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Audible updates Windows Phone app, offers free audiobook to new registrations

Audible

Audible, the popular audiobook service, has bumped its Windows Phone offering and has launched an exclusive offer for consumers. Should you download and use the apps available for either Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, create a new account and reside in the US, you'll be eligible for a free audiobook for trying out the service. Pretty neat, eh?

It's really easy to redeem the free audiobook. Simply create an account, pick the free book and you're good to go. Here are the titles that are on offer: The Power Trip by Jackie Collins, American Sniper by Chris Kyle, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby. Once the book is downloaded, it will be displayed in the library and will be available across all Audible apps connected to that account.

Audible

Be sure to hurry if interested as the offer ends May 13th. Note that as stated above, this offer is only covering new registrations through the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (and presumably Windows Phone 7.x) apps. As for what's included in the latest version, we're not entirely sure. It could well be a release for the special offer (since there appears to be no change in the version number), but should you notice anything new which we've overlooked be sure to shout out in the comments.

We did previously look at Audible as the app was updated to 1.4 back in November last year. Windows Phone 8 features were included, with Live Tile sizes and voice commands implemented. It's a must-have app for anyone who enjoys cracking open a good book every now and then, and is particularly useful for those boring commutes to and from work each and every day.

You can download Audible from the Windows Phone Store (listed for both Windows Phone 7 and 8), as well as Windows 8. Source: Windows Phone Blog

QR: Audible

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Reader comments

Audible updates Windows Phone app, offers free audiobook to new registrations

46 Comments

 
This app is great if you only use headphones but when you use Bluetooth (apparently not all devices) it bombs so freaking hard.
In my car the audio will randomly stop playing then won’t pick up where it left off, bookmarks will randomly disappear, the play button won't always work, and the time stamp will randomly reset to 0:00 when it is really playing from a different time. 
These issues have been around since Audible was released a year ago and has plagued my Lumia 900 and 920. 
Hopefully they will get fixed soon but I have my doubts.....
 
 
-Chris

I've been using the WP7 beta version and I haven't had any of those things happen since the last update a while ago. The previous version did lose my place all the time. I can't comment on the WP8 version.

Bingo.  On bluetooth the current app loses it's place, locks up, forgets where it was positioned... it's just a giant mess on my nokia 920, which is terrible because it's one app I really care about.  Anyone have a change log?

Same thing happens to me. Seems to randomly happen and god forbid i get a phonecall. Every time a call comes in Audible loses its place in the book (and also wont automatically resume playing when the call ends like any other audio).
This is one of the many issues with this app. I love the service, but the app is by far one of the least functional apps on Windows phone. I dream of the day when Microsoft has its own audio book service that might work properly!
-Jake

I used my free title to purchase a new yorker magazine audio edition but it doesn't work. Also made the mistake of buying another and alas still says there is nothing in my library. So beware, it looks like magazines aren't supported (it says newspapers aren't in the fine print but I figured magazine were different since you can buy them one by one not subscribe to them)

I have the same problem. I used my credit for another book and it doesn't show on my "recent titles" in the app but it does on my,purchase list...

My version is 1.3, I go to the store and it says 1.4 is the latest with no option to upgrade. I'm in Australia so that maybe why. Anyone else seen this or know what's up? Could really do with an update as like others Bluetooth support is rubbish.

Same here, in the U.S. on AT&T.  And... agreed, Bluetooth support is horrible.  I've managed to work around the bugs (like making a mental note of the chapter and scrub position when attempting something 'dangerous'), but would really like to see it 'just work.'

Nothing in Norway yet either. It's normal that some regional app stores lag behind a little. I'll have this tomorrow probably. If there ever was an app in bad need of an update...

Tried it for a couple books then bailed.  App would crash mid-book, I would have to uninstall/reinstall in order to continue listening.  Sometimes it would just spaz out and just skip and not allow any continuation.  Lost positions in the book, had to restart and find my page again.  I got used to writing down my bookmarks on paper, since the app was so unreliable.  Finally wrote Audible an email telling them their app was crap and I was done with my subscription until I heard it was fixed.
So is it finally fixed? :)

Be sure to check the check box, that you want it to use your Wi-Fi, I pray they fixed that app to where it will download to your phone, because before it streamed to your phone, my poor mother has got a windows phone, loves audible. then got a 140$ bill because they did not have that in the set up. Like would you like to use this with APs, or wireless, because it streams and will eat your bandwidth up. At and T was cool about it and refuncded it, but it was BS the way they had the app set up to stream, instead of downloading the book, which I hope they do now.

Did they fix the battery drain issue? I used the app a few months ago. Once started it would drain the phone battery in a couple of hours even when not listening. I had to uninstall it. Not missing it but I can't believe such malware was allowed in the store.

I wonder what the deal is with the update.  I had it installed and it didn't show that there's an update, and when I removed it I received the same version. 

I've been using it for the past month and it's a volatile app. It drains the battery, skips chapters, has problems loading, and freezes my Bluetooth connection.

How on earth does this app have 4/5 stars overall? Have the people giving rave reviews not actually used it, or does it work fine on some phones? I gave it 1 star and listed the numerous problems with the app on my L920.

There's been an issue where if you resume from a call over BT, sometimes you cannot play right away and if you hit play 3-4 times it resets the book, starting over. SUPER ANNOYING. Maybe they fixed it...

