There are a number of MP3 Bibles out there
1. Bit-Rate: Since MP3 is a “lossy” format, it can be important to know what bit-rate the MP3 files have been saved at. MP3 files saved at a low bit-rate can sound distorted and can be irritating to listen to. Sadly, most web-sites don’t provide this information. If you can at least hear a sample of the recording, this can be very helpful. If the entire Bible fits on one CD-ROM disk, then it is probably recorded at a low bit rate since a CD only provides about 700 Megabytes of storage. A decent recording of the entire Bible will typically take anywhere from about 1-2 Gigabytes in the MP3 format.
2. Style of Reading: Three styles of reading include Spoken word only, Music background, or Dramatized.
The spoken word audio bibles are simply the Bible read word-for-word with no music or other distractions. Music background versions add a subtle “music” background to the reading in an attempt to give the reading some feeling, and ambiance. Dramatized versions use a variety of speakers, music, and sometimes even sound effects to provide a more dramatic reading.
Personally, I don’t care for most of the “music background” versions that I’ve heard. I usually find the music distracting, almost to the point of irritating, and overall it just makes it harder to pay attention to the word. In general, I prefer the plain “vocal only” versions as they deliver the pure Word of God with no distractions. The dramatized versions are interesting and can sometimes keep your attention better, but I also shy away from these. When the Scriptures are dramatically read, the reader is adding what he or she thinks the tone of the verse should be. That is, the reader may use an angry tone in a passage, where another reader might see that verse as simply being stern and not angry. Since the Bible doesn’t give us these clues (other than contextually), I’d prefer not to have them.
3. Speed of Reading: One area I hadn’t thought about too much before hearing several different audio Bibles was the speed of the reading. One narrator, for example, has narrated several audio bibles, and has at least one version in which he speaks very quickly. I actually felt stressed after listening to portions of this version as the speed was so fast! Again, hearing a sample of the recording can be very helpful before you purchase.
4. Bible Version: An obvious factor is the version of the Bible that is read. At Audio Bible Downloads we don’t try to offer every version. We tend to steer away from the “gender neutral versions”
5. Media Format: Be sure you have the proper reader depending on the Media you purchase. Some Audio Bibles come on DVD, or CD Rom. Since most computers have DVD readers in them, this isn’t usually a problem, but don’t expect to play the DVD in your MP3 compatible CD player! Just make sure the media format matches the device you intend to use to play the audio. Most internet providers offer minimum speeds fast enough to allow for easy download of a complete audio Bible in an hour or less. This saves paying for shipping or a trip to a store.
Hayward Cowan says
I appreciate the information provided in “Factors in finding the right audio Bible for you”, it revealed some very important aspects about audio Bibles I was unaware of, and I will use that information as a guide when I purchase my first one. I think there would be many more happy audio Bible purchasers if everyone read it before they purchased an audio Bible. Thank you.
I found your “Factors in finding the right audio Bible download for you” very informative. I think it’s great advice for some one considering purchasing an audio Bible down load.
Thanks so much!! just wish i could find a print button on you page.
Marilyn Fox says
Thank you for these posts. They are very helpful to me.
Michael Simon says
Very useful insights into bible downloads
Michael Simon says
KEVIN J. WHITTINGTON WETHINGTON says
very helpful, especially the information about the bit rate and needing a highly rate than is normally used for MP3 players and the part about the speed of the spoken word where some speakers recorded readings can be uncomfortable to listen to because it was so fast, and not to mention the added music, which I agree, gets in the way of the reading.
Cindy Franklin says
I have listened to several versions Of audio Bibles Dramatized And not dramatize I agree with all your suggestions About Choosing an audio Bible Dale Carnegie Is one of the best Narrators Of the BibleI. I also Prefer To listen to just one single audio voice. As many voices They’re reading in a different town or speed Or emotion does distract and take away from the peaceful feeling and comfort of hearing Gods word And Dale Carnegie Voice is calm and soothing and He does not read too fast. The new American Standard Bible Is a great version And a little easier to understand them and do keep James And To help with more of the meaning of the Bibles I would recommend the amplified version. May God bless all your lives for reading His Word He will reward you greatly for spending time in his presence Seeking Him with all your heart and obeying His Word Amen.