These apps allow you to legally and free-of-charge listen to audiobooks if you don't want to pay for them.
Reading can be a costly hobby. Libraries still exist, but they are used less frequently. Many people opt to buy ebooks directly to their Kindles or iPads, or, as has been increasingly popular in recent years, to listen to audiobooks on Audible. Audible isn't cheap. Although $15 per month for an audiobook worth $20+ may seem like a bargain, many other audiobook apps are free or less expensive than Audible.
Libby is the first. It connects your library card to your local library's digital library of ebooks, audiobooks, and other materials.
Libby has a similar interface to Audible's audiobook player. You can adjust the playback speed, change the skip timer, move forward or backward, bookmark pages, and place a bookmark. You can also download books to listen to offline, much like Audible.
There are a few caveats about Libby. First, audiobooks can only be listened to in the library collection.
Libby App Guide - Pros and Cons (1 of 2), Source: Youtube, Marble Jar Channel
Second, Libby treats audiobooks like other library items with renews, holds, and borrows. If you have only one copy of Where the Crawdads Sing, which another person is borrowing, you can put the book on hold. Libby will then estimate when the book will be available for lending.
Libby is still free, although technically, you have to pay taxes. If you live in an area with an extensive library and are willing to wait until the books are available for you to borrow them, this is a superb Audible option.
Chirp Audiobooks offers daily deals on audiobooks. These deals provide not only 5-10% savings on original prices but also substantial price drops. You can often find audiobooks for as low as $3-6 on Chirp. These audiobooks would typically retail for $20+. The audiobooks can be kept for your use.
After you have purchased a book on Chirp's site, the audiobook player app will download it to your phone. This includes bookmarks, playback speed adjusters, and a sleep timer.
What is Chirp Audiobooks?, Source: Youtube, Book Launchers
Despite its appeal, Chirp suffers from the same disadvantages as Libby. The problem with Chirp is that you may not be able to listen to the audiobook you desire every day. Chirp can still recommend books in your favorite genres. If you enjoy discovering new books at low prices, Chirp may be right for you.
Unlike Libby or Chirp, LibriVox offers more than 50,000 public domain audiobooks entirely produced by volunteers. This includes everything from recording and reading to editing and distribution. LibriVox's excellent benefit of volunteer production is that it is free.
How to use Librivox app and website, Source: Youtube, Hannah Ringler
The LibriVox app offers basic audiobook features. Search the collection by title keyword, author, and even narrator. LibriVox also releases audiobooks every day, expanding its vast array.
However, most of the audiobooks in the collection are older classics, as they are all free and open to everyone. LibriVox, an Audible alternative, is an excellent choice if you enjoy the classics but don't want audiobooks.
Loyal Books' audiobook collection is similar to LibriVox's. It includes free, open-source audiobooks. Dedicated Books has a much smaller audiobook collection than LibriVox, but it also offers thousands of ebooks.
Loyal Books iPhone & iPad App, Source: Youtube, Loyal Books
Audiobooks can be streamed or downloaded; you can set a sleep timer and skip. Loyal Books also offers book reviews to help you decide which books to listen to.
This app is not as good as LibriVox. The majority of the books are classics, so that you won't find any modern teen fiction on Loyal Books.
Hoopla is similar in concept to Libby in that it's free for anyone in the US who has a library card and connects to the app. Audiobooks can be borrowed virtually through the app. You can either stream them or download them offline.
How To Use Hoopla Digital, Source: Youtube, Augusta County Library
You can save your audiobook bookmarks to make it easier to find what you need. You can adjust the playback speed, set a sleep alarm, and even create a separate mode for when you are working out or driving.
Libby, a great Audible option, is covered by your taxes. What's not great about Libby?
You have it! Six Audible alternatives are available for free or nearly free. Is it worth switching from Audible to one of these apps? It will depend on your preferences. Audible is a great option if you prefer to listen to audiobooks from your reading list. These apps are worth a look if you're willing to wait for an audiobook or if your preference is older classics. They are cheaper than Audible, at the very minimum.
You don't have to use these apps to access audiobooks at no cost or for a nominal fee. You might also be able to use an Audible promo code or add-on narration to Kindle ebooks.
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