Hope they get 1.4 to existing 1.3 users soon.  Seem to have this locked down.  When I go to the app link, it shows 1.4 until I login and then it flips to 1.3.
For those complaining about past problems with Audible, 1.3 made the app useable.  Still has some quirks, but about as well as a 3rd party app will get integrating with the native WP media player and controls.  I would prefer a native no frills audio book player similar to Zune devices, but I don't think Microsoft wants to go there seeing podcast support on WP8.
Good to see my favorite WP7 device (Focus S) on the headline graphic.
 

Yeah, I'm surprised at how high the rating is. I use Audible every single day on my commute to and from work. Every fifth time or so that I fire it up, I'm treated to the now dreaded, "This is Audible . . ." greeting, which means that Audible once again has forgotten my place and I have to spend the next five minutes skipping through the text trying to find the place where I left off. So so so obnoxious.
Also, as others have mentioned, the battery drain problem is bad, and is not confined merely to when you're actually listening to the app. I stop playback when I arrive at work around 9 a.m., and if I don't actually exit the app I will find my phone on life support by lunchtime.
This has happened continually since last fall. If they were going to release an update, why not address these bugs?
Lumia 920

I use Audible daily, and I've used it on iOS and Android as well. 
The WP8 app is the worst pile of crap i've ever used on a phone.  I'm sorry to be so graphic, but this app SUUUCCKKKSSS. The 4/5 raitings in the marketplace is bogus too. I don't know who is reviewing this thing, but not anyone who is using it. 
 
It is now supposed to be 1.4 - but clearly if you remove and redownload it you'll just see it is still the old 1.3 version. It isn't promising that Audible is even screwing up an update. And, don't bother using any online forms to contact Audible about the issue with their WP8 app. I now have 5 tickets open, all which generate an automatic response saying they will repond with a staff member "within the next business day' - upon which they have NEVER resposed.
 
Speaking of poor support, if you call and talk to them about the app issues, they told me, "they have taken notes and will pass them along." Suuuuurrrreeee. I got the feeling they wanted off the phone as fast as possible. 
 
Here is what you get when listening to Audible on WP8:

  1. Audible app opens very slow, takes a number of seconds (sometimes up to 20) to launch from completely closed.
  2. Opening a book can also take anywhere from 2-20 seconds. No set pattern. The same book might open in a couple second or freeze the app for almost the entire length of a commercial break.
  3. Once that app is open, the phone CPU is being taxed about as much as a video game does. That means if your phone lasts all day, you'll be luckly to get 3-4 hours of listening in. Myself, I can get about 3 out of my 920 and after that I better find a charger.
  4. EVEN IF YOU STOP LISTENING, but leave the app open, your battery will still drain. Last winter it did have the side benifit of turning my phone into a pocket heater. If you can consider it a benifit.
  5. Closing the app also is sluggish. Back, back, back, back with weird pauses in the interface. Audible on WP8 looks pretty, but whomever made the interface didn't do any sort of smart graphical caching or something, because every screen is slow to get to compared to every single other WP8 app I own. Audible is the worst performing app.
  6. Assuming you havent smashed your phone in frustration, you'll be excited to know that Audible randomly "forgets" where you are. Before closing the app, to save your phone's battery, be sure to bookmark your place. Amazingly enough, the app never forgets the bookmarks I entered, but it can't remember its own playhead position. I think this is a feature to show the modern world what it was like back in the 90s when you had to constantly save and save often with every app you owned. It sure is quaint on a mobile device that I have to remember to save my palce. Thank you Audible for the trip down memory lane... now FIX YOUR APP. 
  7. Bluetooth listening can make all the problems worse, but in a completely random way. The only pattern is that this app sucks ass.
  8.  

Some of you reading this comment might think I'm ranting. And your right. I find it completely annoying that I carry around my old iPhone 4 just to listen to books.
 
Clearly Audible hired someone who couldn't give a shit about Windows to develop this app. There is no quality control and the problems have been discussed at length. November 2012 is when they released the app, so it has been almost a half a year before this update that doesn't even update. 
 
Because Audible rules the audiobook industry, the poor performance of this app is a black eye to Microsoft. If anything, MS should have stepped in months ago, if not before the app was even released, to ensure it was the best possible experience. Alas, Microsoft is proving itself incapabile of putting out solid apps. Issues with Facebook, PDF Reader, etc... show that the giant isn't really serious about this platform. 
 
I love the metro interface and the idea behind WP8. But I have to be honest, my next phone won't be a WP phone if issues like this still exist whem AT&T gives me another upgrade rebate this fall. 

AMEN.   The audible WP8 is a disaster; and Audible is something I (want) to use frequently.. just garbage

Uninstalled my 1.3 to re-download 1.4 since it wouldn't let me update.  None of the big problems are fixed.   Still dies on bluetooth when a call/etc. comes in; randomly loses place in a book; if you have a multi-part book bounces back to the first part repeatedly, etc. etc.
Nearly worthless, I say this as someone who has had Audible since 2005, before Amazon, back when I burned the books to CDs.   Rethinking doing that again.  Yeesh.

I was only able to download version 1.3 despite 1.4 being shown in the app store. I called Audible and they said that 1.3 was the latest version...