First of all, Happy 9th birthday, Palm Addicts! It’s quite an accomplishment for Sammy and the gang to reach such a milestone! Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts and news related to the Palm and related technology devices you have posted, not to mention the giveaways! Speaking of giveaways, Sammy has a few goodies lined up (as always). Go check it out at Palm Addicts!
With all the product reviews finally done, I can now focus back on software and other reviews related to the smartphone and PDA industry. Yay!
This review will be mainly focused on the AudibleAir program instead of Audible.com or AudiblePlayer, the software audiobook player that plays Audible files. I have previously posted a review of Audible and AudiblePlayer at my Audible review here. Please visit that review for a better explanation and for more information on the services of Audible.com and the AudiblePlayer. Originally, that review and this website were focused on the Palm OS platform so a lot of the video and material may have reflected that but since Audible is available on a variety of devices and platforms, including Windows Mobile, please keep that in mind when going through the review. With that said, this review will offer it in terms of the Windows Mobile device, a Treo 750, which I currently use and own.
AudibleAir is quite simply, a wireless download manager similar to Audible Manager in Windows, the desktop program for non-wireless connected devices specifically for the Audible audiobooks and other audio files offered at Audible.com. So, with AudibleAir, you can quickly access and download newly updated Audible books, periodicals and subscriptions through the air, without needing to be near or connected to a computer. This can be quite handy for those who are travelling who may not necessarily bring their laptop with them, or even just commuting to work, provided they have access to the net via their cellular data services. Although AudibleAir is tied to the AudiblePlayer, the audio player for playing Audible files, it is somewhat separated from the player. You can open up AudibleAir without opening up AudiblePlayer and vice versa, although access to the other program is just a click away.
With that in mind, AudibleAir will only download and manage Audible files. Other media files like mp3s, ogg or others will not be read or accessible within AudibleAir. Unless you are subscribed to Audible books or periodicals, AudibleAir will likely not be of much use to you. However, Audible does offer a lot of free audio subscriptions and files, interviews, etc from time to time. A quick check of the audible tags and audible categories in my website should bring up a lot of free material you can enjoy. I’d strongly suggest you do so as there’s a lot of good, quality, free material out there. You may find out that Audible and AudibleAir does offer something that is useful to you afterall.
For those who want to skip over all the detailed review and just want a summary, you can jump to the review summary
Video of AudibleAir
Alternative link: Video at Blip.tv
Video of AudibleAir with AudiblePlayer on Symbian devices
Here are some screenshots of AudiblePlayer that I may not have provided in my reviews. For a bigger picture, click on the image.
Here are some of the menu items I didn’t go over in the video review.
Clicking on the Menu soft button (right action button) will bring up this screenshot:
Menu items under Navigation:
Menu items under Bookmarks:
Screenshot of AudiblePlayer Skins:
Screenshot of Preferences:
Here are my observations:
I have noticed for whatever reason, sometimes AudibleAir may not load or run on my Treo 750 probably due to a data corruption. I have no idea what data was corrupted but it was obvious that something was corrupted during the last update. That hasn’t happened lately, but previously I have noticed that. I would tap to load or run AudibleAir and although the splash screen would show up, it would then kick out of AudibleAir and I’m back to my Today Screen. Subsequent attempts with reboots would still exhibit this behavior. What I ended up doing to fix or at least get around this problem would be to restore Audible the program back from an older backup archive. Or, I could have copied the folder containing everything to do with Audible (from the Program Files) onto my expansion card just as a “backup” or archive and use it to replace everything when AudibleAir doesn’t load. It works. So, for those who have encountered the problem of AudibleAir not loading, you may want to do that for future reference.
Also, if you have your files scheduled to be downloaded, it’s very likely that AudibleAir will connect to the internet frequently throughout the day. So if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you may want to make sure that it will only connect manually and when you are doing it. Otherwise, you may find a big shock at the end of the month from your cell phone company. I personally would love to be able to block AudibleAir from accessing the internet unless I specifically instruct it to do so. If someone can find the registry key or where I can disable Audibleair from loading automatically, please comment! Thanks!
Although I really love AudibleAir for the service, the convenience of downloading through the air without requiring access to the computer, it does offer a few inconveniences. For me, since I don’t have a data plan from my cellular carrier, that means that I am limited to accessing Audible via Wi-Fi using my Spectec miniSD Wi-Fi card. While using the service, I am restricted by the amount of free space (ie. RAM) on my Treo 750. Of course, this is merely an observation and has nothing to do with Audible or AudibleAir. I am merely pointing this out.
With respect to the AudibleAir and AudiblePlayer (they’re both packaged as one program) on the Symbian Platform, there are a few things I wanted to note.
First, unlike the Palm OS and Windows Mobile version of the AudiblePlayer which will automatically start playing the next file (if unplayed) once it finishes one audiobook or file, the Symbian version doesn’t and will stay running but not play anything. This is annoying for me and I hope that it can be fixed to play the next file just like it does for the other platforms.
Second, when playing the next file, I am unable to delete the just finished file since it seems the program still has the file loaded in memory. The workaround is to exit out of the program and go back in and then select the file to delete.
Third, unlike the Windows Mobile and Palm OS version where I can get automatic updates of the “free” Audible offerings (like the weekly free listens), there is no such feature in the Symbian OS version. I have to add it in my cart in Windows and then it will show up as an audiobook I can download.
The main interface is very much like the other platform versions but there are some differences as you will note in the video.
AudibleAir works and I really enjoy being able to quickly download my Audible files without being tied to my computer. That’s the great thing about innovation!
AudibleAir, although it is a component normally bundled and tied to the AudiblePlayer program, can be run independently, well, somewhat independently of AudiblePlayer. The convenience of being able to download your daily dose of periodicals like Wall Street Journal and New York Times without needing access to a computer is such a timesaver! Not only do you not need to be using a computer, you can set a scheduled time to download your daily files. That way, you can have everything downloaded and ready before you even wake up! Talk about convenience!
Again, if you are interested in learning more about AudiblePlayer and Audible.com and all the wonderful free audible files you can get, please visit my review of Audible here.
I never thought that I would find AudibleAir such an important tool and enhancement of the Audible service, especially when I was originally using it on my non-connected Zire 71 but it has proven to be so handy to have that I now can’t imagine life without it! Check out AudibleAir here!
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Audible and purchases made with the affiliate links in this post and throughout the site will help keep Palm Discovery running as well as paying for future giveaways offered from time to time. Thanks to your generosity, $20 was donated to Plan Canada (formerly Foster Parents Plan International) in 2006 and $85 was donated in 2007 and $90 was donated in 2008.
Thanks for visiting Palm Discovery