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General FAQs

Girl holding an MP3 CD player
© Listening Books

What is an MP3 CD?expand section arrow

An MP3 CD looks just like a standard CD, but can hold up to 12 hours of audio.

Do I need any special equipment to play MP3 CDs?expand section arrow

MP3 CDs will play on most DVD players, computers and modern CD players. Please make sure your CD player has an MP3 logo similar to this: MP3 logo The library can send you out a sample MP3 CD to see if your machine is compatible.

Where can I buy an MP3 CD player from?expand section arrow

Please follow this link for more information about models and stockists.

What is Internet streaming?expand section arrow

Internet streaming is a way of listening to audiobooks directly from your computer. Our members can stream from this website; if you have a username and password please log in at the top of the page.

Can I listen to books on any computer or laptop?expand section arrow

Streaming works on any PC computer or laptop, but as yet isn' t compatible with Apple Macs.

How do I join Listening Books?expand section arrow

Click here to find out how to join our service.

I can't afford the membership fee, can I still join?expand section arrow

We frequently help members in this position. Please email our membership and recruitment administrator who will discuss the options with you.

Who is eligible to join?expand section arrow

Anybody with an illness or disability who finds it difficult or impossible to hold a book or read in the usual way. This includes adults or children with visual, physical, mental health or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Do you provide any educational audiobooks?expand section arrow

Yes, we support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level, providing set texts and study guides for English, as well as support for numerous other subjects. Please see our catalogue to find out more.

Do you provide the book as well as the audio?expand section arrow

We don't provide the books, however many of our members who want to follow the text source these from their local library.

How long has Listening Books been running?expand section arrow

Listening Books was founded in 1959. Please click here to find out our chairman's thoughts on our founder, Norma Skemp.

How do I request the audiobooks I'd like to listen to?expand section arrow

Please visit our catalogue to choose your audiobooks, then you can either email our library, phone or post your requests to us. For PDF instructions, please click here.

What if I am having trouble making my own choice of titles?expand section arrow

Just get in touch and the library team will be happy to make a list for you. Or once you're a member you will be able to view and choose lists of our popular titles.

Can I pay for my membership online?expand section arrow

Yes, please follow this link.

How can I help Listening Books?expand section arrow

Please see the 'Help us' section of this website to see how you can volunteer, donate or read for us.

Are there overdue fees?expand section arrow

Not at all, we understand that many of our members have different borrowing needs. However, you won't receive a replacement audiobook until you send back the titles you have.

How many audiobooks can I borrow in a year?expand section arrow

As many as you like! Members who choose to stream our audiobooks have constant access to all the titles in our streaming library. Those members who choose to borrow MP3 CDs can receive up to 4 audiobooks at a time and the quicker they return an audiobook the quicker they receive a new title.

Will I get my audiobooks in the order of my request list?expand section arrow

We do our best to send titles from the top of your request list, however if they are issued to another member you will receive something else from your list.

Can I buy audiobooks from you? expand section arrow

As a charity we don't have permission to sell the audiobooks we stock. However, because our membership is subsidised you will often find that it is cheaper to join the service than to buy one unabridged audiobook.

How do I enable the Textic screen reader on this website?expand section arrow

Click on the symbol of the owl's head towards the top of each page of the website, where it says 'click to show text reader'. A Textic 'bar' will appear at the bottom of the page, and from there you can control the reader.

How do I disable the Textic screen reader on this website?expand section arrow

Simply refresh the page to make the Textic 'bar' disappear from the bottom of the website.

My Textic screen reader isn't working. What can I do?expand section arrow

Please email us at info@listening-books.org.uk and we will contact Textic directly.

In the catalogue screen, how do I view a larger image of the audiobook cover?expand section arrow

Move your mouse to hover over the small audiobook image and a larger one will appear.

How do I increase the text size on the catalogue and other website pages?expand section arrow

Hold down the 'ctrl' button on your keyboard and use either your mouse's scroll wheel or the + and - buttons on your keyboard to increase or decrease the size of the page.

What if I join and am ineligible for membership?expand section arrow

Listening Books is a charity for people with print impairments. If you do not have an illness or disability which makes reading difficult and/or you are not a resident in the UK, you are ineligible for membership. Unfortunately Listening Books incurs a fee for payments via PayPal. If you apply and are ineligible for membership, we will refund the unexpired period of your membership payment minus £5 to cover the fee paid to PayPal and as a contribution to our administration charges. Please contact us if you are in any way unsure.

