I’ve been an Audible member since 2011, in fact right now I’m listening to Change Agent by Daniel Suarez. I love Audible but I have a few things I’d like to see them add to both the service as a whole and to the android app.
The Service as a Whole
Now I know that you can already suspend your account for up to 3 months by calling customer service and having them do it for you, but I’d like to be able to just go into my account at 3 A.M. and click a button, so that’s the first thing, automate temporary account suspension. Right now I can cancel my account with the click of a button but I can’t suspend it the same way, why not reverse those so it’s harder to cancel than it is to suspend? Besides if you think about it if someone has to call to cancel you can offer a suspension and retain that customer rather than lose them.
Following on the automated suspension idea, I’d like to see the ability to suspend my account once a quarter. I listen to audio books and podcasts while I’m at work and most of the time I get a backlog of books (especially when I have a few really long books) and I’d like to just take a month off so I have some time to get caught up. I would be much happier as a customer if I could go into my account and once every quarter have the option to click a button to suspend my account for one month when I get a backlog. Not having this option isn’t preventing me from suspending my account, it’s just making doing so more aggravating. Basically it would make for a better customer experience.
Ordering the Wishlist
This one is simple, I’d like to be able to reorder my wishlist. I like to buy something different every month, one month it’s Red Storm Rising the next month it’s Dark Territory The Secret History of Cyber War and so on. Right now I have to look at my library to see what the last book I bought was (since I have a backlog of books I don’t normally remember) then head over to my wishlist and figure out what I want to buy next to balance it out. If I could reorder my wishlist to have this all figured out at once I could not only save a step but I would be more likely to watch my wishlist for sales and buy more books. And yes I know I keep talking about a backlog of books but hey a deal is a deal.
The Android App
In App Purchases
This is just a no brainer to me, why do I have to load a browser and go to the mobile site when I’m already logged into my account via the app? Why not just put a little “BUY” button next to a title on the app and then have a little conformation of purchase window pop up to avoid accidental buy’s and having to issue refunds.
Notifications of Sales in the Wishlist
This one is simple, if a title in my wishlist goes on sale a little in app notification would be nice with the ability to buy right there as discussed above.
Force Sync Button
From time to time I like to switch devices or in I have a book in my kindle library I’d like to read some of it, most of the time where I try to pick up where I left off on the second device (my phone is always my primary device) I find that it is not synced and I have to take time to find my place on the second device and then when I get back to my phone I have to do the some thing. Just add a “SYNC NOW” button to the top of the menu page, my Kindle for Android has a sync button, why doesn’t Audible for Android?
One feature I’ve wanted for years is the ability to preview the chapters without having to start the title. Some times I finish listening to something and I only have about 20 minutes before I’m done for the night and don’t want to start an hour long first chapter, so I end up putting off starting a new book until I know I have at least an hour just in case the chapters are really long. If I could preview the chapters running time I’d be able to start a new book sooner and get through my library faster.
Play Speed Adjustments
Right now the play speed can only be adjusted with a slider, well first of all my big ‘ol meat hooks also know as hands have a hard time getting the adjustment right with the slider and I almost always have to try to get the setting I want over 4 or 5 attempts. You can keep the slider, I’m sure it works fine for most people, but for the love of god put an “UP” and “DOWN” arrow set at 0.5 increments on there so people with big clumsy fingers can adjust the playback speed when we want without getting aggravated.
Set Sleep Timer for different Chapters
Alright I’m picky, but I don’t like to stop in the middle of a chapter and pick up the next day, so what I end up doing is setting the sleep timer for “end of chapter” so I end at a good place for the day. Now because I drive for a living that can be a problem, because sometimes with shorter chapters I’d have to set the sleep timer while I was driving which I’m sure you know is now illegal. So because I drive a mostly set route I know when I’ll be done and can know at my last drop that I have about one hour and thirty minutes until I want to stop playback, so being able to look at the chapter list and figure out when the one hour and thirty minutes will be in the book, and then setting the sleep timer to end playback at the end of that chapter would be nice.
This is something I would love to see in the Audible app, I would love it if I could download and play my podcasts through the Audible app. To just have my books and podcasts in one place would be great, and to be able to queue up a playlist of downloaded items so I never have to pick up my phone would be a dream come true. This would not only make managing my listening easier, but it would keep me in the Amazon ecosystem even more which we all know is the goal of any good company. Right now I use BeyondPod Pro and if the Audible app had all the features that this app does I’d switch over in a heartbeat.
I would say that one thing the app should have is a “Podcasts” section in the menu with a drop down menu to place podcast feeds into different categories, it’s a small thing but that is something I use more than I thought I would when I set up BeyondPod and now I don’t want to lose that feature.
I know there are other features that other people want but this is what I think would make the Audible app an all-in-one killer app. And I actually can’t believe that the app hasn’t included podcasts yet, maybe because Google added them and screwed it up so badly that now Amazon is afraid to offer it? Let me say this, Amazon seems to listen to it’s customers, at least more than Google, and if you took your time and did it right I’m sure it would become a beloved feature. You have to remember that Google is a bunch of engineers looking for a manager and don’t know or care what the customer actually wants so they just build what an engineer would want and end up building something that normal everyday users don’t want or use. BTW this is coming form a now former Google fanboy, so that should tell you something. Take the chance, build the features, Amazon has the customer in mind and actually know’s how to do PR and advertising so the features will be noticed and used if you just add them to the service.
If you liked my list check out Raymond Hulha’s list HERE