the past I may like to do so again. Uhmm….that’s a big, fat no, Audible. That listen was purely for Richard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh bingo, Mezz. I had those marketing e-mails from Audible, too, and every time I received them, I had to shudder. One reason to hate digital marketing: you are associated with stuff even though you hated it 😂

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  2. I’m about 2/3 of the way through Heads you Win and although I thoroughly dislike Archer he can write a good yarn 🙄 Great literature it ain’t, but I have to admit I’m hooked 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve just done that one too, I can’t bear Archer but as you say he does write a good story. I have a Jenny Colgan I’m listening to at the moment and then I shall do Normal. I find I listen to them in the car which is a great way to pass the time. Volume as high as I can so I get the full effect of the those dulcet tones!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Certainly an easy read, I agree. I can’t say that it was a hardship, listening to the book, but I also thought that it was predictable and formulaic. However, I did listen to the end, and I didn’t have to force myself like I had to with some other of RA’s audio books (Dickens, Tattooist).

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  3. I am going shallow here and just say thank you Guylty for the fabulous collage of Richard pics in the studio. Maybe the last is the best with those fingers and hand hair sticking up… ahhhh the imagination…
    Hope you enjoy the ANNF!! Crafting should always be the lead story though!!!

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  4. Since I just wrote about how much I didn’t enjoy the last year or so of his audiobooks and his books for Audible, I won’t repeat myself — but I find their marketing campaign intrusive and monotonous. It is one of the main things that makes me spend less and less time on Twitter and in the fandom there. In general I dislike social media marketing and “influencing” but the silly games they seem to want us to play with them (for what?) are for me an egregious example of why I try to stay away from the platform as much as possible.

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    • I know you dislike SM marketing intensely, and I do understand your POV. Maybe I am completely jaded because I know the mechanism and am deeply cynical about how useless it is to try and defend myself from it… But yeah, I enjoy the little games – it’s completely inconsequential to me, my purchasing behaviour and to the people who read me. I do not buy more or less audio books because of it. I know full well that we are only a means to an end. Why they want us to play the silly games? You know why – because every engagement translates into conversions for them. Not one by one, but in some shape or form.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, if something gets pushed at me on social media it almost always goes automatically in my mental trash bin. I have to laugh at what FB thinks is appropriate marketing for me (it’s decided I’m an African American, for starters, so all those haircare products just fly right past me. It also thinks I’m a conservative Lutheran who opposes reproductive rights, and a hardcore supporter of the US Marines). The closest it gets is shoes (maybe it noticed that I blogged about shoes lately) but what it offers me is bizarrely unattractive — whereas there are things I actually want and might be prompted to buy, but I never see ads for those things.

        When I see something sponsored on Twitter that shows in the #richardarmitage feed I almost always laugh. So maybe I’m just strangely insulated from the appeal that kind of thing, but even fan marketing makes no impression on me except to turn me off. If I’m interested in something I’m going to be interested in it, and if I’m not, no amount of peer pressure is going to have that effect on me, and in marginal cases it’s a negative. If all I see in my feed is 75 people I know tweeting #richardarmitage in response to a question Audible has asked on Twitter, my response is “how soon can I get to any real information here so I can shut this nonsense off.” I realize I’m in the minority, but my understanding from casual news reading is that the whole ad economy is rather precarious. It’s not sufficient to support general media, and people in Instagram (where I spend almost no time because I’m not that interested in pictures) are alternately disturbed by bullying and fakeness. I don’t like crowd mentality IRL and I like it even less on my computer screen.

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        • See, I completely agree with everything you write – the irrelevance of the ads, the immunity to peer pressure. I just have a different reaction to it than you. It doesn’t rile me or make me angry; personally I don’t feel that I can get moralistic about it either, because I benefitted from the advertising industry for several years as a source of income. I just ignore the whole thing, and occasionally, when it suits me, I play along.
          I’m hardly active on IG, so I don’t know how influencers work there or how fake it is. (Among my small circle of contacts on IG, things are not fake. I know them personally and I enjoy getting glimpses of their art and their lives.) Not sure whether the ad economy is really precarious. Just from working with all those multi-billion companies in the last 4 years, I have to say I think it is not. But then again, I have never been a great analyst, so I am probably wrong in that respect.

