Amazon owned Audible has released its first iPad app today, which will finally allow Apple customers to listen to audiobooks on the go. The new Audible 2.0 app features a very Metro interface that is simplistic in design and easy to navigate. You can connect up to your existing account and have all of your audio editions synced to your iPad, so you can listen to your favorites no matter where you are.
One of the most interesting aspects of the new Audible App is the “Me” section. You can check out how many minutes you have listened to an audiobook and check out your lifetime totals. It looks like Amazon took a page out of the Kobo playbook by introducing rewards and achievements for listening. You can earn badges based on a myriad of factors and can brag to your friends about your progress. I really like tangible elements that give you something to aspire towards when it comes to intangible media.
When you download audiobooks, you can do it in the normal format, which makes the samples or fully featured editions smaller. I would recommend the “high” quality setting, that seems to give you a better overall listening experience. The higher quality files are triple in size, so make sure you are in a WIFI area to not go over your monthly data caps. There is also a sleep timer, so if you are listening to a book while going to bed, it will automatically shut off.
You cannot purchase audiobooks directly within the iPad app. Instead you have to use iTunes to buy any audio edition you want. Any purchases made via Apple will be synced with your Audible account. Alternatively, you can visit the main Audible website and make purchases there. I like the ability to shop for audiobooks within iTunes and have them downloaded right to the app!
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.