7 Nov 2012
posted in daily
I've been listening to books while commuting, shopping or working out ever since.
Unfortunately, audio books don't stop playing when you fall asleep, but Kindle books ones do. So, I began buying both the audio and Kindle versions of those books I couldn't to put down.
The issue was synchronization. It was a matter of touch and go, scrubbing at 2x play speed to find where I left off the night before, and similarly paging forward trying to find the last location listened to.
To make things worse, the Audible list of chapters doesn't match the books ones, and is reset with each multiple part.
Whispersync for Voice
How magical would it be if the audio and Kindle versions could sync.
Well, Amazon announced that feature in September: Audible and Amazon Introduce «Immersion Readingí¢â‚¬Â and «Whispersync for Voiceí¢â‚¬Âí¢â‚¬» Two Momentous Steps Forward for Reading.
You can imagine how excited I was. All I needed was to start a book available in both formats that was Whispersync for Voice enabled.
I'd just finished Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy when I stumbled on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and it was available with «professional narrationí¢â‚¬Â.
It took me a little while to figure out how this feature worked across devices as I don't listen to my books on my Kindle, but on my iPhone. Whispersync works seamlessly across Kindle devices and Kindle Reader apps, and I expected the Audible app to work the same way. It doesn't quite.
Sync and refresh
Kindle Reader apps/devices offer a «Sync to latest positioní¢â‚¬Â button or menu item while the Audible app doesn't. It turns out you sometimes need to refresh your library to achieve the same result. But with a caveat: the Kindle version of the book you are listening to must be on your device. Namely, it seems the Audible app relies on the Kindle reader to get the latest position. Or at least the first time, it's not very clear.
Once you know that, it works fine most of the time. The few times it doesn't, try either refreshing your Audible library, or opening the book in the Kindle Reader located on the same device as your Audible book.
Another caveat to be aware of is that Audible breaks down its books into multiple parts. If you so happen to read past the end of a part on your Kindle reader, the Audible app gets mixed up and doesn't switch to the next part, but syncs to an incorrect location in the part your were last listening to.
Be aware of that, and it won't happen.
I sure the next version of the Audible app will address these issues, but for the time being, the experience is a little touch-and-go.
You probably need to merge your Amazon and Audible accounts for this to work, I'm not sure. You get the Audible version at a discount if you buy it together with the Kindle version. If you are an Audible subscriber, save your credit for a full blown audio book.
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