What if I join and decide to cancel my membership before it expires?expand section arrow

We will refund the unexpired period of your membership payment but minus a £5 fee to cover our administration charges. 

Are you an author or publisher with a question about copyright?expand section arrow

The charity simply could not maintain its service without the active co-operation of publishers and authors. Many authors come into Listening Books to be interviewed for our newsletter or to read their own books. We are grateful to them all. The charity has formal contracts with most of the major commercial audiobook publishers. It is not however, viable for us to clear intellectual copyright for all of our titles. The charity therefore operates an opt out scheme for authors to allow for the unlikely possibility that any author whose book is stocked in our library might want to assert their intellectual rights by asking us to remove their title from our library. In such circumstances we would of course immediately comply. For further information please email Fiona Goggin our copyright and communications manager.

I have received an email with an application form but I can't open the attachment, is it available elsewhere?expand section arrow

Yes, please click here for a PDF version of the application form. Alternatively, please click here to see the application form for our sponsored membership program.


Members' FAQs

MP3 CDs
© Listening Books

I haven't received any audiobooks for a while, what should I do?expand section arrow

Please let us know if this ever happens. We add requests as soon as we receive them, so if you haven' t received any titles it is likely that something has gone astray in the post.

What should I do if I've lost or broken an audiobook?expand section arrow

Firstly please don't worry. If you have lost an audiobook please let us know as you won' t receive a replacement until you tell us.

If an audiobook has broken in your possession, please send it back to us anyway as we may be able to mend it.

We won' t charge you for lost or broken audiobooks. However, we are always grateful for donations made to the charity.

Can I transfer audiobooks to my iPod or MP3 player?expand section arrow

Yes, please visit downloadable to see the selection of titles we offer.

Can I download the audiobooks?  expand section arrow

Yes, please visit our dedicated downloadable website. If you would like to view instructions on how to use the service, click here

How do I change my password?  expand section arrow

If you would like to change your password you can do so online at the login stage by clicking on 'Forgotten your username or password?' Alternatively, telephone the library on 0207 234 0522.

Can I have a particular audiobook next?expand section arrow

Unless you call to request the title, the computer will automatically pick your audiobooks for you from what is available in the library. If you would like a specific audiobook next, please call or email the library team, and if it is in stock we will send it straight out to you.

How do I send the MP3 CDs back?expand section arrow

When you receive your CDs, please don't throw the packaging away, as you will need the plastic wallet and envelope to return them to us. Once you have finished listening, place the walleted CD back into the envelope and follow the instructions for return. If you have accidentally thrown away your envelope please send them to this address in any padded envelope:

Listening Books
FREEPOST WD 2339
12 Lant Street
London
SE1 1BR

Can I return more than one MP3 CD in one envelope?expand section arrow

Yes, you can return up to a maximum of four discs in one envelope. We encourage our members to do this, as it benefits Listening Books' postage bill.

How do I change my service option? expand section arrow

Once a year, when you renew your membership, you will automatically be given the option of changing your service option. However, if you would like to change it during the year, please contact us on 0207 407 9417 or via email at info@listening-books.org.uk.


Download FAQs

Where can I download your audiobooks?expand section arrow

Members can download our audiobooks for free by visiting http://listening-books.lib.overdrive.com/. Alternatively you can search our titles from the Listening Books website catalogue page and visit this page to become a member. You can view a short instructional video detailing how to use the service here. You can access a PDF version of the instructions here.

Where can I buy an iPod or MP3 player?expand section arrow

Please follow this link for more information about models and stockists.

Can I download to an Apple Mac?expand section arrow

All MP3 formatted audiobooks can be downloaded onto a Mac.  Most of the titles we offer are WMA formatted (as this is the format that most publishers prefer) and these cannot be downloaded directly.  They can however be transferred to an Apple product from a PC.

