For some time now I’ve seen the ads for Audible and mostly ignored them. I considered it to be a good idea and was curious how well it was executed, but that’s as far as my curiosity took me. Then I started driving truck and everything changed.
For a while I tried listening to the radio, but I can only listen to the same ads, same music recycled all day every day before I rip the radio out with my bare hands…or turn it off, whichever one works best.
Along came Audible. I saw an ad on my phone and decided to try it. I’m so glad I did.
I liked the audible interface on my phone. It was very clear and easy to use with buttons large enough to be used without mistakenly hitting the wrong one. I loved the forward or back 30 seconds buttons and used them several times. Options for narration speed, button free, save location, sleep timer, and player settings made the experience very customizable. It was simply well done. I found myself surprised when a message popped up saying that I had earned a badge. This was a stroke of brilliance for the programmers, knowing that many people really enjoy unlocking badges in any app they use.
‘Patient Zero’ by Jonathan Maberry was the first audio book that I had ever listened to on Audible. The recording itself was very well done but not flawless. There were several times when the audio would suddenly lose a decibel or two. In most cases this wouldn’t be an issue, but when I’m listening to it at full volume in a noisy truck, it made a difference. I’m not sure if that was because of the app or the recording itself.
The narrator, Ray Porter, was simply excellent. He gave each character, even the minor ones, their own distinct voice. At one point, Joe (Ledger, the main character) even goes out of his way to mention that his therapist sounded just like Raul Julia from The Addams Family. He really did too. It was uncanny how much he sounded like the former actor and it gave me a clear image every time I heard that character speak.
Again, there were a few minor flaws. The characters voices would sometimes become confused if more than two were talking and on more than one occasion certain characters lost their inflections altogether for a line or two.
This was a minor point, only worthy of a chuckle in an otherwise wonderful job of immersing the listener into the world of Joe Ledger.
The only other downside was the looks of terror the other drivers gave me when they passed my truck and saw me laughing uncontrollably or screaming, ‘Don’t just stand there, shoot him!’ On the plus side, I have yet to be pulled over for such actions either.
Based on this experience, I will definitely be using Audible for a long time to come, and I look forward to the next installment of the Joe Ledger series as well.