Audible

In preparation for our massive road trip in December, NavyGuy and I treated ourselves to a new stereo system in the truck.  We have a 2003 Ford Expedition that is paid off (bliss), so we’re planning to drive it until the wheels fall off.  And even then we may still try to make it run.  Anyway, the one thing that frustrated me about it was that newer vehicles have such nicer amenities with the stereo.  I was jealous of friends who could talk on their cell phones through their car radios, stream Pandora, or even play music off their iPod – none of which we could do.  It makes no sense to buy a new car just to get a cooler stereo system, so instead we got an early Christmas gift of a new stereo that could do all those things and more.

The new system is Bluetooth enabled, which basically means that anything we can play on our phones, we can now play through the car speakers.  Aside from streaming Pandora, or NPR news, or listening to music stored on our phones, we can now easily listen to audiobooks while we drive.  Friends recommended the Audible app.  It’s run through Amazon.com, where we already have an account.

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Audible is an audiobook service.  You can either pay for a monthly membership and receive credits toward books, or you can purchase books individually.  You download them to your phone (or various other platforms like an iPod or tablet), and then you can listen to the book.  There is an Audible app for your phone.  It will show you which books you’ve downloaded, and has a very simple player.

For our roadtrip, we tried the one free-month membership, which gave us one book.  Since NavyGuy and I were both listening to the book in the car, we had to find something that would interest both of us.  We ended up starting with a history book, Destiny of the Republic, which is about the assassination of President Garfield.

NavyGuy and I enjoyed the book a lot, and had no trouble using Audible.  We purchased the book on my phone while we were driving in Montana.  It took a little bit to get the entire thing downloaded, but that was because we were driving in and out of decent reception areas.  The app lets you pause and skip around to different chapters.  On the trip back, after we finished the first book, we bought a lecture about Vikings (also good).  Since we’ve gotten home, we’ve cancelled our membership, just because we don’t think we’ll use it often enough to warrant a monthly fee.  But it does work really well, and it was fun to have something besides music to listen to while we drove.  I’d definitely pay for it if I had a lengthy commute.

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