The Mobile Electronics Spoken Word Committee of the Consumer Electronics Association, in cooperation with the Audio Publishers Association, has ratified standards that create production guidelines for the audiobook and consumer electronics industries. The APA and CEA have been working together on this project for several years in an effort to design both audiobook formats and playback devices that make the spoken-word listening experience consistent, easy and enjoyable.

The newly ratified standards require that audiobook publishers and consumer electronics manufacturers include such features as audiobookmarking, which make navigating an audiobook or longer spoken-word recording easier and more efficient. Audio publishers and consumer-electronics companies who adopt the standards are then asked to certify their products as "Audiobook Format" or "Audiobook Compatible," respectively.

"Most consumer-electronics manufacturers have traditionally created devices for playback of music," said Anji Cornette, an APA board member and co-chair of the Mobile Electronics Spoken Word Committee. "These new standards will give audiobook listeners a positive experience by adding features required for the longer spoken-word format."

Thus far, the committee has ratified and published three open nonproprietary standards—CEA 2004 Audiobook Media and Player Compatibility, CEA-2003 Audiobook CD-MP3 Media and Player Requirements and CEA-2003-A Digital Audiobook File Format and Player Requirements. For more specific information on meeting the standards, publishers can contact the APA at