In the past, I’ve written a post where I discussed my inability to listen to audiobooks for more than 10 minutes and at the time I was right.
Man, am I happy to be proven wrong.
Audible.com approached me a few weeks back and wanted to know if I was interested in reviewing their service on the blog. I said yes (weird, I know, given my feelings about audiobooks). They gave me two free audiobooks in exchange for an honest review. That’s it. They also gave me a link to a free trial for my followers/readers so YOU guys can decide for yourself what you think (I’ll add the link at the end of the post).
So, what did I think?
I can say with a smile that I am an audiobook convert. I won’t say that it was Audible.com that got me into them because that credit belongs to the narrators who made the stories captivating. Audible.com, however, provided a great service when it came to accessing to titles including new releases through their site but also through their app which are both super easy to use.
- The App
Main Listening Page
On the app, you can bookmark a section so it’s easier to get back to when you’re done and look something up or if you’ve missed something and want to go back. There are chapters so you can skip to the one you want to read. If you missed the last 30 seconds or so of the story, you just press the rewind button that’ll take you back 30 seconds that you don’t have to worry about bookmarking every second. The icon on the top right corner of the screen with the small “i” is where you can get the information of the book such as the publisher’s summary.
Audiobook Info Page
If you’re not a fan of buttons and want the ease of just sliding your fingers in different directions of the screen to mean different actions made to the audiobook (how very Mac of you) then you’re in luck! There’s a button free option when you slide the screen up from the bottom of the main listening page.
Button Free Option
Another important page is the My Library page where all of your audiobooks are kept.
As you can see, there is a search option for when you want to find a particular book in your massive library (Mine wasn’t massive so I had no use for it). You can also sync your Audible account with iTunes so that you can get all of the audiobooks you have saved onto iTunes moved to your Audible account. You also have a News section where you can find out what books are the customers’ favourite for that month or something like a Great Gatsby audiobook that’s narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal available now. One of the cool things that I just discovered on the app is under the Me section where you can make reading audiobooks fun with the use of badges!
As you can see, I got the Stenographer badge which was cool and you’d get a badge depending on how often you use the app.
THE NOT SO GOOD
I’m not sure if this is a downside (it did get a bit annoying for me) but you can download only about 3 minutes or so of the book using your phone’s data before it requires you to use wifi to download the rest. This is due to the size of the audiobook and I’m not sure if it depends on how much your phone’s data is that causes it to require that (I have 500 megabytes so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why). This isn’t a huge deal breaker but it can be annoying if you don’t have wifi around when you want to download the book on your phone. Overall, I’m a huge fan of the app because it’s so easy to use on my iPhone. It’s available on Kindle, Apple products and for Android users.
- The Site
The site is also really easy to use from getting your book to purchasing. I like that you can preview the book before purchasing it because a lot of the success of an audiobook is dependent on the narrator. If you get the membership, one of the cool benefits is getting a Credit which is what you can use to buy an audiobook regardless of it’s cost. 1 credit = 1 audiobook. Your type of membership determines how many Credits you receive each month which is really cool. The site is also really good with the new releases which I had no issues locating so that was a plus.
Downside to the site was the issues I had with finding older titles. The site is amazing with new releases when I went hunting for Young Adult books I wanted to read but when it came to older titles such as Harry Potter, there was none to be found. Now this could mean two things: 1) those books don’t come in audiobook form at all anywhere which is true for a few books out there or 2) Audible.com is still in the process of adding titles to their site. I know that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has an audiobook CD in existence and, given it’s popularity, I’m not sure why it’s not offered through Audible but to be fair I’m sure there’s a behind the scenes reason for it. I just hope this is fixed soon.
- The Audiobooks
I told you that Audible.com was kind enough to offer not one but two free audiobooks for an honest review. How did I spend it? I decided that in order to get a better and full experience I should get a book I haven’t read and one that I did (and liked). Those two lucky books were Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (I’ve already read) and Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo (new read). I also had Neil Gaiman‘s short story, Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar, from when it was offered for free on the site with a preview of The Ocean At The End of The Lane. I also had a free trial before being approached by Audible.com which came with a free credit which I used for the 3rd book in the Beautiful Creatures series, Beautiful Chaos, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
In about a week, I got through Shadow & Bone and that was just by listening to it while I walked to buy lunch or to the bus stop on my way to and from work or when I’m doing a task at work that allows me to pop in my headphones. The upside to audiobooks is that I can listen to them when I’m walking versus physical books. Shadow & Bone had an awesome narrator, Lauren Fortgang, who really got me into the story and got me to understand what was going on especially since there’s a lot of names (places/people/concepts etc) that would’ve confused me otherwise.
I listened to the first chapter of Shatter Me because I was interested in how they were going to do the cross outs and they did the cross out sound and the narrator would pretend to back track her thoughts right before the cross outs which was cool.
I was working on a Superman article and wanted to know the character’s history better so I bought the audiobook version of Superman: The High Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye from Audible.com. I loved it and the narrator, Scott Brick, was brilliant. If you’re not into non-fiction then I suggest audiobooks.
- Overall Assessment
I really enjoyed the Audible experience. It’s easy and fun to use. I haven’t jumped on the eBook bandwagon but I’m a fan of audiobooks now. Do I suggest people should use it? Yes. You might have your own issues with the services but I think it’s really good in what it offers. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the link below:
A. A. Omer
DISCLAIMER: I received two free audiobooks from Audible.com for an honest review. There was no compensation for this review. Not even cookies. This review is honest and not altered in anyway to benefit Audible.com. I do not receive compensation from the free trial or from any new customers/purchase Audible.com might have as a result of this post.