Steve Jobs once said people don’t read any more. Luckily, he changed his mind and Apple’s engineers and designers managed to break speed records in getting iBooks, the iOS answer to Amazon’s Kindle, fast tracked onto the App Store in time for the original iPad event.
You can get audiobooks from a number of sources. You can buy and download books from Audible.com, or from Apple’s iBooks Store, or you can rip your own audiobook CDs. You can also buy some audiobooks on MP3 CDs; these CDs contain books already converted to MP3 files, which you can add to your iTunes library without ripping.
Where you buy the files affects how you can play them back. If you rip your own audiobook CDs, your files won’t have DRM, but if you buy audiobooks from Apple or Audible they will. Because of this DRM, you can’t play audiobooks in just any app.
Apple’s iBooks app
Let’s start by looking at Apple’s tools for playing audiobooks on iOS devices. When Apple released iOS 8.4, in April, the company moved audiobook playback and management from the Music app to the iBooks app. In some ways, this makes sense; both ebooks and audiobooks are a kind of book. However, audiobooks are audio; so playing them in the Music app also makes sense.
Audiobooks you sync from iTunes to your iOS device get shunted into the iBooks app, where you can play them back as you used to in the Music app. If you don’t see them in iBooks, tap the category menu at the top of the window and choose Audiobooks.
When you play back audiobooks in iBooks, you can adjust the speed (tap the Speed button at the bottom left), skip ahead or back 15 seconds, and set a sleep timer. You can also access book chapters. Tap the chapters button at the top right of the window, and you’ll see a list of chapters. Unfortunately, all you see, even if the book has named chapters, are names like Track 1, Track 2, etc.
There are a number of pros and cons to buying audiobooks from the iBooks Store. I hesitate to recommend that you don’t buy audiobooks from Apple, but there’s one serious limit to purchasing audiobooks this way. Unlike just about every other type of digital content you purchase from Apple, you cannot re-download audiobooks, and you cannot keep a library of your books in the cloud. With Audible however, you can always re-download your books, and their app gives you access to everything you’ve ever bought.
Audible’s iOS app can serve as your only audiobook app. It displays your Audible.com library; all the books you’ve bought from Audible, and which are stored in the cloud. It shows you books you’ve downloaded to your device within the Audible app. And it even lets you play audiobooks you’ve synced to iTunes, but only if you bought them from Audible.
The Audible app also lets you choose chapters, but only from cloud or device content; not with books you’ve synced via iTunes.
If you do buy books from Audible, you’ll probably find their app the most practical, since it does give you access to your entire library. You can still sync files from iTunes, but the cloud feature makes it much easier to use, and you may never need to sync.
How about a third-party app for your audiobooks? The $4 Bookmobile plays all kinds of audiobooks. (There’s a limited, free version you can try out; after that, a $4 in-app purchase unlocks all the app’s features.) In addition to playing any that you’ve ripped yourself, it can also play audiobooks with DRM sold by Audible or Apple.
Bookmobile is a mighty flexible app. While it’s interface is a bit hard to get used to, you can use it to change the playback speed with more granular settings than iBooks or the Audible app, skip ahead or back by minutes or seconds, and there’s even a driving mode, with simplified playback controls for use in the car.
Bookmobile can play books you’ve synced to iTunes, or you can use iTunes File Sharing to add files to it directly. You can also add books from Dropbox or other cloud services, and download them from web URLs. Finally, Bookmobile also plays podcasts, but that’s a topic for another article…
One more thing
While Apple has moved audiobook playback to the iBooks app, you can still play your audiobooks in the Music iOS app, at least at the time of this writing (iOS 8.4.1). In iTunes on your Mac, simply add your audiobooks—ripped, Audible, or iBooks Store—to a playlist and sync that playlist to your iOS device. Open the Music iOS app, and select that playlist; you’ll be able to play any audiobooks it contains.
You’ve got several options for listening to audiobooks on your iOS device. Try them all out and see which works best for you.
How to manage your iPhone audiobook
SynciOS Free iOS Manager will hep you a lot, with which you can manage your iPhone data such as backup your iPhone to your computer or transfer data from computer to iOS devices freely and easily.
As an audiobook fan, you can get a useful and simple audiobook management solution from SynciOS.
Just download and install it to your computer, both Windows version and Mac version are all available.
Under My Device, click Media tab on the left panel of Syncios, and then highlight the Audiobook from the right panel of the program. Now, choose operation from Import, Export, Delete and New Playlist.