Every once in a while I see a beta version of an app that is so much better – so dramatically improved over the current production app – that I actually recommend it be installed. The new Audible for Windows Phone beta is one of those. If you have read this site any amount of time you know that I warn against installing beta software. It tends to be buggy, do strange and often unexplained things, and it often is just not ready for primetime. I’m not suggesting you won’t run into these issues with the new Audible beta. What I am suggesting however is that it is so much better and more stable than the production version, even if you see a bug pop up it’ll be less than what you get today.
Yes, it’s that much better.
If you aren’t familiar with Audible, it is an Amazon service for audio books. It is a great service where you can have a book read to you as you exercise, commute or relaxing in the evening. There are
tens-of-thousands of titles available so you can find anything you are looking for and often the books are read by the author or a well known actor.
The new Audible for Windows Phone beta brings all of this into a far more stable and efficient app. To start, it actually starts a book when you tap the play button. In the current version it could be 30-45 seconds before playing actually starts. Awesome. Now it starts immediately. In addition, you also get Personal Recommendations, you can rate and review an audio book from within the app and you can play audio samples from within the app. These are things that are not available in the current production app.
The search function in this beta is also dramatically better and when you find a title, you will also be able to see similar works from other authors and other works by the author of the title you are viewing. I know it sounds basic folks and for those of you who come from iOS and Android, you have to be scratching your head because these things are there in those apps. Now, finally, Audible for Windows Phone is on par.
The Audible for Windows Phone beta is free and yes, it is still beta. I don’t want to overhype it but you have to keep in mind that you could (and likely will) run into the odd bug here or there. Audible is free for the first 30 days then $14.95 per month afterward. For that you get a 30% discount on book titles plus one free book per month to keep even after you end your audible membership.