Audiobooks vs Audible:An Overall Comparison

The audiobook market is an exploding market and the two biggest players are Audible and Audiobooks.com. In this overall comparison I am going to talk about the pros and cons of both services and help you choose the service that is right for you.

Points to Discuss

I will choose the main points that most people are concerned about to discuss. they are listed as below:

  • Pricing – How much does each service cost?
  • Range – Do they have the book I want?
  • Player – Which player is better?

So let’s get straight into it.

Pricing

It’s no surprise that Audible and Audiobooks have almost identical pricing. It nearly takes a genius to work out which one is better value. At the end of the pricing section I will list all the special offers which will allow you to save money (easy links included) as well as 1 way to game the system and save more money.

Let’s have a look at their pricing structures in more details

Audible Regular Pricing

Audible Pricing Plans

1 Book Per Month – $14.95/month – Gives you 1 credit towards any book of your choice plus your first book free.

2 Books Per Month – $22.95/month – Gives you 2 credits towards any books of your choice (works out to $11.48/book)

12 Books All At Once – $149.50 – Gives you 12 credits to use right away (works out to $12.46 per book)

24 Books All At Once – $229.50 – Gives you 24 credits to use right away (works out to $9.56/book)

Extra books – Books vary in price but they are maxed out at $14.95. This means you will never pay more than $14.95 for a book. This is great when some books retail for $30-$50 and you can get the audiobook for $14.95

 

Audiobooks.com Pricing

Audiobooks Pricing Plans

1 Book Per Month – $14.95/month – Gives you 1 credit towards any book of your choice plus your first book free.

2 Books Per Month – $22.95/month – Gives you 2 credits towards any books of your choice (works out to $11.48/book)

SPECIAL OFFER PRICING

Here are the special offers in order of value to you.

Audible.com

$22.38 Free Value – Get the first 3 months for just $7.49

$14.95 Free Value – Get your first audiobook free

Audiobooks.com

$14.95 Free Value – Get your first audiobook free

 

GAME THE SYSTEM

If you want to be really sneaky there is the potential to game the system. There is one technique I know to save you another $22.38 off your Audible membership.

Attempt to cancel!

That’s right. Attempt to cancel your account and state the reason for cancellation as “The membership fee was too expensive for me”.

In many cases they will offer you 3 months at $7.49 if you choose to stay. That’s a further $22.38 off.

Don’t worry if you don’t get the offer. Your account more or less gets “paused” and you can reactivated it at any time.

 

Range

Here is how many titles each website has as stated in September 2014:

Audible – 150,000+

Audiobooks.com – 40,000+ titles in their library

Now while 150,000 titles vs 40,000 sounds like a lot the fact of the matter is you are rarely going to stray from the 40,000 titles.

All major titles will be available on both platforms and it will only be the more ‘niche’ books that you will be unable to get from Audiobooks.com

For me I am into niche business books and really niche Christian books so I have to stick with Audible otherwise I can’t find the books I need.

But if you just want to get access to major titles like “50 Shades of Grey” or “The Hunger Games” then either service will work.

 

Player

The player is how you experience your audiobooks and plays a vital role.

Both players are good with similar functionality. So let’s have a look at them in more detail. Both of the reviews below talk about the iOS apps (as I don’t have an Android phone) but I assume Android devices would be similar.

You can’t buy audiobooks through the app – Apple puts restrictions on how you can take purchases through apps. This means that the subscription service offered by both Audible and Audiobooks.com is incompatible with the app store. So you must buy your audiobooks through a web browser and then sync the app to listen to your audiobook.

Audible

Audible is my service of choice so I have a lot of experience with it’s player.

audible.com ios app

Download and store audiobooks – The app sync almost instantaneously once you purchase a book. You can download it and being listening straight away. It stores the books on your device for easy access whenever you want. You cannot stream audiobooks (you can with the audiobooks.com app).

Access across multiple devices – While I listen to about 2-3 audiobooks a week my wife will also occasionally want to listen to one. I can set it up so her device can access my account at the same time, thus we don’t need to make multiple purchases.

0.75x – 3x Speed – There is the option to slow down or speed up the audiobook. 0.75x, 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x, 2x, 2.5x + 3x speeds available. Personally I use 3x speed and love it. However, I don’t believe it is ACTUALLY 3x speed – it is closer to 2x or 2.5x because a 3hour audiobook always takes me more than 1 hour to get through. I would personally like to see a 4-5x speed option but that would only be for power users like myself.

Arranges by most recently listened to – I like this. If I recently listened to a book and want to go back to it then it is right near the top and easy to find. Also there is a search function if you have so many titles it’s hard to flick through them all.

Delete audiobooks but still have access – To save storage on your device you can delete audiobooks. This causes the title to be ‘greyed out’. The good news is you can redownload whenever you want and listen to it again. It never goes away.

+-30sec Button – There is a -30sec button and a +30sec button for easy skipping or rewinding. I have never used the + button but I often use the – button when I find myself drifting into lala land and missing an important part of the story.

Chapters + Bookmarks – You can navigate through chapters and also create bookmarks to go back to re-listen to important aspects of the book. I personally found these useless as the app already saves your place so you don’t have to worry about bookmarking. But some people might like it.

Sleep timer – If you are listening before you go to bed then you can set a sleep timer so the app automatically turns off and you don’t leave it playing all night (brainwashing you in your sleep)

Big buttons (great for driving) – I LOVE this about the app. I have had the Audible app for years and the buttons used to be tiny and hard to use when driving. Now they are massive and the navigation is so much easier.

 

Audiobooks.com

audiobooks.com app

While I cannot personally access the Audiobooks.com audio player (not available in Australia) I have researched into it’s functionality.

Rather than rehashing everything I already wrote about Audible’s player I will simply mention Audiobooks.com’s differences.

Streaming – This app allows you to download to your device OR stream the audiobook. This could be useful for people will little storage and a lot of data (plus great internet). But I personally would almost always prefer to download. Audible allows you to download the first 100MB without wifi anyway which helps when I am out and about.

Smaller buttons – This app has smaller buttons. In fact the buttons are a similar size to what Audible’s used to be. I would be surprised if they changed this soon though. It isn’t a deciding factor but it would be slightly annoying

Other than those small two things the Audiobooks.com app basically has all the same functionality as the Audible app.

If you want to join either one of these two audiobooks service, I hope the points dicussed above are useful to your making decision. However, if it is a trouble for you to download the players mentioned above and you want to convert the audiobooks into the universally-recognizable MP3 so you can listen them more freely. There is an excellent audio converter that may help you realize this: Apple Music Converter. It supports converting audiobooks into MP3 within just minutes while maintaining the original quality. After successfully converting audiobooks to MP3 you can transfer them into your phone for free playback even without the players mentioned above.  If you wonder how to make this happen, you can click how to convert audiobooks to MP3 to check out the step-by-step tutorial.

 

 

Source: pelt