As the ear bud has become ubiquitous, we all have become familiar with 3 of the 4 types of on the go listeners (and we ourselves are probably one). The first is the Type A listener. It’s not enough to have the music in their ears, they have to be sure that you know what their listening to, too. And in lieu of a giant boombox, the earbud is left to serve and share what wrinky dink sounds it can through the membrane of their ears and into the world outside.
Type B listener is similar, in that he/she wants to share their music, but they are far more confident of their own musical abilities to get the sounds across – so the headphones get turned down, while the live vocals get turned up. Because surely, “everyone in this bus/subway/train/mall/dorm/bathroom/museum/library loves the sounds of Rhianna’s vocals, but they get tired of hearing Rhianna being the only one to sing them.” Thanks type B!
Incidentally, Type B’s are the reason that the phrase “you should be on American Idol” has replaced “hey I like your singing.” Because in fact, when someone says “You should be on American Idol” what they mean is, “You should be in the early rounds where everyone laughs at how awful and full-bodied your singing voice is.” (Believe me, I’m an expert on getting “you should be on American Idoled.”
Type C is the most familiar type – the casual listener. Headphones in ear, they go about their day, soundtrack carrying them through the grocery store and commute, maybe a foot taps along here and there, maybe a head bop to the snare drum, if it’s a particularly good tune, the eyes might close for a minute.
Type D that we’re concerning ourselves with here – type D, the oft overlooked but increasingly present listener not of myTunes or iSongs, but of audiobooks. Believe it or not, a large (and growing larger) chunk of the people you see with headphones in aren’t listening to strings, bass and brass at all – their listening to vocals. Pure, unadulterated (and frequently unabridged) vocals. In 2008, when Amazon purchased Audible.com for $300 million dollars, it became clear to everyone that audiobooks are here to play. (like that? It’s like “here to stay,” but a mediocre pun instead!)
So now we come to the reason for this post – I’m not just drawing attention to audiobooks because they’re everywhere, I’m drawing attention to them because, like all writer’s, I need something.
When I heard about the APA (audio publishers association) hosting a “Get Caught Listening” video contest in honor of audiobooks (here comes the pitch!) I thought immediately of putting on my gladiator costume and doing a rap. I guess that’s not surprising because when you go ahead and buy a gladiator costume, you really find yourself looking for any excuse to wear it. And since my costume closet has grown pretty extensive, finding an astronaut costume and putting together a cowboy get-up came naturally, too. The question became – what would these guys be (audio) reading. See if you think I got the answers right:
You’ll also notice that I have chosen to bring out the big guns of my baby’s adorable face in an attempt to garner more views, likes and a chance at the $5000 prize, but at least I didn’t title the video “cute baby does cute thing.” That would have been pushing it.
So there you have it, I’m a confessed type D, and a finalist in a contest that is made for type D’s. So if you’re a type D, or have one in your life, do me the favor of sharing this video to help me win the prize. My next audiobook can’t buy itself.
This guest post was written by Joel Levinson
Joel Levinson is a finalist in the APA “Get Caught Listening” video contest, winner will be determined by “views” and “likes” recorded through June 21st.