They say real paper books will be a thing of the past in 10 to 20 years from now. Even as someone who was raised on Kindle and related downloadable libros I have to admit there’s something cool about libraries stocked with actual physical books. Nevertheless, I’m still getting the majority of my information digitally so let’s take a look at some of today’s options.
Audiobooks – which now generally download a million times faster than they did 5 years ago – give you the unique opportunity to enjoy some of the best fiction and nonfiction titles created on the go, at work, or in the gym – without having to fumble with the physical version itself!
Nothing beats kicking back and relaxing on a commute with a new bestseller, or ripping through a nonfiction book about your area of expertise or your industry before heading into the office every day. Maybe you just want something fun and light to read while you are pretending to use the stationary bike at the gym; a number of decent apps can help you there, too.
Finding the best audiobook app, however, can be a bit of a tall task. With so many different apps available to pick from, varying audio formats, and the time commitment involved to truly test one out it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s my take on several of the more popular ones, having tried them all myself, and having compared notes with friends also in the know.
Of all the audiobook apps on the market today, Audible (from Amazon) is probably the best of the best – especially if you’re looking for an integrated audiobook marketplace and audiobook player all in one neat little form. More than 150,000 audiobooks are available through the Audible library, and while you’ll have to pay $14.95 each month to take advantage of all these books will also find no other audiobook application on the market today as easy to use or as convenient to take advantage of. It also doesn’t hurt that it has been perfectly optimized for both iOS and Android devices (don’t underestimate the importance of this for your overall experience!) and works wonders on all Amazon devices (including Alexa and the Echo).
Smart Audiobook Player
Unlike Audible, this one is not a one-stop-shop but if you already have a source for audiobooks (like your public library, for example) and want to be able to load them up on a beautifully designed and easy to use audio player app, you really can’t go wrong with the Smart Audiobook Player. Variable playback speed options, easy bookmarking, and book collection management tools make this worthy app a steal at $1.99.
One of the most strikingly designed mobile applications you are ever going to come across, audiobook player or otherwise, everything about Pocket Casts is effortless to use and I found it easy to learn all the features quickly. Inexpensive, it works like a champ on both iOS and Android devices, and is far and away the most popular audiobook player in the Google Play marketplace. Super cheap – just $3.99 for a lifetime license and with unlimited upgrades, you’ve got little to lose with Pocket Casts.
This is an innovative application for both Android and iOS devices that gives users the opportunity to borrow e-books, audiobooks, and even music and movies from their local libraries’ digital collections. 100% free of charge, you only have to link up this app with your library card information and you are good to go. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of the audiobook applications we highlighted above. Each one of them brings something different to the table and will appeal more or less based on your reading habits and library access; and while there are other good ones out there this little grouping should definitely be the first ones to try out.