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.