Have you ever wished you had more time in the day for a leisurely read? Well, what if someone could read the books to you while you are performing other tasks? The folks at audiobooks.com have just the answer for you. They have a library of over 11,000 audio books from publishers such as Blackstone Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, HarperCollins, Recorded Books, Random House Audio.
I recently was given the opportunity to try the service and was pleasantly surprised. For the low price of $24.95 a month, you are presented a ticket to a seemingly endless bounty of audio books for your ears to enjoy. The folks at audiobooks.com have shied away from the standard format of “book credits” and instead allow you stream as many books as you want in a month. Additionally, this deep pool of literary works is available without the need to sign a contract.
When logging into the site, you are presented with a clean and simple interface providing you with a scrollable list of Recommended selections, New Arrivals, and Staff Picks. In the upper right of the screen you will find the search box where you can enter in the author or title you are trying to find. An additional section titled ‘Your Books in Progress’ displays once a book has been selected. Clicking on one of your books will open a new window containing media controls for the audio book.
Your standard Play/Pause buttons are present, but two additional buttons on the screen allow you fast-forward or rewind in 30 second increments. One key feature that I found was the ability to sync the audio book over multiple devices. I was able to start the book on my PC and pick up where I left off when I loaded the website on my Android phone. This will be great for those who listen to books while at work and want to finish them on the commute home.
Currently, the only interface for the application is via web browser. The site has been optimized for Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox, but I was informed by one developer that support for other browsers is currently in development. The team is also working on dedicated mobile apps for IOS4 and IOS5, Android 2.3+ and Windows mobile which should be available in the second quarter of this year.
The selection of titles available with Audiobooks.com is good, but not great. I randomly selected several titles from the New York Times Bestsellers list and was only able to find roughly half of them were available in the audiobooks.com catalog. Recent titles such as the Steve Jobs biography and Ameritopia were available, but I was unable to find other titles such as The Help and Heaven is for Real. Personally, I’m one of those that will typically only listen to one book at a time so not having 100’s of thousands of books to choose from won’t bother me. I’ll find one I want to listen to and when I finish that, I’m sure there will be another selection that will pique my interest.
The audiobooks.com service provides an excellent opportunity for those wanting to read the latest bestseller without having to give up part of their day. The selection, while not as large as other competitors, is vast enough to easily find a title that interests you. The $24.95 monthly fee seems fair considering that you are able to stream an unlimited amount of books. However, the biggest advantage of audiobooks.com is the ability to stream a book over multiple devices without the necessity of starting over on each devices and fast forwarding to where you left off. If for some reason, you are still unsure that this is a quality service, they do offer a 3-day free trial which we would definitely recommend. What are you waiting for? Head over to audiobooks.com now and get started on your listening adventure. You won’t be disappointed!