Audiobooks are another way for us to take literature anywhere we want to go, allowing us to listen to the latest bestseller while on a long drive, devour a non-fiction piece while doing the dishes, or even listen to the latest self-help hit or celebrity biography while doing your daily workout. Audiobook apps can run the gamut from slick, integrated market and player systems packed with the latest bestsellers and personalized recommendation engines to more humble affairs that still bring you the classics of world literature in audiobook form.
Audible (Android & iOS) ($14.95 per month subscription)
Audible is a veteran powerhouse in the audiobooks field, with more than 150,000titles in its library and its increasing integration with Amazon's Kindle system is reaping added benefits for its users. Audible's audiobook player offers solid playback features, with chapter navigation, bookmarks, a sleep mode, variable playback speed and multitasking support for background playback and downloading. Audible now integrates with Kindle, and Kindle users can pay a small fee to upgrade a Kindle ebook with an Audible audiobook, and Amazon's Whispersync allows users to switch between audiobook and text near-seamlessly.
Audio Books by Audiobooks.com (Android & iOS) ($14.95 per month subscription)
Simply Audiobooks' cloud-based Audiobooks.com platform also offers a solid audiobook app for Android and iOS listeners, allowing subscribers to choose from a library of more than 45,000 audiobooks from every genre that they can stream or download for offline listening. The Audio Books app includes variable playback speed, automatic bookmarking, and a sleep timer, among other features. Additionally, this app includes cross-device syncing, allowing listeners to easily transition from their smartphone, tablet or computer without losing their place in the audiobook.
Nook Audiobooks (Android) (Free)
Barnes & Noble is working on establishing its own niche in the audiobook market with its Nook Audiobooks Android app, with a store library of more than 50,000 titles across a variety of genres. Rather than use a subscription model like Audible or Audiobooks.com, Nook features an online store where users can purchase books, and then download and listen to them through the app.
Downpour ((Android & iOS)
Downpour is an independent audiobook store with a fantastic library of DRM-free audiobooks for sale, as well as select audiobooks that you can rent for 30 or 60 days through the Downpour mobile app. The Downpour app allows users to access their entire library and download audiobooks on Wi-Fi or cellular networks for offline playback. Playback controls are fairly standard with chapter and 30 second skips, bookmarking, a sleep timer and support for background downloading and playback.
Scribd (Android & iOS) ($8.99 per month subscription)
Scribd has taken a different tack with its audiobook offerings, presenting them to users as part of its on-demand, Netflix style service. For $8.99 monthly, Scribd subscribers now have access to a library of more than 30,000 titles in addition to the more than half a million ebooks that they can already access with their Scribd account.
Overdrive (Android & iOS) (Free)
Another option to consider if your local library supports it is OverDrive, which allows users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from their library's collection, with all the flexibility and convenience of a digital app. Overdrive users can borrow titles from the library's collection 24/7, and users can create holds, wishlists and effortlessly return ebooks and audiobooks. Cross-device syncing of titles and bookmarks allow you the flexibility to listen to an audiobook on the device of your choice.
Librivox (Android & iOS) (Free)
If you're not necessarily looking for the latest bestsellers, Librivox offers access to more than 15,000 free audiobooks of public domain works ranging from classic bestsellers to out of print titles that users can browse by title, author or genre. Users can save and listen to any number of books that they want, and can set unlimited bookmarks as well as a sleep timer. As the work is done by volunteers, narration quality can vary, but it's a great way to get classic works of literature in audiobook format without breaking the bank.
Audiobooks (iOS) (Free)
The Audiobooks app might have an unimaginative title, but it allows users to listen to a library of more than 5,000 free, public domain audiobooks in a clean, easy to use app. The app includes background and AirPlay support, a sleep timer, a dark mode and support for podcast playback. Users looking for more can also purchase premium audiobooks ranging from modern bestsellers to professionally narrated classics.
Smart Audiobook Player (Android) (Free trial, $1.99)
If you're looking to listen to DRM-free audiobooks already in your collection, Smart Audiobook Player is a popular choice for Android devices that comes with a good selection of features, such as variable playback speed, bookmarking, an audio equalizer, some basic collection management features, a sleep timer and control widgets for the notification tray and your home screen. The app provides users with a generous 30 day free trial before asking for a $1.99 unlock.
Bookmobile Audiobook & Podcast Player (iOS) (Free trial, $3.99)
Bookmobile is a well-regarded iOS Audiobook player for those looking to play DRM-free audiobooks. Bookmobile supports DRM-locked content from iTunes and Audible, as well as DRM-free content ripped from CDs or downloaded, including M4B and MP3 audiobooks. The app features a thoughtful control scheme designed to keep you from easily losing your place and includes drive and sleep modes, as well as supporting background playback. Extra features include a custom bookmarking feature that can automatically remember where you last stopped, playback speed controls, and AirPlay support. The free trial lasts for 60 days and allows you to import three audiobooks.
Best App to Make Audible/iTunes Audiobooks Playable on Android
If you purchased audiobooks from iTunes store or Amazon Audible, you'll find it's impossible to listen to those audiobook files on non-approved audiobook players, even some most popular Android devices. That's simply because the audiobooks on iTunes and Audible are protected with FairPlay DRM that prevents you from playing the audiobooks on any player as you wish. So in this case, it's necessary to find out an app that could easily bypass the DRM from the audiobooks so that you can enjoy the books on as many audiobook players as possible.
Here you meet TunesKit DRM Audiobook Converter (Mac|Windows) that is specially designed to help audiobook users completely remove DRM lock from iTunes and Audible audiobooks while converting the protected audio books from the DRM-ed format, like M4A, M4B, AA, AAX to DRM-free audiobooks in MP3, AAC, M4A, WAV, FLAC format. It's able to work at 30X faster speed due to an advanced DRM decrypting core.
Now you can follow this tutorial to see how to use TunesKit to crack DRM from iTunes/Audible audiobooks so that you can play them on Android: How to Convert Protected iTunes/Audible Audiobooks to Android Devices >>