[App Review] Audible

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Ralston Medouze

Ralston Medouze

Ralston is a teacher and entrepreneur. He's passionate about achieving goals and has a wide variety of interests. Some of his goals include traveling the world and learning 5+ foreign languages.
Ralston Medouze

Audible review

Summary

Audible is a platform for buying and listening to audiobooks. It’s the leader in the audiobooks arena with a catalog of over 150,000 audio programs from the largest content distributors. This amounts to over 1,000,000 hours of audio.

How do you use it?

Audible is easy to use. Once you sign up for an account, you can purchase books using credits or by paying for them if you have no credits. Audible is available on a variety of mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and Kindle, and downloading/listening to books is as simple as a quick tap. Audible also has a client for your desktop, and allows you to download books onto CDs too if that’s how you prefer to listen.

Best features

Audible is available for many platforms. It makes it easy to listen to anything you want on the go. Personally, I like the stats and badges that the app will give you as you read more and more (pictures below). Audible also allows you to download the content to your device for offline listening.

One of the most unique things about Audible is the Whispersync function. When you purchase a Kindle book along with the Audible version, they will sync whenever you use either one. So, you can read from the Kindle book, and whenever you choose to switch over to the audiobook, it will pick up from where you left off in the text (and vice versa).

If you need to cancel your subscription, that’s easy to do online (no annoying and confusing calls with customer service), but one feature that I’ve found helpful is that you can put your account on hold for up to three months. During this time period, you won’t be charged and you won’t recieve any new credits. It’s useful if you have a change in priorities, but don’t want to cancel, or just need to catch up on a backlog of books. I use this feature often for the latter reason.

Last, for the power readers/listeners out there, Audible allows you to listen to books at faster than 1x speed! This is incredibly useful if you want to read many books, or just prefer to listen to them slightly faster. Currently, you can listen to up to 3x speed.

 

Drawbacks

Much of Audible’s content is not DRM-free, meaning that there can be certain restrictions on how you can listen to and share the content you buy. It’s easiest to listen to whatever content you buy on the app. I’ve never found this to be an issue since I always use my phone to listen to the books, but it may be a dealbreaker for you. Audible does allow you to copy your audiobooks onto CDs a limited number of times for unlimited playback, and it is available on many platforms, but it does feel like the books aren’t 100% yours.

One other thing that annoys me is that you can’t buy directly from the app. Instead, you have to buy books from the Audible.com website. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not a part of the app. You can still add books to your wishlist from the app and search to discover new books; you just can’t buy.

EDIT: The buying issue in the app apparently only applies to iOS users, due to a payment dispute with Apple.

Cost

There are two ways to purchase content on Audible.com. The main way is to purchase a subscription, starting at $15 per month, which will give you a credit that you can use towards any audiobook on the website. There’s no limit to how long or expensive the book you use the credit on can be, so I tend to use my credits on books that cost more than the subscription price or that are longer than 20 hours.

The second way to buy content on Audible is to buy books without a credit. You can buy books without signing up for the subscription, but subscribers will get a discount on all of the books available. Audible also advertises deals on many books all the time, so you might find something interesting for $2-5 too. If you click on the ad below, you can get your first two books free (available through this link only)! Note: This is an affiliate link, so this site would recieve a small commission at no charge to you.

Overall score (4.5/5)

Audible is great for readers and non-readers alike. When I first began using Audible, I hadn’t read a book for personal enjoyment in 5+ years. I wasn’t much interested in reading, and I didn’t have time. Audible solves both of those problems. In many of the books, especially fiction, the readers are engaging. Some books will even offer the pleasure of giving the characters different voices throughout the story, adding in background music, and other elements to make it more theatrical. It definitely makes some books much more interesting and makes it easier to get lost in a “good read.” Furthermore, Audible is great for learning on the go. I use the app most often when I am driving, cooking, or walking. I’ve included some images from my audible app (another plus for data junkies like myself). I went from a few books in 2011 to over 70 in a few years. I’m also buying/reading more and more books each year. Currently, I’ve listened to over 1000 hours of Audible’s content. Audible re-kindled my interest in reading.

The downside is that pesky DRM. Honestly, though, it wont bother most people. The app is well made and easy to use. Though Audible allows you to listen on a variety of devices, it only allows you to copy your books onto CDs a limited amount of times. It’s challenging if you wanted to download or store your audiobooks in other forms, which gives you the feeling like the content is not completely yours. Nevertheless, I believe the pros outweigh the cons by far with Audible, and it’s owned by Amazon, meaning that it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. I definitely recommend Audible for anyone looking to get back into reading, fill in those silent moments, or learn something new.

These photos are from the Audible iPad app. Audible looks slightly different for phones.

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