I am a newer user of audiobooks. I started with CDs on a player in the house or car! Shocking – I only listen on my iphone now. It seems as though in some cases the player is decided by where you are getting the audiobook. I still wonder whether there is a single player where one could accumulate all your books.
Anyway, there are a variety of features I might want to use in an audio player. Here’s a list with how I use them:
- Speed control
- Sleep timer – I use this often when I am at lunch at work so it stops when I have to go back to work
- Bookmark – This can be useful to mark where a particular passage is located if you want to quote it. Also some of the bookmarks will show a percentage complete which is useful for updating your progress on Goodreads.
- Jump buttons – These are used to go forward or back, usually 15 or 30 seconds.
- Notes or clips – This feature is often combined with the bookmark feature
All the players I am describing are on my iphone. I listen to all audiobooks in this way now. Honestly, I don’t know if they are the exactly the same on other operating systems / phones.
The first screen has a list of audiobooks which might be in the cloud or on your device depending on which button is selected at the top of the screen. There is also a menu there for selecting recent, to delete or to refresh the list.
Once you select one audiobook, there is a car mode which has a simplified screen for Pause/Play, Jump back 30 seconds, and Add a bookmark. There is also a volume control button and on the far right a More button. In the More Menu, one can view Clips & Bookmarks, Share, Button Free Mode, View details (including the Book Blurb and reviews), Rate and Review, Mark as Unfinished, and Change to a Dark Theme (screen).
Under the top menu is a slider for the current section with total time remaining in the audiobook listed also. Then the cover is displayed. The next bar has Jump back 30 seconds, Pause/Play and Jump forward 30 seconds.
The bottom menu has Speed control from 0.5x -3.5x (which is the most extensive options for speed), Chapter list with length of each, Sleep timer with 8, 15,30, 25,60 or End of Chapter. Clip/Bookmark (which has the option to add a note).
Overall: All the features are available except a bookmark which includes a percentage for updating Goodreads. The Speed control is the most extensive of all the players. It jumps 30 seconds rather than 15 seconds, has no collections and somewhat limited, but adequate sleep timer options.
Just today I downloaded a new verison of iOS and it changed iTunes quite a bit. All of the digital audiobooks I get from publishers or purchase from places other than Audible are in iTunes. The main screen has a menu at the bottom for Reading Now, Library, Book Store, Audiobooks, and Search. Audiobooks seem to be only audiobooks purchased on iTunes. All my stuff is in Library.
Library comes up with a new feature called Collections. I will have to think about how I want to use Collections – by genre? by publisher? After that is a list of my audiobooks and as a new feature, it shows the percentage complete underneath each audio!! (No more calculating it by dividing the time left in the book by the total length and subtracting it from 1.) To the right of each item are … to a new menu allowing you to Remove, Add to Want to Read, Add to Collection, Mark as Finished, or Share Audiobook. As yet, I have no idea on some of those. I am wondering about the Share Audiobook feature. There is an overall edit button in the upper right which allows mass delete or adding to collections.
Once you select an audiobook, the button in the upper right still shows a sort of table of contents with the section where you are highlighted. At the top it shows the time remaining in hours and minutes. Under the cover art, there is a slide button to see or change your position in the current section, then mini buttons to go forward or back by 15 second intervals with a pause/play button between them, then the volume control. At the bottom from the left are the speed button going from 0.75-x-2.0x speed, the sleep timer, and two buttons I never use. The sleep timer has been updated! It can still be set in increments of 5, 10, 15, 30 45 and 1 hour. Now you can choose when the current track ends or a custom time which has a dial for any time from 1 sec to 24 hours.
Overall: This new version has everything I need except some sort of bookmark or notation tool. The collections, Jump 15 seconds forward or back, and Sleep timer options are the most flexible of all the players. It also tells you the percentage compete for updating Goodreads without extra effort.
The first screen has a list of libraries but most people only have one, so I will be talking about the Bookshelf. This has a tile of the covers under each cover it has the title, author, and when it expires (due date). Once you select a book, you have two buttons in the upper left corner. One is the bookmark. The second goes into a screen which has Overview, Table of Contents and Bookmarks. The Overview is like a book blurb but also includes the Publisher, Date added, Last opened, and Date Expires. The Table of Contents lists the chapters and sometimes a prologue, epilogue, Credits or other additional content. Bookmarks gives a list of the bookmarks. It tells the section of the audio, the date/time and the percentage complete.
Back on the book page, the cover is in the center. Under it on the left, there is a sleep timer with increments of 5,10,15,30,45,60 and 90 minutes. On the right, there is the speed, from 0.5x – 2.0x. Then there is the normal slider bar showing where you are in the current section. The bottom menu has from left to right: Jump to previous section, jump back 15 seconds, Pause/Play, Jump forward 15 seconds, and Jump to the next section.
Overall: So while there is less flexibility in the sleep timer and no Collections, Overdrive has Bookmarks! It does have 0.5x speed but no 0.75x speed. It does Jump 15 seconds forward and back, and the Bookmarks calculate the percentage complete. I use it often and like it quite well.
This is the newer audio player at the Library. I downloaded it to look at it since I am guessing it will replace Overdrive. I disliked it and deleted it. So I reloaded it to write this post.
The Shelf shows a list of all your books and audiobooks from all the libraries. In Overdrive, it would only show the audiobooks on the shelf, not the ebooks.
Once you select to play an audiobook, the top menu has a Speed control from 1.0x – 2.0x, a Sleep timer which seems to only have a setting of 30 minutes, a Bookmark which also has an option to make a note (but no percentage) and a side menu. The side menu has a Chapter list with length of each one, Bookmarks, History which records your Jumps within the audiobook, Tips & Secrets.
