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Old 10-28-2005, 12:54 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Audible.com

Has anyone noticed that Audible looks like a fantastic product on the surface, but that as soon as you want to join (like I did a couple of times as an attempted spur-of-the-moment impulse buy) you start to look at how it works and it's almost like they don't want to make it clear what you are getting. It's sort of like "We have lots of audiobooks and you'll love us.... Buy Now! But if you want to know more, you can find out by signing up first."

I know it's not that bad, but it was enough to keep me away. I rent audiobooks elsewhere, or I buy and resell audiobooks from a used book store (even on cassette for my car!)

Wouldn't you think the basics would be easy to see?
Like:

1) Can you play the audiobooks as mp3 on other players?
2) Can you play other mp3s on the audible player?
3) How do the magazine subscriptions work?
4) Is there an expiration for books you buy, or can you still listen to them after you cancel your membership?
5) What are the different membership plans, and what exactly do you get?
6) Are there pay as you go plans? (Like join for $20, then buy books at $10/book or whatever. I'd still join if I could get a deal similar to that.)

I've probably asked similar questions some time before when I was interested, but I can't remember. Maybe one of our readers is also an Audible fan and can point me to some answers? If not maybe I'll send them off to Audible support and post the response here for everyone.

It just seems to me that commiting to $25/month (or whatever the price) is a bit steep for two books per month when your reading is erratic, and the lower priced subscription is for one/mo plus a magazine I think. That also doesn't seem like it would really fit most people's reading habits.

Like I said, it looks like a fantastic setup.... well, except for the subscription plans and the lack of information. Am I missing something?

I only know of one subscriber off hand from our members... are there more out there?
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Old 10-28-2005, 03:24 PM   #2
BobRinKC
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BobR,
I have been an audible member for about 18 months now, and I think it is a fanatastic deal!

At the 2 book a month level, you get your choice of ANY of their audiobooks for an average price of $11 each. I've purchased books listing for 10 times that price as my monthly selection.

They do have their own format, rather than MP3. They support 100's of different MP3 players. I currently use both my Palm TE and a Sandisk Sansa MP3 player with Audible books. You can also download the books to your PC and burn them to CD's, or play them using Windows Media Player, or, I think, Itunes.

They have sales several times a year where you can get about any book on the site for $10-$12, sometimes less.

They seem to stay fairly current with new offerings.

I know, I sound like a commercial for them! I have no affilliation with Audible, other than I COULD send you an invite to join which would earn me a free book if you did. *grin*

All in all, I've found Audible.com to be a tremendous deal!
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:46 PM   #3
tts52
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I have been an Audible Listener for several years and don't know how I would get along without it. I subscribe to a listener program that allows me any two books a month for $119 a year.
The books are downloaded in Audible's own format which allow an impressive length of listening in a very small amount of memory. This was important back when we were using 32MB MP3 player but is less important now.
The books are yours forever and are even redownloadable--Audible keeps your booklist. I don't know much about how the periodical subscriptions work as I have never done that.
There is a list of approved MP3 players which covers most of the common ones and you can put other content on them. You are allowed 3 different MP3 players and two different desktop players. I use one for the car, one for the gym, and one bedside or extra(different books). You can also burn CD but I rarely do. You can fairly easily find programs which will let you rerecord to other formats but I never do because in this case I don't find the DRM at all too restrictive.
The software works very well and is easy to use and has the added feature of allowing you to load only part of a book if memory space is a problem.
I recommend Audible frequently but am always surprised at how few people follow up. Perhaps listening to books is a habit that one must develop but I know I don't drive without a book playing.
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Old 10-29-2005, 06:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tts52
I recommend Audible frequently but am always surprised at how few people follow up. Perhaps listening to books is a habit that one must develop but I know I don't drive without a book playing.
My problem with audiobooks in general is that I am lacking the patience to listen to an entire book. I cannot explain how it's different to reading a text book, but with a text book I can always come back to it and finish what I haven't read yet. With an audiobook, however, if something gets in the way so that I haven't listened to it for a while, it seems like a huge effort for me to listen the rest of the audio.
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:40 PM   #5
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I just tried the free sample dispo on audible.fr

Just a few comments...
The ssl certificat is no more valid (since yesterday)...
Very serious.

When I try to download the free sample, it give me a .pl file (perl file directly from the server ?)...
Again very serious and easy to use.
This site is not working either under ie or ffx...

I don't think I'll buy something here.

In definitive I don't know the fileformat of the audio books.
If it's crippled with drm or not...

Ph
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Old 11-06-2005, 04:05 AM   #6
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I have been using Audible since I got my Palm in Oct 2003. I've been subscribing to the daily edition of Wall Street Journal and New York Times. It's quite nice to be able to keep up to the current news while I'm doing stuff, taking full advantage of my time.

There's recently been Audible's own "This is Audible", a ni-weekly (Tues & Fri) hour audiocast available in 1 month and 12 month subscription. Because it's really Audible's way of selling their ebooks, these subscriptions are free. Do a search and get your subscription. It's actually not bad. It gives a good feel or snippet of fiction and non-fiction titles as well as interviews of authors from a variety of genres, especially some taken from XM Satellite radio. I find it's quite informative and entertaining and for free, I can't complain. Previous guest interviews include Wynona Judd, Sydney Pollack.

From time to time, I may get into some problems with Audible. Most times I close the Audible manager and re-open it and it will be fine. Recently, I've been having problems with Audible manager and then upgraded it to the new version and now, it seems with the new way of downloading, things are better. Rather than relying on the Audible manager to detect new subscriptions and request a download, I simply click on the daily email reminder link to my subscriptions and download it directly to the folder. Much less problems nowadays.

Audible files are in .aa format, which only plays on the Audible player.

Audible has their own version of DRM or encryption which only allows you to listen to it. Sending the file over to a friend, even if they have an Audible account won't work and they can't listen to it. The only workaround is to burn it to a CD and rip it.

There are tons of places where there are links to promotional Audible subscriptions offering half priced 1 month subscription, or a free Audible monthly subscription, or getting their free mp3 player with a 12 month subscription, etc. Just do a search and you should find lots of links.

Or go through the ( www.audible.com/palm ) promotion, which is for new Palm owners (I believe it's still valid). I think they give you a free month's subscription. You have to give them your credit card though and before the end of the month, you'll need to call them to cancel or they will charge you for next month's subscription.

I personally, prefer audio books over digital ebooks.

Last edited by maceyr; 11-06-2005 at 04:12 AM.
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