I am having problems downloading your audiobooks. What can I do?expand section arrow

Please visit this page for extensive help with downloading our audiobooks. If you cannot find the solution to your query here, please contact Listening Books directly at downloadsupport@listening-books.org.uk. Please include the following information:

  • Steps to reproduce the problem (in as much detail as possible)
  • Exact text of any error message (screen shots are helpful)
  • URL(s) of any error page(s) you encounter
  • Library card number
  • Title(s) of problem download(s)
  • Applicable software version (this information can typically be found under Help > About.)
  • Operating system (Mac® OS 10.6.2, Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP, etc.)
  • Internet browser and version (Internet Explorer® 8.0, Firefox® 3.0, etc. In most browsers, find this under Help > About.)
  • If applicable, device type and operating system

Streaming FAQs


Image of a young member using the streaming serviceWhat is streaming?expand section arrow

Streaming lets you listen to our audiobooks via the internet. Streaming is different from downloading because streaming lets you listen to the audiobook at almost the same time that it is being sent to your computer. This means you don't have to wait around for files to download before you can listen to them.

What do I need in order to listen?expand section arrow

To listen to audiobooks via this website you need either speakers or headphones for your computer, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player (version 9 or 10) installed and set as your default player (see below for help setting your default player). You also need to be connected to the internet, and have Javascript enabled (see below for details, however, all modern browsers have this enabled by default).

What is Windows Media Player?expand section arrow

Windows Media Player is free software distributed by Microsoft to play audio and video files on your computer. To use the audio streams you need version 9 (or higher) installed.

Where can I get Windows Media Player?expand section arrow

If you use Windows XP/2000/ME/98 you probably already have the Windows Media Player as it comes pre-installed. If you do not have Windows Media Player 9 you can download a version for your operating system from here.

How do I enable Javascript?expand section arrow

Windows Internet Explorer

Note: To allow scripting on this website only, and to leave scripting disabled in the internet zone, add this website to the trusted site zone (please see below for instructions on how to do this).

1. On the 'Tools' menu, click 'Internet Options', and then click the 'Security' tab.
2. Click the 'Internet' zone.
3. If you do not have to customise your internet security settings, click 'Default Level'.
4. If you have to customise your internet security settings, follow these steps:
    a. Click 'Custom Level'.
    b. In the 'Security Settings - Internet Zone' dialogue box, click 'Enable' for 'Active Scripting' in the 'Scripting' section.

Firefox version 2 or 3

1. On the 'Tools' menu, click 'Options'.
2. On the 'Content' tab, click to select the 'Enable Javascript' check box.

How do I start streaming?expand section arrow

Once you have logged in to the members' area with your unique username and password, click on the section entitled 'Listen Here!' Search for the audiobook you would like to listen to and click on this image Streaming icon to start streaming.  If it is the first time you have streamed from our website, you will once again be prompted for your username and password. Once you have entered the details, a licence will be downloaded to your computer which will enable you to hear our audiobooks. You can view a short instructional video detailing how to use the service here. For PDF instructions, click here.

How do I listen to a specific chapter?expand section arrow

Chapters are listed on the right hand side of the screen.  Choose the one you would like to listen to and click on it, or press the large 'play' button at the bottom of the page.

Can I fast forward or rewind within a chapter?expand section arrow

As you listen to a chapter, you will see the light blue slider move along to the right to indicate how far along in the chapter you are. Click on the slider and drag it to the left to rewind the chapter or to the right to fast forward it.

How do I set Windows Media Player to be my default player?expand section arrow

Click here to download Windows Media Player.

Open Windows Media Player (to do this, click on 'start' at the bottom left hand corner of your screen, choose 'programs' and then navigate to Windows Media Player).

From the Tools menu at the top of the player window (hint: hover your mouse above the top of the player window if you can't see the menu bar) choose Options.

Click on the File types tab and make sure windows media audio file (wma) is ticked.

Why does Windows Media Player ask for a username and password?expand section arrow

Our audiobooks are only available to registered members. From time to time Windows Media Player will need to verify you are permitted to listen to streams. Windows Media Player does this by acquiring licences from our servers. If you do not yet have a valid licence (or if it has expired), please contact the library. You should put in your username and password if prompted to do so. After the licence has been received you can click play to begin listening.

My streaming isn’t working, what can I do?expand section arrow

  • Please ensure that your computer volume has not been muted by the previous user.
  • Please make sure that you are using a PC rather than an Apple Mac, as at present our streaming is not compatible with Macintosh computers. This is something we are looking in to and we hope to make the streaming available to all computer users in the future.
  • If you have chosen a case-sensitive password, please check you don’t have Caps Lock activated on your keyboard and look again at your welcome letter to confirm your Username.
  • Find out which version of your internet browser you are using as you may need to upgrade. To upgrade to the most recent version of Internet Explorer, click here and follow the instructions given. To upgrade to the most recent version of Firefox, click here and follow the instructions given. Please note that our streaming service works best with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Other browsers may mean a loss of functionality.
  • Download the latest version of Windows Media Player to your computer. Follow this link to do so: http://drmlicense.one.microsoft.com/Indivsite/en/indivit.asp

Need further help?expand section arrow

If you are still having trouble streaming our audiobooks, email us at streaminghelp@listening-books.org.uk. Please include your Listening Books membership number in your message, your internet browser and version (such as Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3), screenshots of the problem if possible, as well as any other relevant information you know.


