Simon Brooke is an award winning journalist and travel writer who has written for Financial Times and Daily Telegraph amongst others.

Simon Brooke is an award winning journalist and travel writer who has written for The Sunday Times, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and The Times amongst others. He is the author of two novels. He is also an obsessive traveller but during a city break in Seville in October 2005 he had a problem...

"I was in Seville for a weekend with my partner and we were visiting the main churches, palaces and other buildings in what I think is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in Europe.

"We'd brought some familiar and well respected guide books with us and had a good idea of what we wanted to see.

"But I was getting really fed up with trying to find where we were on the map, reading the descriptions in the guide book of the things we were supposed to be seeing and then looking up to try and spot them. While doing all this, of course, I was attempting to avoid walking into other people and making a nuisance of myself.

"As we wandered down a narrow cobbled street back to our hotel near the Cathedral it suddenly occurred to me that it would be so much easier if we could listen to the descriptions of the buildings and monuments and follow a simple, clearly marked route that had already been planned for us. After all, I'd done it a hundred times before in art galleries, palaces and churches - so why not with whole cities?

"Over dinner in a quiet square with my partner that night it suddenly occurred to us that downloading a tour onto an iPod would be even easier than buying it on a CD.

"As the wine flowed I became convinced that it was such a good idea that...someone else must have done it already. And in a way I was almost wishing they had then I could tell myself there was no point in my taking a huge gamble, giving up my day job (well, almost) to start researching, writing and producing a series of spoken guides to the world's great cities that people could download on to their iPods or MP3players.

But when I got back to Britain and searched the internet I discovered that no one had done it which meant I'd have to do it myself.

Looking back, I'm very glad I did.