Audible is a free iPhone application released on 1st July 2010 by Audible.com for iPhone and iPod Touch. It is one of the comprehensive audiobook applications, with Wi-Fi enabled download through Audible.com library and multitasking capability, detailed listening statistics, and is compatible with iOS 4.
Audible.com is an Amazon company, specialising in audio books, magazines radio shows, podcasts, stand-up comedy and public speeches from individuals. The company has a wide range of books narrated by world-class narrators interpreting books from all types of genre. Once you create a membership account on the Ausible.com, you can browse from over 75,000 titles of books, you can preview samples before downloading the books and then when purchased you can transfer the files to your iPod and/or iPhone using the new Audible application. One you have chosen the membership type either between gold or platinum (monthly or annual subscription), you will be given credit point, and with credit points you can download any reading material of your choice and add them to My Library of your account.
Once you have account setup on audible.com website, then you can download the application either from Apple website or iTunes. Alternatively, you can create an account directly from the Audible application after downloading it onto your iPhone. The application has chapter navigation capability, book marking, along with sleep and button free modes. You can also play the file even while downloading a particular title. Wi-Fi capability allows you to download the title directly from the My library. The primary feature is the application’s ability to multitask for audio background playback and background downloading supported on iOS 4. You can earn badges icons and review your personal listening habits using the statistics report in the application; at the same time link these information and update your social network on what you are reading using the application’s connect to Facebook and Twitter links. The application also allows you to receive updated information about authors and writing related events that might be of your interest, based on your reading pattern using the Audible Newsfeed. The new Audible 1.01 version has been updated with remote AV command support functionality, especially supporting the iOS 4 audio widget; along with improved horizontal swipe sensitivity and VoiceOver support.
The criticism the application has been receiving is that it typically has the glitches of a version 1 application. Several user interface errors while downloading titles mostly when connecting through Wi-Fi; there have also been reports with the Chapter functionality, which needs to be adjusted with very quick double-tap on the previous chapter instead of restarting a new chapter. Also the contents in the application are subdivided into two classes, one for items downloaded from Audible.com My library using Wi-Fi and the second for items downloaded using iTunes.
Although Amazon’s Audible.com is a direct competitor to Apple’s iTunes; Apple Inc has still allowed the feature, which does come as a surprise. The application is much more iPhone friendly than iPad friendly.