Audible.com, a subscription service which offers Audiobooks, is currently testing a version of their software for Android-based (droid) phones. The Audible Droid application has a target date of sometime this summer and may even launch before an improved iPhone experience is available to Audible users.
The new Audible Droid app will allow subscribers to do much more than listen to audio books. The app will let users engage in Audible.com’s ecosystem by participating in a lightweight social network, receive badges for accomplishments and see analytics concerning your listening habits.
Amazon.com acquired Audible for $300 million in 2008. The service charges a monthly subscription fee of $14.95 or $21.95 and sells DRM-protected audio books and provides substantial financial support for the larger community of podcasts which are available for free download through advertising.
Audible publishes its content using the RSuite Content Management System, which allows the company to attach dozens of fields of meta data to each file. That opportunity allows for cross referencing of fields and other data sets, as well as social activity, meaning that an Audible.com app for the iPhone or Android could offer extremely rich functionality.
The service has long had an affiliation with Apple to sell audio books through the iTunes store, however, Audible doesn’t currently have a dedicated iPhone or iPad application.
On a related note, Audible.com is offering a one-month free trial to any new user to the service. The current free trial is a 14 day free trial on its gold membership. Users will get a free audio book (which can be kept for life, even if you cancel the subscription before paying) of their choice. Users can cancel the service before being billed, you can download your audio book and cancel the service directly from Audible’s website without any hassle