Book Download Services: Which Are the Best?
Audiobooks are a great way to make a commute more enjoyable or to listen to that classic you've just never had the chance to read. With many audiobook download services out there, you can get just about any title you want in seconds. But which download service to choose? Here's a run down of a few of the biggest services, so you can pick the one that's best for you.
Audible.com is the biggest player in downloadable audio books. The main reason: the service is incredibly cheap, compared to buying audio books one at a time from a bookstore. The site is owned by Amazon, which explains why it can be so cheap; Amazon is big enough to take an initial hit in profits, in order to secure a larger customer base.
Audible works by monthly subscription, although you can cancel your plan at anytime. You purchase credits, which can then be used to buy a book. Nearly all the books in their catalog cost 1 credit each. If you buy 1 or 2 credits per month, audiobooks cost $15 or $12 each, respectively.
Pros: Cheap, huge selection, nice web design
Cons:Users must sign up for a subscription
If you're one of those people who hates signing up for a subscription service of any type, even if it can be cancelled, you might want a service where you can just download one book at a time and pay per book. You can do this at Borders' digital audiobook website. The prices are a big higher, however, with most books costing around $20 or more.
Pros: Simple, just click the book you want and buy
Cons: It's expensive
Like Audible, SimplyAudioBooks.com uses the credit system. You sign up for a subscription, where you purchase a certain number of credits per month. Unlike Audible, Simply AudioBooks also has a monthly audiobook rental service. If you're the type of person who likes the option of having the physical audiobook CD, you might be interested in using Simply AudioBooks instead of Audible.
Pros: Offers rentals of books on CD; it's relatively cheap
Cons: Its selection of books is much more limited than Audible.com's
What's better than free? Not much. All the books available for download on Librivox are totally free; they're out of copyright books, read by volunteers. If you're interested in finally listening to that old classic you've been meaning to read for years, this is a good place to get it.
Pros: It's free, with an extensive catalog of classics
Cons: Less professional production; sometimes the volunteer readers' voices are hard to listen to
Joy Paley is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on Online Classes for Guide to Online Schools.