Interested in enjoying a great audiobook? You're not alone. According to the Association of American Publishers, sales of audiobooks increased more than 25 percent in 2007 and there are more choices than ever. Unfortunately, with more choices comes more confusion. Fortunately, we can help. In association with the three top-rated audiobook providers in the U.S. (Audible, Booksfree and Simply Audiobooks -- see press clippings at left ) we'll help you choose the best provider and plan that best fits your needs. In just a few minutes you'll be signed up and selecting your first audiobook from among thousands of best-selling titles from one of the top-rated providers!
Should I Purchase/Download or Rent Audiobooks?
It really depends on your reading habits and budget. If you prefer to listen on a portable mp3 player, downloading is by far the most convenient approach. There's no waiting for mail deliveries or availability of popular titles, no scratched or dirty discs, and you can download audiobooks as often as you need. In addition, downloaded audiobooks are easier to manage on your computer and mp3 player/iPod and include chapter breaks and bookmarking capabilities. Finally, when you download a book, it's yours to keep. This is ideal for those who want to build their digital library and like to reread their favorites.
On the other hand, if you're accustomed to Netflix, you already know how Audibook rentals work. You create a list of titles you want and the next available title is automatically shipped to you. When finished, you return it. No late fees and shipping is prepaid in both directions. Though you'll have to wait for the mail and, in some cases, availability of popular titles, you can enjoy audiobook CDs in your car or on any CD or mp3 player/iPod. If you rent books on CD, however, remember that a single book may require 8 or 9 CDs which will take time to rip onto your computer and then transfer to your mp3 player/iPod. (Some audiobooks are available on MP3-CDs which can hold much more than a standard audio CD, often an entire book.) While not as convenient as downloading, renting audiobooks can be more economical.
Recommendations at a Glance
The following table summarizes our recommendations for the top-rated audiobook provider that best fits your needs. For more detailed comparison of the three top audiobook providers, please consult How They Compare below.
If you want to...
If your primary interest is in downloading audiobooks, Audible's massive library of 60,000 downloadable audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, podcasts is unrivaled. In addition, Audible's downloads play on virtually any mp3 player, including the Apple iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, and iTunes.
Membership: $14.95/mo (includes 1 download credit); $22.95/mo (includes 2 credits); $9.95/year (no credits) Special Offer: Get your first 3 months for $7.49/month (Cancel anytime.)
Membership: $17.98/mo (1 audiobook rental at a time) to $44.78/mo (4 at a time); (Cancel anytime.)
Membership: $22.49/mo (1 audiobook rental at a time) to $42.49/mo (4 at a time); (Cancel anytime.)
Choose from today's best sellers or yesteryear's classics. Need help? Get expert recommendations from Oprah's picks, the Today Show's picks, and get personalized recommendations based on your reading history.
| Action, Horror, Suspense & Thrillers
Mystery & Detective
Religious & Spiritual
Body, Mind & Spirit
Business & Economics
Family & Relationships
Foreign Language Study
Health & Fitness History
Humor Philosophy Poetry
Political Science Religion
Today Show Picks
Recommended for You!
