Waze is a GPS navigation system for your automobile and for the past while they have been beta testing an Audio Player that has Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Scribd, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn functionality. The system is now rolling out everywhere and you can control your audio app of choice in Waze and vice versa — you can even toggle between apps. So you can get lost in the music (or podcasts or audiobooks or radio or news) and not on the road.
One of the great aspects about the Audio engine is that it launches and can scroll between the various services, without obfuscating the GPS system. There is only a very small carousel that appears at the top of the screen. This will ensure that your GPS is always active and you won’t lose track of where you are.
Scribd is the only one providing audiobook access via the Waze audio platform and they told me that “We’re thrilled to partner with Waze to connect communities and empower drivers to read more while they’re on the road,” said Jen Singerman, VP of Marketing, Scribd. “As the first audiobook subscription partner, we’re helping to re-imagine the driving experience through stories that let you learn and explore on the go.”
I suppose the one good thing about the Waze Audio platform is that most of the content is free, with an advertisement revenue model. You do have to subscribe with Scribd in order to consume audiobooks.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.