Productivity Tip #11: Use Audible App to save time.
If you listen to audio books then this tip is going to save you considerable time in listening to audio books.
Before I found Audible.com which was sometime last year, I used to listen to audio books from audio CDs. I used to convert the audio CDs from the CD into iTunes and then sync it to my iPhone. This was time consuming and more so when the audio CDs had Track 1, Track 2 instead of the Chapter Name. I then had to rename the Tracks so that they could be played in an order. So, sometimes the sheer amount of time invested in getting the audio books in CDs and then converting the CDs into iTunes made me complete even boring audio books. Honestly, I could not accept the sunk cost and forced myself to complete a book that was not worth spending any more time.
Audible.com Brings Changes
Audible.com changed things for the better. I could download the audio book straight to iTunes thus bypassing all the CD to iTunes conversion. This definitely saved some time and then the books downloaded from audible.com could be played 2 times faster than the normal speed. This added to more productivity as I was able to finish the audio book in less time.
Audible App: The real game changer
This month I downloaded the Audible App to my iPhone and this app is the real game changer in listening to audio books. There are many features that I liked and I am totally bowled over by this app. I am going to list its features in the order of importance for me.
- Direct Download: The audio book can be downloaded straight to iPhone. Earlier, I used to download to iTunes which would take 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the download and then few more minutes to sync to iPhone. With this feature, you can start listening to the audio book the very next minute and the download will be happening in the background. If iPhone is not on Wi-Fi then it prompts you to be on Wi-Fi to save you any download charges. Pretty neat.
- 3X Speed: This app allows you to listen at 3 times the normal speed. I tried it and I was still able to comprehend the audio. I slowed down when I needed so as to remember more but definitely useful when you can browse through some passages in business books. I read only non-fiction and so am not sure whether this is a cool feature for fiction. But, I like it.
- 30 seconds rewind: When I restart the audio book, I used to go back a little bit to get the context of the discussion. This was always a hit and miss through iPod App in iPhone because sometimes I used to go too far back out. With 30 seconds of rewind at the touch of an icon, this is exactly the right amount of time.
- Sleep Mode: This feature is sometimes useful when you are listening to an audio book in bed just before you plan to doze off for the night. You can set it to 15 minutes, 30, 45 or 60 and the audio will shut off in that time. I have not tried it yet but I know it is such a useful feature.
- Bookmark: This is another useful feature where you can bookmark and take notes.
- Social Network: You can update your facebook or twitter status from the app. This is definitely cool if you want your social network to know what book you are listening.
- Stats: If you are curious to know your listening stats then you can know how many hours you listened per day, week and month.
- Ranking: The more you listen, the higher you go up the listening level. For 100 hours you become AppNovice, for 500 you become AppProfessional, for 1000 AppScholar and for 2000 AppMaster.