You won't go wrong with any of the top three audiobook providers. Each are well-established, provide excellent service and have enjoyed accolades from the media (see sidebar at left) and strong testimonials from their subscribers. But each provider offers something a bit different, so choose the one that best meets your needs. The following table provides some more detailed comparisons:
|Special Offer||Get your first 3 months for $7.49/mo (50% off)||Get 20% off your first month (Use code LC46)||No special offers at present|
|Pricing|| Gold: $14.95/mo (includes 1 download credit)
Platinum: $22.95/mo (includes 2 credits)
Or, membership at $9.95/year (no credits)
|$22.49/mo (1 audiobook rental at a time) to $42.49/mo (4 at a time)||Rental: $17.98/mo (1 audiobook rental at a time) to $44.78/mo (4 at a time)
Download: $14.95/mo (includes 1 download) to $27.95 (3 downloads)
|Rent/Purchase||Purchase (Download only)||Rent CDs (or paperbacks) with option to purchase||Rent CDs or Download (Purchase)|
|Audiobook Selection||60,000 downloadable audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, podcasts||18,000 audiobook CD titles (87,000 paperback titles)||6,000 downloadable audiobook Titles; 22,000 audiobook CD titles|
|Compatability||Works with hundreds of mp3 players, including iPod® and iTunes® and Amazon's Kindle||Downloads not available. (CDs can be loaded onto iPod or other mp3 players.)||Downloads not compatible with iPod or iTunes. (CDs can be loaded onto iPod or other mp3 players)|
Enjoy Books in New Ways
Listening to books is a complement to reading books, offering you opportunities to enjoy books where you couldn't before. Your mp3 player will hold dozens of books -- enjoy them during your commute, at the gym, in the air, or while out for a walk.
Listen to Your Books However You Please
Enjoy the flexibility of listening to your audiobooks however you wish. Listen on your MP3 player today, on your computer tomorrow, and on your stereo's CD-player on the weekend. It's up to you.
Rediscover the Joy of Reading Books
If you want to read more but just can't find the time, audiobooks offer a new way to enjoy books easily and efficiently. If you're new to audiobooks, we invite you to try this wonderful way of enjoying books. You can always cancel your membership without penalty.
Start Enjoying the Books You Love
"While the music industry has struggled with how to work with the Internet... Audible has been using digital downloading to reach new audiences and to deliver the wares of the audio book industry more efficiently and less expensively."
"Instead of trying to cram a visit to the library into your already crowded day, with booksfree.com, you can get the books to come to you. Think of it as a literary Netflix..."
"...[Simply Audiobooks] sends customers as many books as they can hear every month for a low, flat fee. That is a great idea."
Audible Book : Additional Resources & Discussions
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Get 'Becoming Steve Jobs' audiobook for free from Audible - 9 to 5 Mac (blog)
Yibada (English Edition)
Get 'Becoming Steve Jobs' audiobook for free from Audible
9 to 5 Mac (blog)
Becoming Steve Jobs is already an Amazon and iBooks best seller on the day of its release but if you were on the fence or want the book read to you while you drive or work, Audible makes a pretty good offer. For new users (or folks with a new email ...
'Becoming Steve Jobs' Audiobook Shares Apple Co-Founder's Human Side ...
Get Two Free Audible Books - Zatz Not Funny
Zatz Not Funny
Get Two Free Audible Books
Zatz Not Funny
Beyond 1 credit/book per month, I also receive NYT and WSJ daily. Audible is supported by a variety of apps and platforms; I generally stream iPhone to car speakers over Bluetooth, although downloads are also an option… to overcome the glaring absence ...
Audiobook only: Why one company is skipping print editions - Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Audiobook only: Why one company is skipping print editions
Christian Science Monitor
Audible, the largest producer and seller of audiobooks, has reportedly begun commissioning original audio works. A book by Jeffery Deaver is one of the works currently being created by the company.
Straight To Audiobook: Authors Write Original Works Meant To Be Heard
Dear Kevin: 5 Challenges to “The End of College” - Inside Higher Ed (blog)
Dear Kevin: 5 Challenges to “The End of College”
Inside Higher Ed (blog)
I just finished The End of College. I've been recommending your book everywhere I go. Lots of people seem to be reading it. Just so you know, I bought both the Kindle version and the Audible version. Do you know why your publisher decided not to make ...
Germanwings crash: Pilot 'locked out of cockpit' - Auckland stuff.co.nz
Germanwings crash: Pilot 'locked out of cockpit'
"Nevertheless it was good news and a relief for us that we were able to extract an audio file that we can use," he said at a press conference in Paris. Jouty did not say what, or who was audible on the recording. It could be days before they can ...
Germanwings crash: clue from cockpit recorder