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          • e.g., this, which is a few years old now, https://www.nber.org/papers/w20171 . I read something last week that asserted that the big internet giants (Google, FB, etc.) are going to have to turn away from ads as a means of support because they are learning that they don’t generate enough income. (Unfortunately I don’t remember where; it might have been The Atlantic. I’m a pretty centrist reader when it comes to news. I’ll send it along if I find it this afternoon). There’s been stuff lately about how ads aren’t even really supporting the platforms most dependent on them, even as they have destroyed a lot of key traditional media. So imo there are good reasons to be moralistic about social media, even apart from the question of whether I want to be manipulated by a marketer somewhere (or even worse, a computer algorithm).

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            • I didn’t say that there are no reasons to be moralistic about social media advertising. I said that *I* can’t be moralistic about it, seeing that I have profited from it/worked for it for a long time. It would hypocritical if I were.
              As for advertising as a means of support – hence FB, Google et al have been investing in many other ventures for years, I suppose. From hardware to premium packages.

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              • I guess I don’t really understand the distinction in this case between something being worth of moral concern generally or something being worthy of moral concern for me particularly. Surely if something’s worthy of moral concern it should be worthy of mine? If it weren’t worthy of moral concern to the individual, that would make it generally unworthy of moral concern. Or am I missing something?

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                • You don’t think it is hypocritical for someone who works in the ad tech industry and earns her money that way, to go around and agitate against the very system that feeds her?

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                    • Ok, I think this discussion is going nowhere because I am unable to express precisely what I mean. Maybe I am using the wrong words in English. In German: Ich halte es für heuchlerisch, ein System zu kritisieren, das ich mit meiner Arbeit als Tech-Journalist unterstütze, und das mir gleichzeitig meinen Lebensunterhalt finanziert, weil ich über das System schreibe. Oder im Umkehrschluss: Wer das System kritisiert, sollte konsequenterweise auch nicht für das System arbeiten.

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          • ps re: IG — see, that’s the thing. That’s not how you are supposed to be using the tool. That’s pretty much how I use FB: everyone in my RL FB is someone I know well personally and someone I’d be friends with IRL if they lived near me. So it’s a tool for doing something I’d want to do anyway. That’s of course not why Zuckerberg et al built it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • That’s exactly how I use FB too, mine’s only for people I know, with whom I don’t have day to day contact but who I want to stay in touch with.

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      • I’m curious as to why you’d say it’s pointless to defend yourself from it, though. I don’t find it that hard to defend myself from any ad — but there’s also a really easy solution which is just to turn it off.

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          • I don’t think I have an ad blocker engaged anymore — but I’m pretty confident in my ability to ignore ads nonetheless. However, like I said, there’s a really good way to prevent oneself from consuming any ads at all, even passively, and that’s just turning the whole thing off.

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            • By “turning the whole thing off” – do you mean “not using the internet” or “not using sites that have ads”? I find there are a lot of platforms that I use, which display ads. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest because a) I am basically ad blind when it comes to display ads; and b) I make a conscious effort not to be influenced by video ads.

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              • Well, you said it was “useless to defend yourself from it” (by which I assume you meant “SM marketing” (the apparent antecedent. I don’t think it’s useless; I do think that there is a point and there are ways. But yeah, the ultimate standpoint would be turning off the Internet or just staying away from ad-based social media. I guess I don’t really understand — you seem to be saying simultaneously that you’ve given up and that social media marketing has no effect on you.

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                • I have given up worrying about it. Because the two options are: stay away from the internet or from platforms which display ads, or accept that there are ads and somehow avoid being influenced by them.

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    • Il est impossible pour vous de vous dégager du risque d’être involontairement ou indirectement des “agents publicitaires”. La limite, entre l’information honnête et le détournement de vos propos vers un sponsoring caché non voulu, est très tenue. A nous les fans de faire la part des choses.
      Vos excellents blogs attirent les fans. Vos écrits sont soit élogieux et ou soit critiques. Mais vos blogs ne seront jamais des outils au service de ses affairistes, vendeurs de rêves, sans scrupule.

