Audible: Audiobook service sounds (and looks) great
Brandt Ranj, Staff Writer
April 12, 2012
Filed under Arts & Leisure
You may have heard the phrase “kill two birds with one stone.” Well, unfortunately for the aerodynamically inclined, the subject of this week’s music column will kill far more.
I typically wait a couple of months before I can comfortably make a recommendation concerning a service. That being said, it’s been three months and I couldn’t be happier to recommend Audible.com as a wonderful and thoroughly worthwhile service.
Audible is an online audiobook service which features a library of over 100,000 titles. You may either purchase books individually or through one of four tiered plans. Allow me to break those down for you:
For $14.95 a month, you are given one credit which allows you to download one book of your choice for free (some books are two credits but the majority are one). For $22.95 a month, you’re allotted two credits per month.
The next two tiers are a once-yearly purchase of 12 credits for $150.50 or 24 credits for $229.50. All subscriptions come with a 30 percent discount on all audiobooks from Audible and you can cancel at any time while retaining all of your previously purchased books.
I’ve chosen the top-tier monthly plan. It has netted me eight books so far, including Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and the aptly titled “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.” Most audiobooks also show up the same day as their physical counterparts and the selection is constantly refreshed.
In fact, Audible has replaced Netflix for me as I don’t typically have time to sit around and focus on a flick or burn through a TV series during the school year. Which brings me to my favorite part about Audible: the ubiquity of it.
There are many activities you have to do that can be utterly dull, such as working out, driving, or riding the bus, all of which require our bodies but not necessarily our undivided attention. (Except for driving. Focus on the road!)
In these instances, Audible has helped me tremendously. Throwing on an audiobook means you’re actually learning or at least engaged in something that adds some pep to those otherwise annoying activities. Most audiobooks are around 10 hours long which makes the single-book plan very manageable. Audible also has a standalone app for smartphones with a neat and efficient interface.
So here’s how it all shakes out: for a fairly small fee, you can get to classic books you may have not had time for. Mundane tasks become more fun and it’s all available in your pocket. Although there’s nothing quite like cracking open a new book on a nice day — slipping on a pair of headphones, closing your eyes and having a narrator tell you a story before bed is really, really close.