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Topic: Can I post a playaway?

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Subject: Can I post a playaway?
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Playaways are like a preloaded mp3 player. They are small and have the book already loaded on it. You can't reload them with something else. They require batteries to play and headphones. They come with headphones. They are in a case about the size of a VHS case although the unit itself is about the size of a mp3 player. They have an ISBN. 

susan/vt

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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Susan,

Have you typed in the ISBN to see what comes up?  I think this would qualify as an audio book.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I was wondering this too. I almost had to buy one from the library because I lost the little battery cover.  It still played and I didn't understand why they couldn't still check it out. I mean the battery was snug in there.  I had to renew the thing 4 times before I finally found the little cover. 

I think you'd have to contact TPTB on this one even if it does have an ISBN.  I'm thinking it's probably a no simply because many people may not know what it is and I don't think there's a category for that under binding. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I'd say it is not a book so no. Lots of things have ISBNs that are not books and therefore would not be postable. An MP3 player does not qualify for Media Mail and that seems to be a determining factor on a lot of things they allow. Doesn't hurt to ask, but I would ask before posting it.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 1:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Interesting, I would like to know what TPTB advise.  These are available at our library, but didn't know they were sold retail. 

If I understand correctly, the mp3 player is a permanent part of the audio recording?  And therefore may be media mail permissable...or maybe not, ask your post office :-)

Since they can't be reloaded, souldn't be disqualified as an e-book.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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I sent in feedback.  We'll see what the team says.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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From the team:

Type: Email to Member
Date: 8/6/2009 9:59 AM ET
Subject: Re: Your PaperBackSwap Feedback...
Message: Dear Mary,

If the book listing clearly says "Playaway" and explains what the item is, we don't see why not. Anyone who posts one could add your excellent text describing the item to the book description, which requestors would see, and adding "(Playaway)" to the title would also be helpful. They would be considered audio books.

We will add this info to the "What can be swapped here?" Help doc. Thanks for writing in about this.

Have a great day!

The PaperBackSwap Team
www.PaperBackSwap.com
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Cool.  They had some withdrawn ones for sale at the FOL kiosk but I didn't get any because I didn't think they could be traded here. If I see any again that I'm interested in I'll grab them.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Wow, Mary, thanks for writing in and asking. I kind of thought it should be postable. A book on CD is postable and this is just another format the way CDs are different from cassettes.

susan/vt

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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From the Help Center under what can I post:

 

Playaways: Yes

  • Playaways are like a preloaded mp3 player. They are small and have the book already loaded. You can't reload them with something else. They require batteries to play, and require headphones to listen to them. They come with headphones. They are in a case about the size of a VHS case although the unit itself is about the size of a mp3 player. They have an ISBN.  They are considered audio books.
  • If you post a Playaway, you need to be sure that the listing makes the above information clear (you can copy-paste the above paragraph and add it to the book description information using the Edit Book Data feature linked under Misc on the Book Details page for the book), and you can also add "(Playaway)" to the title of the book using the Edit Book Data feature.
  • If you post a Playway, the headphones must be included.  The batteries do not have to be included.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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Cozi,

That information was added this morning after I asked about it.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I'm not sure that they would qualify for media mail, would they? Not that the postage would cost that much, but I'd be concerned about postal inspection if someone sent one via media mail...

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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They weigh so little that you can mail first class cheaper.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I think they are an item that should qualify for media mail, but unless the Post Office adds them specifically as an "approved" item, I'd have to (grudgingly) accept a decision, if opened enroute, that they didn't qualify.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I'm glad to hear it Mary.   I was looking for something for someone else and came across it.   I certainly didn't remember having seen it before.   I'm so glad they are listening and acting.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,399
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Last Edited on: 6/5/11 1:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/7/2009 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The ones I've gotten from the library used a single AA battery.  I have a bunch of those electronic kids books and I won't post them ehre because I don't want to buy new batteries for them all.

Date Posted: 8/7/2009 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Wow they updated the Help docs quickly. 

I always send audios 1st class.  You get 2 credits for them and usually they are much lighter then a book.  I do it because I figure 1st class mail gets treated better.  So I don't mind bumping the postage up. 

 

Date Posted: 8/7/2009 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Yes, as another poster already answered, 1 AAA battery. Some of the books are quite long. I found one at the library that had over 60 hours of book on it and the thing is tiny. Technology is just amazing. The case is complete with very good directions on how to use it. You can even speed the reader up a little, nothing like a chipmonk voice but some speed increase. You can also play it in your vehicle with an adapter, really you use it just as any other mp3 player.

susan/vt

Date Posted: 8/7/2009 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Thanks for asking this here Susan. And thank you Mary for asking the Team and posting the response. And thank you to the Team for up-dating the HC Doc so quickly. I love this site!

Date Posted: 8/7/2009 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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WOW I can just see HUGE WL for those things.

I love the idea of them, better then CDs or Cassettes since there are less pieces to loose. Either it works or it doesn't no missing number 5 disc in a set of 7.  (seriously who donates audio books with 2 discs missing frm a set of 10?)

If you google playaway you can find an online store that sells them.  $69.99 for Dean Koontz Relentless in playway form. Unabridged

2 credits for these too I am guessing?



Last Edited on: 8/7/09 11:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 8/8/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Wow!  This is so cool.  Thanks for asking PBS and thanks to PBS for getting back so quickly with an answer and updating the help docs.  I only first heard of playaways about a week ago.  The media center at my son's new school is offering them. 

Date Posted: 8/8/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2009
Posts: 896
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There was a recent thread that mentioned the difference between "recording" media (a blank tape) and "recorded" media (audiobook).  It said that recording media couldn't be sent by media mail.  Since the playaway is already recorded, it would seem to fit that media mail requirement. But the P.O. rule makers may not be that tech savvy, or avid book readers, enough to know about them yet ; )

 

ETA for clarification 



Last Edited on: 8/8/09 11:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2009 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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This is one of those (unfortunate!) situations where I could see an overzealous "inspector" determining it to be "electronics" and zapping extra postage due on it. If they're that light and someone wants to send more than one, I'd send the whole thing first class, even it cost as much as a dollar or so more than media mail rate for the same package.

Date Posted: 8/8/2009 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I agree, especially since they are especially touchy about MP3 players right now since their latest big fraud case involved them being sent MM instead of FC. An inspector may not understand what a playaway is and will just see it as something that does not look like a book or any other media they've seen and mark it up. I don't think I would risk sending one MM at all.

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