Audible.com: False Advertising Claiming that Audio can be Listened-To Offline
For years, I avoided signing up at Audible.com @AMAZON, because I was concerned that my time spent without internet access would deprive me of the ability to listen. And since that is 95% of the time I do listent to audiobooks, that was meant nearly all the time.
Then I signed up last year and things seemed to go well. But now either a bug has been introduced, or Audible.com is engaging in blatantly false advertising.
On my recent trip, I made sure to download 50 or so audiobooks to my iPhone 7 Plus (plenty of space on the phone), so that I could pick and choose as I saw fit. And yes, they were downloaded and show as such in the Audible app.
Multiple days when I had no cell phone service, I was greeted with a refusal to play *any* of those audiobooks with a “connect to the internet to continue listening” message for every book I tried (a dozen or more). In effect, my usage of what I paid for was rendered useless, because 90% of the time on my trip I had no cell phone service and the app would not play anything.
These jokers at Audible.com explicitly state that you can listen offline, but that was not possible over the course of ten days—not once.
The support at Audible.com first suggested that I delete all books that won’t play, and download them again—failing to understand that this eats up huge amounts of cell phone bandwidth, and that is impossible with no internet. Besides, I download all my Audible content on WiFi before I leave for my trips. The last thing I need is to chew up gigabytes of cell phone bandwidth doing it all over again—and no one should have to do it over again—downloaded is downloaded.
I then moved onto a supervisor, who is taking all the technical details and filing a bug report. Dunno what will come of it, and I am sure hoping my next ~3 week trip I won’t see this problem again. But at least I have to give Audible.com credit for taking it seriously.
Scott MF writes:
Reading the audible books website carefully it seems that the off-line claim is for books you’ve purchased.
All subscription services have a common problem with time-rental material. If your on-line it easy check the subscription status. Off-line - you need to have a window of time where the subscription is valid without checking it otherwise someone with a valid subscription can’t use the service. There have been more battles between the operations groups and the sales/accounting groups than I can remember over how long the time should be. Sales always gets stuck on a possible revenue loss from someone who cancels his subscription but still has access because they stay off-line or some such nonsense. Always. Ridiculous. Invariably, when executive management decides that they want users to be able to ride out Internet outages without service loss sales insists on some ridiculously short time interval - less than a day, sometimes less than an hour. Politically, sales controls IT & OPS so they get what they want. Until they lose customers, then sometimes they get more reasonable about the time.
This is a generality about a situation thats been a long term frustration for me. Amazon is bad but some of the boutique software vendors are just plain absurd. Time to cut the rant off....
MPG: correct that all my audiobooks are purchases.
Even when I had internet for hours some days, only those books I played briefly would ever play again. With 138 titles and growing, it is not possible to “touch” all 138 books (start playing each of them), nor is it desirable meaning they are started over and then show up as in progress—very annoying. Yet I want to be able to pick and choose what to listen to among my library—that’s the whole idea of owning books.