Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to track progress on an audiobook?

I've been re-listening to World War Z as part of my "listen to audiobooks while watching sports" thing I mentioned earlier. I was thinking I wanted to see how far along I was because I keep track of that with my other books using Goodreads, why not audio. But I realized there isn't an easy way to do that. At least not a way that doesn't require me to do math. So, as is the current custom, I complained to Goodreads on Twitter, not really thinking they'd say anything. But they did. The first response involved math
Which, yes, I realize I COULD do that but it assumes two things: I know how long the audiobook is as a whole and I know how long I've been listening. I do not know these things. I shared this fact with Goodreads who asked if I had any suggestions.
My only suggestion would be entering in the track number though I have no idea how standardized that is.
Of the few audiobooks I've listened to, they've all been CDs. So they have a disc number and track number. I have that information at hand so I would think that would be a good way to keep track. Or at least easy for the user, although it would require Goodreads to keep track of a LOT of data because naturally there are a bunch of variables because nothing is ever easy. It's not only keeping count of the total number of discs and tracks and audiobook has. There's also the fact that each track may not be/is unlikely to be the same length. If you wanted an accurate number, they'd have to keep track of the length of each track on each disc in order to calculate a percentage through the book. AND THEN they would have to keep track of all of that information if there are different versions out there, although I think that might be less of a beast than keeping track of all the various publications of a book.

We're not done yet, though, because there's also a matter of getting audiobooks off sites like Audible. I haven't done this (yet!) so I'm not even sure what those are like. Maybe they already track percentage for you and it's an easy addition. Maybe they have the same track list but no discs, so it's just a matter of repeating the same values that are capture for the discs.
Anyone have any ideas how this could be tracked? Or do you not actually care of much about keep track if your audiobook progress? Or maybe you care, but are way more on top of me about things like how long you've been listening and how long you have to go.