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  5. But yeah — I am interested in the Meditations like perhaps no audiobook of his before this one. Given past experiences, though, I’m skeptical about the capacity to deliver if Audible is involved. Will they abridge them? Or change them to add a happy ending? Ugh.

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    • You have previous knowledge of this book, right? I have never read any of it, and from having sat through 7 years of Latin in school, ancient texts never struck me as particularly exciting. I guess I’ll have to keep an open mind.
      How long is the original? Longer than Dickens? They didn’t abridge that, did they, so if it was for Audible, we can hope. However, as I said, I just can’t quite believe it is for Audible. They have four versions of the Meditations already (all coming in at around 5 hours – does that fit the length of the text?). My hope is it is for something else, and he is just reading extracts of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve got the Penguin Classics pb ed and it’s a scant 300 pp iirc. IMO most ancient texts are only really great if you have the right teacher who can make them intelligible, or if they touch on some contemporary concern. A lot of them are primarily of historical interest now (I mean, who cares about Caesar, either as a commentator on history or a Latin stylist? People just assign it because it’s easy to understand in both Latin and English). But the ones I really love do touch on themes that affect me today (the main one being the Peloponnesian War, but also Iliad, Oedipus Rex, Antigone). I like the Greeks better than the Romans and my interest in the Meditations is a bit like that — something that had no effect on me until I stumbled upon it again (3rd read) at just the right moment.

        It’s true Audible let him do all of DC but I hate that book (probably similar to your experience — unbeloved required reading in school). I think it’s probably true for a lot of people apart from Armitage fans that if the material doesn’t grab them, it’s just hours and hours of noise. I get why they abridge them, but I suspect on the whole it’s counterproductive — as with the Heyers. The real Heyer fans are annoyed they’re abridged, and most people who don’t like that genre aren’t listening to them anyway.

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        • 😂 3300 pp. Ok, that is *definitely* not a 5 hours book.
          Don’t get me wrong, I actually *loved* Latin in school. But by definition those school texts were never about getting into the flow and into the topic, but only about translating… Maybe it will be a completely different ballgame when the text isn’t read in the original. (I am getting curious now.)
          Yeah, I don’t like abridged versions either because I’d like to make the decision about what I am skipping myself, please. Dickens was definitely noise…

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  6. the Alexa suggestion and why is really quite funny and clever of you, though I don’t and probably won’t have an Alexa type device. Its scary enough thinking about all the info I put out there as it is, never mind having some AI listening into my daily conversations! (though i think my phone is now listening-thank god i don’t have a smart TV!)

    I really have no comment on the choice of Marcus Aurelius as the next audiobook he’s doing as i’ve never read it.

    and yes Armidreamers post was brilliant 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love all that kind of gadgetry and bought the cheapest Echo device on Prime Day last year. It was great for a little while, but since the family is much more distrustful of AI and the internet (I am pretty fatalistic about it – too late to turn back now, that kind of attitude), they always pulled the plug. So the device is there but can’t listen because it has been unplugged.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw thanks Guylty – and Rachel.
    I can’t get over the Audible team supposedly imagining Richard reading a shopping list! I’ve tried and it’s really hard, “Potatoes, marmalade, bleach, Fondant Fancies, panty- liners ….”
    But Richard as Alexitage (!!!l is an amazing idea! I mistrust the device and won’t have one but it would be glorious having his voice booming around the house and imagine all the things we could get him to say, “”Um, Alexitage, what’s that Olivia Newton John Travolta song? ” Alexitage: ” You’re the one that I want.”
    Have you started listening to A Normal Family yet?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve been thinking I should do a post to about my newish love for audiobooks. Maybe I’ll have time soon… My son just finished his last exam! School finally done! Unlike you, I am not nostalgic about this in the slightest. Just so glad that the torture is over, for both him and me. I started listening to A Normal Family this morning – so far so good! His name is Adam again!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sounds good – I’d love to hear what you have to say about audio books because I suspect I am basically on a similar journey as you, Sue.
      As for your son – congrats to him, too. And then to you for getting all your kids through school. It’s no mean feat, and you definitely have earned yourself a pat on the back!
      Looking forward to ANNF tomorrow!

      Liked by 2 people

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