Illustration remixed from Sam Wooley.
Audible is the biggest name in audiobooks, but even if you’ve spent hundreds of hours listening, there are some tricks hidden beneath the surface. Here are some of the best ways to get the most of your Audible experience and even save some money in the process.
Enroll In the Secret Silver Subscription Plan to Save Money
While you can buy audiobooks from Audible outright, the service also offers a subscription that costs $US15 ($20)/month. With it, you get one credit for a free book each month. If you listen to a lot of audiobooks, that might be a good deal. However, if you can stretch a single audiobook out over more than a month, then you can save a bit of money. Audible has a hidden Silver plan that costs $US15 ($20) every two months, instead of every month. You still only get one free credit every time your subscription renews, but if six books a year is enough for you, then it’s a no brainer.
The catch is, Audible doesn’t advertise the Silver plan. You can’t even sign up for it without asking for it. If you want Audible Silver, head to this support link. In the first section, select My Account. In the second section choose “Change or cancel my membership” for the first drop down, then “Upgrade/downgrade my membership” from the second drop down. This will help make sure you reach the right person. You can then contact Audible by chat, phone or email there. Keep in mind, since Silver isn’t an advertised plan, you might get turned down but Audible is usually pretty accommodating.
Put Your Account On Hold to Save Your Credits Until You Need Them
When there’s a lull in between your favourite book releases or you don’t have time to listen for a while, it’d be nice to stop paying for all those credits you aren’t using. If you cancel your subscription entirely, you’ll lose your credits. Before you get that far, though, Audible will offer to let you put your account on hold.
Audible allows you to put your account on hold once a year for a period of up to three months. During that time, you can still listen to your library of books, spend your existing credits, and get discounts in the store. However, you won’t generate any new credits. It’s a handy way to take a temporary break or save a little extra cash for a while.
Use Amazon Matchmaker to Scan For WhisperSync Compatible Upgrades
WhisperSync is one of Amazon’s best features for both Audible and Kindle. If you have both the ebook and audiobook versions of a title, you can sync your place between them. So, for example, you can listen to a few chapters on the ride home from work, then pick up where you left off when you pick up your Kindle for some light reading before bed. However, you have to buy both versions first.
Amazon Matchmaker can scan your Kindle library to find out which books have an audiobook counterpart. Head to this link and sign into your Amazon account. It will automatically scan your Kindle library, find any matching audiobooks, and show you the discounted price for each. Amazon won’t give you the option to use your Audible credits through this method, though you may not want to anyway. Remember, you get a discount for buying the audiobook counterpart to an ebook you already have. You may be better off saving those credits for expensive audiobooks that you don’t get a discount on.
Change How Far the Back and Forward Buttons Jump
The Audible player has a handy button that lets you jump backwards or forwards 30 seconds at a time. However, if you dive into the app’s settings, you can change how far these buttons jump. To edit these buttons, tap the menu button in the app, tap Settings, and choose Playback Settings. Here, you’ll see two separate options to change the Jump Back and Jump Forward buttons. You can change this value to anything from one second to five minutes.
Download Higher Quality Audiobooks For Crisper Sound
By default, Audible will download the lower (or “Standard”) quality version of the audiobooks you buy. Most of the time, you might not notice the difference, but some audiobooks have high production quality with music and top-quality voice overs. In those cases, you might want a better audio source.
To get the better version, open up the settings in the Audible app and tap Download Settings, then tap Download Format. Finally, choose “High Quality.” If you’ve already downloaded your audiobooks, you may need to remove it and download it again it to get the higher quality version. Keep in mind that higher quality audio will result in larger downloads, so make room on your device for the files.
Resume Your Audiobooks When You Plug In Your Headphones
Audible, like most audio apps, will automatically pause when you unplug your headphones. However, you can also set it to resume playback when you plug them back in. It only works when the app is running, so it’s mainly designed at situations like if you unplug your phone from your car while you run in the gas station, or if your headphones accidentally get pulled out of their socket. To enable this feature, open up Audible’s settings and tap Headset & Lockscreen Settings. Enable the toggle that reads “Resume Playback.”