LGFL Users FAQs

What do I need in order to listen?expand section arrow

To listen to audiobooks via this website you need either speakers or headphones from your computer, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player (version 9 or higher) installed and set as your default player (see below for help setting your default player). You also need to be connected to the internet and have Javascript enabled (see below for details, however, all modern browsers have this enabled by default). You will also need an LGfL USO. If you have forgotten yours, please contact LGfL directly on 020 8255 5555.

How do I start playing audiobooks?expand section arrow

Visit www.listeningbooks.lgfl.net and click on the blue ‘LAUNCH LISTENING BOOKS’ button in the top right hand corner of the page. This will take you to the LGfL USO login screen. Enter your username and password. This will take you directly to the Listening Books streaming site. You can search for an audiobook by entering the name of a title or author in the search box or you can search by clicking on genre, key stage, suitable age, subject or duration. Click on this symbol next to the name of the audiobook you wish to listen to and the book will start to play.

How do I listen to a specific chapter?expand section arrow

Chapters are listed on the right hand side of the screen. Choose the one you would like to listen to and click on it or press the large ‘play’ button at the bottom of the screen.

Can I fast forward or rewind within a chapter?expand section arrow

As you listen to a chapter, you will see the light blue slider move along to the right to indicate how far along in the chapter you are. Click on the slider and drag it to the left to rewind the chapter or to the right to fast forward it.

What is Windows Media Player?expand section arrow

Windows Media Player is free software distributed by Microsoft to play audio and video files on your computer. To use the audio streams you need version 9 (or higher) installed.

Where can I get Windows Media Player? expand section arrow

If you use Windows XP/2000/ME/98 you probably already have the Windows Media Player as it comes pre-installed. If you do not have Windows Media Player 9 or higher you can download a version for your operating system from here.

How do I enable Javascript?expand section arrow

Windows Internet Explorer
Note: To allow scripting on this website only, and to leave scripting disabled in the internet zone, add this website to the trusted site zone (please see below for instructions on how to do this).
1. On the 'Tools' menu, click 'Internet Options', and then click the 'Security' tab.
2. Click the 'Internet' zone.
3. If you do not have to customise your internet security settings, click 'Default Level'.
4. If you have to customise your internet security settings, follow these steps:
    a. Click 'Custom Level'.
    b. In the 'Security Settings - Internet Zone' dialogue box, click 'Enable' for 'Active Scripting' in the 'Scripting' section.


Firefox version 2 or 3

1. On the 'Tools' menu, click 'Options'.
2. On the 'Content' tab, click to select the 'Enable Javascript' check box.

Why can’t I have access to everything that is in your library? expand section arrow

We only have a selection of audiobooks available through LGfL. To access our full library of over 6000 audiobooks, you will need to become a member of Listening Books. Follow this link to join today: https://www.listening-books.org.uk/join-us.aspx

Why isn’t my LGfL username and password working?expand section arrow

If you are a teacher in a London school subscribing to LGfL, your username and password should enable you to access our titles for your pupils that struggle to read due to an illness, disability or learning difficulty. Students in mainstream schools will not be able to access this service directly with their LGfL username and password due to copyright restrictions but students in special schools will be able to. If you are unsure of your username and password, please contact LGfL directly on https://support.lgfl.org.uk/

 

A member listening

Downloads!

Listening Books members can download thousands of fantastic titles to an iPod or other portable player!

A couple listening

MP3 CDs!

Members can choose from a huge selection of MP3 CDs which we send through the post.

Education

Streaming!

Members can listen to over a thousand audiobooks live and direct from this website through internet streaming.


General enquiries:020 7407 9417 / info@listening-books.org.uk
Library enquiries: 020 7234 0522 / library@listening-books.org.uk
Fax: 020 7403 1377
Registered charity number: 264221 Patron: Stephen Fry President: The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock DBE
All images are © Listening Books unless otherwise stated.

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