There is then the cover with a Pause/Play button under it. The next line down has a name of the chapter and the total time remaining in the audiobook. If you press on the cover, it is a simpler screen like the car version on Audible, which just has Jump 15 seconds forward or back, and a Pause/Play button.
I can appreciate the options to manage my loans of both books and audiobooks on the shelf. However, the features for the audio player itself are my least favorite. The Speed Control and Sleep Timer are the most limited. The Bookmark has no percentage.
RB or OneClickDigital:
This is a player used for audios from Recorded Books if your library has this service. The Home screen shows audiobooks or magazines with a menu button in the upper left and a search in the upper right. On the menu, one can select audiobboks, magazines, Checked Out, My Account, Help or Logout. I spend most of my time at Checked Out. This screen shows tiles of the audiobooks (or magazines) checked out. Each audiobook cover has a cover with the expiration date in a red circle on it. Below are the title and author. Under those, is a play button and a location indicator of what section / total sections.
Once an audiobook is selected to play, the menu and search buttons are still on the top. Below the cover is a bar with Jump buttons for previous section, Jump back 30 seconds, Pause/Play, Jump forward 30 seconds and jump to Next section. Then there is the slider bar for where you are in the current section. The bottom menu has 4 buttons. First is the speed from 0.5 – 2.0x. Second is the Chapter list. Next is Bookmarks which lets one Add or View bookmarks. When you view the bookmark it is in minutes, not percentages so while it is good for clip notations, it’s not going to help with percent complete for the Goodreads progress. Last is the sleep timer with increments of 15,30,45,60, and 90 minutes.
Overall: Oddly, I might have said this was my favorite player but featurewise it doesn’t have the most options. The Jump buttons are 30 seconds instead of 15 seconds. The speed does have both 0.5 and 0.75. It has bookmarks but they don’t have percentages. The sleep timer is the least flexible with just 5 settings.
So luckily, the audio players I use the most – iTunes, Overdrive, and Audible are the ones I like the best. It would be nice to have everything in one player so I could catalog my whole library. I’m keeping a spreadsheet since there are a few series where I have different books from different places or even formats. I might have some of the series from Audible, and some of the series from Tantor downloaded into iTunes. The CDs or Mp3s I have are also downloaded into iTunes.
So are there any other players you use? How do you like them?
How do you keep track of audiobooks you own if they are from multiple vendors in multiple players?
This is a new to me audiobook site. This is where I received and if you win, you will receive the 8 audiobooks in the giveaway. I am so grateful to be included in this promotion of the love of audiobooks.
Libro.fm has some similiarities to Audible as you can get a monthly membership for $14.95 which gives one credit per month and a discount of 30% off all audiobooks purchased ala carte. One can also choose to just purchase audiobooks al a carte without a membership. A feature which is not currently available at Audible is audiobooks can be gifted. Something I’m excited about is The Kiss Club. It’s a venture with Avon where 10 romance audiobooks are offered each month at only $3.99 each!!! I will definitely be buying there.
Now to tell you about their player app. The first screen has folders, which include Listening, To Listen, Finished, and All. I can’t tell how, or if it’s possible to add or rename the folders. At the bottom of the screen, there are options for your Library or Settings. Settings does let you choose to use, or not, cellular data. You can also set your skip back or skip forward amount from 5 seconds or up to 200+ seconds.
To go into your Library, choose a folder. At the top of the screen, you can go back to the Folders list, choose all, or Now Playing. The first menu bar at the top has Recent, A-Z, or Downloaded, as options to filter your library. The list of audios beneath has a cover, title, author, audio length and 3 dots for more. If you choose More, it allows you to move to other folders or delete it from the device.
If you select an audio, the screen has a 3 dot More button in the upper right corner. Here one can view the tracks with their lengths, and also the bookmarks. Sadly for me, the bookmarks only give a time not a percentage. Back on the audio screen, it has the cover art with a slider bar underneath for the time in the current track. Below are the Jump back/ forward buttons, with a Pause/Play button between them. The bottom menu bar shows the speed, a bookmark, and the timer.
The speed options are 1,1.25,1.5,2 and 3. This is the first player where you can’t get less than one, but also the first with 3x speed. When you touch the bookmark, it adds one, states the time where it is being added and gives you the option to enter a note. The timer has options of 5,10,15,20,30,60 and end of track.
Overall: This is a quite flexible and easy to use player. Since I am new to it, I may be missing how to name my own folders, but this is something I would love. The Jump back/forward is the most flexible, and the bookmark allows notes but not a percentage. While it doesn’t have a speed less than 1x, it’s the only player with 3x speed. (I never use less than 1x speed.) The timer has a 20 sec choice which is just the extra I often want.
Here are the 8 titles in the giveaway. This is a month long promotion with other bloggers also doing a giveaway; visit the other sites on the blog tour page to increase your chances of winning. The links below show the audiobook information. The covers at the bottom will take you to the Goodreads information.
BRIDGE OF CLAY by Markus Zusak (Penguin Random House Audio)
SPILL by Leigh Fondakowski (LA Theatre Works)
HOW TO BE LESS STUPID ABOUT RACE by Crystal Fleming (Beacon Press)
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones (HighBridge Audio)
SALVATION by Peter F. Hamilton (Tantor Audio)
THE HUNGER GAMES: Special Edition by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
HEAVY by Kiese Laymon Simon Audio (Simon Audio)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty (Macmillan Audio)
- 🎧 Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood @EverSoAli #BrookeBloomingdale @BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub @PRHAudio #GIVEAWAY #LoveAudiobooks - August 18, 2022
- Dance with the Devil by Kit Rocha @KitRocha @torbooks @mostlybree @totallydonna - August 16, 2022
- 🎧 In the Pines by Kendra Elliot @KendraElliot @TeriSchnaubelt #MontlakeRomance #BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited - August 14, 2022