Audible... is it as good as Amazon makes it out to be?
Yes and no.
I have to admit I've never tried an audiobook before but with all the advertising for it and with amazon offering a free trial (30 days free but you have to remember to cancel it if you don't like it), I finally decided I should check this out.
First, briefly, how does audible work?
1. Download the audible app, sign in with your amazon account and pick out a book you'd like to listen to.
2. I'd been wanting to read Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee since the moment I heard it was going to be published so I chose it. Let it download to your device so you can use it offline. They do make it very easy to get started.
3. I recommend first adjusting the speed of reading. Listen to a bit then play with making it faster or slower. Some audiobooks can take a loonngg time to finish and others you may want to savor and read slower.
My Favourite things about audiobooks in general
1. The readers for audiobooks, especially popular titles are often very appropriately chosen, which can make them more enjoyable than the written version.
This is Especially true when:
- the author reads their own work
- it's read with the correct accent
- actors/professionals are chosen who can place the correct emphasis on words creating more drama and excitement
Note: Listen to humorous books, so much funnier! I recommend Amy Poehler's Yes, Please
2. Its easy to bring with you on the go. I do a lot of commuting and taking the metro, in a crazy city like Shanghai I can completely escape
Favourite Features of Amazon's Audible App
1. Share to social media - when you reach a funny/interesting/part you want to share or save for later. Easy and quick to do so you can get back to listening.
2. Easy to exit quickly - screen background on phone becomes audible:
3. Loved the music they played in between chapters and at the end. It was well suited for the book.
4. Auto bookmarked - if you have to exit the app quickly it remembers your spot :)
5. Sleep timer, I love that you can choose "end of chapter" or if you're a real adventurer "end of book part"
What I didn't like
1. The price tag - 30% off titles with a $14.95USD/month membership. Many of the newest books, which are typically the ones that I want to listen to are $15 - over $30 each. I read too much for this to be my regular source of reading (listening).
2. I found it was really easy for me to get distracted and then realize I wasn't listening at all. Maybe this is just me? But, I ended up having to go back multiple times to get back on track with the story.
3. Digital Rights Management (DRM) tech. You have to listen to it through the audible app, which is available for multiple devices but you can't listen to them on a normal mp3 player or any other ebook reader. There doesn't seem to be any option around this. More on this... in this blog
In the end, I decided to cancel this subscription. I would consider it in the future again. For now I've got a lot of other books to read and I think it's a little pricey for what you get. So, for this membership + app I think it's up to you to decide if it's worth it. I'm not leaning strongly one way or the other.