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Audible has been a provider of audio books and radio plays in digital form since 1995. He has been part of Amazon since 2008; As a subsidiary of the shipping giant, listening experiences are still produced today and offered as a subscription model. In this post you will find my experiences with the offer and the iOS and macOS app as well as general information about the subscription, which you can test free of charge for 30 days.
Transparency notice: This post was created in friendly cooperation with Audible. But since I've been using the service privately for years, they ran into open doors with me. Proof that I haven't just started with Audible to write the post can even be found in my Audible account. ;-)
Audible is the English word for "audible" - and that is exactly what Donald Katz, a writer from the USA, wanted to do with books in 1995. So he founded Audible Inc. as an audio book publisher, which came to Germany in 2004 as a joint venture in the form of Audible GmbH. In 2008 Amazon bought the American part and in 2009 the German part of Audible.
To this day, audiobook downloads are offered under the "Hörbar" name. The range also includes radio plays and audio book series by bestselling authors. Many titles can only be found exclusively from this provider and are also app-exclusive, i.e. not available on CD. But who, besides collectors, really want to buy CDs?
View offer: Click here to go to the provider website
I've been with Audible for almost 3 years now and use the app, for example, to listen to audiobooks while driving. But it is also used when mowing the lawn, doing household chores and so on. My permanent partner when listening to the individual contents while working loudly (also chopping wood or sanding floors) is the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Headphone.
Audible's idea of selling audiobooks to subscribers for credits or “credit” instead of cash is a good one. Most audio books then only cost a monthly subscription amount instead of, for example, 29,95 EUR, which is 9,95 EUR. I'm more likely to buy an audio book for around 10 euros than for 20 or 30 euros. And fall for the children too a couple of suitable radio plays from. And some content even costs half a credit, so two titles per month are possible.
The Audible app is available as a free download for iPhone, iPad and Mac. The Whispersync feature is extremely useful as it synchronizes playback positions between all devices running the Audible app. This means that I can switch between iPad, iPhone and Mac without any problems and still continue listening where I left off.
It is also very good that the content is loaded onto the corresponding device. Listening in offline mode is possible. The operation is intuitive. And the offer is constantly being expanded. In addition to the sci-fi audiobooks that are of interest to me and the content for my children, podcasts are also constantly being added. And I like podcasts.
Audible offers the option to pause the subscription for 3 months after a certain period of use of the offer. So you don't have to cancel it and then register again - and you keep your library in a user account. A small criticism on my part is that you can only take a break every few months and that this comes with some restrictions. To start the break, write to customer service. The following advantages apply during the subscription break should not:
Since I personally often don't create a whole audiobook per month because I listen to more podcasts (outside of Audible), I build up a lot of credit. It would be good if there was the option of pausing longer and only re-entering the subscription when the credit is used up. Maybe this feature will come in the future. Otherwise, it is understandable that Amazon wants to make money with the offer and keep subscriptions running as far as possible.
An important detail for using Audible: Purchasing content via the iOS app is not possible due to Apple's restrictions. That is why you can only “add to memo” an audio track on the iPhone and iPad and then have to buy it later on the Audible website.
This is a bit cumbersome, but it is due to Apple's idea that a 30% commission must be paid to Apple for all purchases made via an app. Along with a few other shopping options, the Amazon app is one of the few exceptions to this rule. With Audible, Apple was probably not so accommodating.
If you are still not sure whether Audible is for you, you can Test the offer free of charge for 30 days. You can find the corresponding option on the provider's website linked above. The audio books and / or radio plays acquired during the test phase remain in the personal library even after cancellation and can be listened to again and again. The same applies if a full subscription is canceled. The titles selected during use remain in your possession, so that you can listen to them several times at no additional cost.
I really like the almost 25-year-old range of audio books and radio plays as well as more and more podcasts called “Audible”. After several years of use, I can draw a positive conclusion and come to terms with the small points of criticism that everyone probably sees differently. The affordable audio offers in digital form are good alternatives to more expensive audio books and, as they cover a wide range of genres and demographic target groups, there is something for everyone. By the way, until December 18, 2019 you can secure your subscription for six months for € 4,95 instead of € 9,95: Here are the details of the offer ;)
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.