Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week

Listen to Audiobooks (Sometimes for Free) Using Your iPhone

April 10, 2020 Jason R. Rich Season 1 Episode 10
Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week
Listen to Audiobooks (Sometimes for Free) Using Your iPhone
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Jason Rich's Featured App of the Week
Listen to Audiobooks (Sometimes for Free) Using Your iPhone
Apr 10, 2020 Season 1 Episode 10
Jason R. Rich

This episode explores the various services you can use to acquire and listen to fiction and non-fiction, full-length audiobooks using your smartphone. In some cases, the audiobooks are available for free. However, in other cases, a purchase or service subscription fee is required.

The audiobook services (and related apps) covered within this episode include:

If you found the information in this episode useful, please share it with your friends, review the podcast, and don't forget to subscribe!

Show Notes Transcript

This episode explores the various services you can use to acquire and listen to fiction and non-fiction, full-length audiobooks using your smartphone. In some cases, the audiobooks are available for free. However, in other cases, a purchase or service subscription fee is required.

The audiobook services (and related apps) covered within this episode include:

If you found the information in this episode useful, please share it with your friends, review the podcast, and don't forget to subscribe!

Featured App of the Week – Episode #10

Welcome back to the Featured App of the Week podcast. I’m Jason Rich. The focus of this episode is on the various ways you can enjoy listening to full-length audiobooks directly from your smartphone. 

Keep in mind, website links to each of the services discussed in this episode of the podcast are listed for your convenience within the Episode Notes. Also, since none of the audiobook services sponsor or advertise on this podcast, the information offered is unbiased.

As you probably know, an audiobook is a full-length fiction or non-fiction book that one or more voiceover actors reads aloud. 

Audiobooks offer a great entertainment alternative to reading printed fiction or non-fiction books, because as you’re listening to an audiobook, you can do something else at the same time, like driving, exercising, walking, cooking, or cleaning. 

You can also enjoy listening to an audiobook as you’re lying in bed as you’re trying to fall asleep. 

All of the audiobook player apps have a built-in sleep timer, so you can set it to turn off automatically, and stop playing the audiobook after a pre-determined time period, or at the end of a chapter, for example.

Keep in mind, an audiobook is different from a podcast. While some podcasts tell stories, podcasts are typically presented in an episodic format, with each episode lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour, for example. 

An unabridged audiobook, however, is presented as one program, and can be anywhere from two to three hours, up to 30 hours or longer in length, depending on the length of the printed book that’s being read.

Using an audiobook player app on your smartphone, for example, you can start, stop, pause, fast-forward, or rewind an audiobook as you’re listening to it.

Literally hundreds of thousands of audiobooks are available for you to enjoy directly on your smartphone, and some are offered for free. Others need to be paid for, just as you’d pay to purchase and read a printed book. 

As you’ll discover shortly, there are online-based services you can subscribe to that allow you to acquire one or more audiobooks per month as part of your monthly membership fee. 

There are also services that allow you to pay a flat monthly fee and gain access to that service’s entire audiobook library on an unlimited basis, for as long as you continue paying your monthly subscription fee.

Through several different programs, many public libraries offer also audiobooks that you can borrow for free and listen to on your smartphone. I’ll talk about these services in a few moments as well.

If you want to purchase an audiobook that you then own, and can listen to as often as you’d like, whenever and wherever you want, you have several options. 

When you purchase an audiobook outright, you’ll download the audio file from the Internet to your mobile device, for example, where that digital file will be stored until you manually delete it. 

After the audiobook file is downloaded, the Internet is no longer required to listen to that audiobook. 

If you choose to delete an audiobook you purchased from your mobile device, you can re-download it from the service you bought it from again for free, whenever you want.

The four most popular places to purchase one audiobook at a time are through the Apple Books app that comes preinstalled on your iPhone, or through Amazon.com, the Google Play Store, or Barnes and Noble. 

Depending on where you purchase your audiobooks from, you’ll need to use the appropriate audiobook player app to listen to it. For example, if you purchase an audiobook from Apple Books, you’ll use the Apple Books mobile app to listen to it on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. 

If you purchase an audiobook from Barnes and Noble, you’ll use the NOOK Audiobooksapp to listen to it, or when you purchase an audiobook from the Google Play Store, you’ll need to use the free Google Play Books app to listen to it.

Amazon owns a company called Audible, which is one of the world’s largest audiobook sellers. You can purchase one audiobook at a time from Audible at the full list price, or you can subscribe to Audible, starting at $14.95 per month, and receive one audiobook per month that you then own. Other membership options are also available. 

An Audible membership also includes a wide assortment of additional audio content, including a selection of Audible Originals audiobooks, that are offered for free throughout the month to subscribers.

You can also purchase additional audiobooks each month at a significant discount. To acquire audiobooks from Audible, visit www.amazon.com using your favorite web browser, then to listen to the audiobooks that you’ve acquired from Audible, use the free Audiblemobile app that’s available from the App Store.

A different service, called Audiobooks.com, also offers a membership plan that includes at least two audiobooks per month, that you then own, for a monthly fee of $14.95. You’ll use the free Audiobooks.com mobile app to listen to those audiobooks. When you sign up for a trial membership with Audiobooks.com, you can choose three, full-length audiobooks for free to get you started.

Also for a monthly fee of $14.95, you can subscribe to the Playster service, which offers a collection of more than 100,000 audiobooks in its library. With your membership, you get unlimited access to the entire audiobook collection for as long as you’re a member, but you do not own the individual audiobooks you download. 

With Playster, you’re basically borrowing the audiobooks, which will automatically be deleted from your devices if and when you cancel your membership. 

However, since many people don’t listen to an audiobook more than once, if you don’t care about owning the audiobook titles, Playster allows you to listen to as many audiobooks as you want per month, with no limits or no additional fees.

Also available from the Internet is a service called Open Culture, which offers a collection of more than 1,000 audiobooks that are all available for free. Visit www.openculture.com to learn more about this service.

Meanwhile, many local public libraries subscribe to a service, like OverDrive, that allows library card holders to borrow audiobooks and listen to them for free, for up to 14 days each. Contact your local public library to determine which audiobook service is available to you as a library card holder. 

To use the OverDrive service in conjunction with your library card, you’ll need to download the free Libby app from the App Store, and make sure your local public library subscribes to this particular service.

Regardless of what types of books you typically like to read, or what genre of fiction you enjoy, you’ll discover plenty of audiobook options from both bestselling authors and up-and-coming authors, so your listening options are always plentiful, no matter which audiobook service you acquire your audiobooks from.

A future episode of Featured App of the Week will offer an introduction to podcasts and how to find and enjoy them on your smartphone. 

For now, however, that’s it for this edition of Featured App of the Week. I’m Jason Rich. Thanks for listening.