Audible? Well, yes, but barely...

Published on 14 January 2013

I really like the Audible service, but...

About two months ago, I started using the Audible Audio Book service from Amazon.  I first heard about it while listening to the Windows Weekly podcast.  I was intrigued by the ability to "read" a book while driving, out walking, doing the dishes, etc, so I thought I would take up the offer to try the service for free.

Put simply, the service is very good.  They have an amazing selection of audio books, and the production of the books is very good!

However, that isn't the whole story.  A service like this is only as good as the applications for it.  As most of you will know, I have a Nokia Lumia 920 (which runs Windows Phone 8 operating system) and unfortunately, the application experience is far more satisfactory!

How I use the application

During my half hour commute to work, I normally listen to the radio, however, once i started using Audible, I thought that this would be an ideal time to "read" a book.  My Ford Focus includes the ability to use a Bluetooth connection with a phone to make and receive calls, and also to transfer Bluetooth Audio.  It also comes with a USB connection into the glove compartment, however, using Bluetooth Audio is just easier.

The Problems

I have noticed the following problems with the Windows Phone 8 Audible application:

  • If the application is running while an incoming phone call comes in, the application doesn't start the audio again.
  • If the application is running while an incoming text message comes in, the application doesn't start the audio again.
  • I also noticed a crash of the application when I received a "mention" notification from the Rowi Twitter Application.  This may have been coincidental, however, I thought that it was worth mentioning
  • When trying to start the audio again from a saved bookmark, it either doesn't start at all (have to switch the phone off and on

All of these problems were noted when reading the first book that I purchased, the Steve Jobs Biography.  Towards the end of the book, I started listening simply through the speaker on the phone, which turned out to be a much better experience, but still not perfect.  However, things have taken a turn for the worse.  I purchased my second book, The Hobbit, Part 1, and every time I try to open the book, the application simply crashes.  I have tried rebooting the phone, re-downloading the application, all to no avail!

Contacting Support

I decided that it would be a good idea to get in touch with the Audible Support Team, as I wondered if some of the above were known issues, that could be corrected.  I sent them an email, and went into a fair bit of detail, and also offered to provide more information if required, however, the response was slightly disappointing:

Based on the issues you are experiencing it seems that the current installation of the app on your device is corrupted in this case you will need to remove the app and do newly installation:

To uninstall the application from a Windows Phone, attempt the following:

  1. Tap on the Start, then flick the screen left
  2. Locate the icon for the Audible for Windows Application
  3. Tap and hold on the icon until the option to uninstall appears, then tap on it.
  4. When prompted to confirm the removal of the application, tap on Yes to complete the uninstall

Once the app is removed please restart the device and reinstall it.

I really didn't expect this to make any difference, and I was right.  I went ahead and carried out the above, but the problems still persisted.

I also sent a bug report through regarding the crashing of the application I try to open The Hobbit book, and in almost a week, I have had no response from the support team :-(

What next?

At this rate, as much as it pains me to do it as I really like the service, if this immediate problem of the constantly crashing application is not resolved, I feel I am going to have to cancel my subscription to Audible.

Has anyone else seen any problems like this?

Is this the Audible application at fault?  Or is it the bluetooth problems that I have heard about on Twitter?  Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

comments powered by Disqus