Launches Audiobook Flatrate Service

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 25, 2012
Updated • Apr 20, 2012
Music, Music and Video

Audiobooks these days are usually delivered on CD or as a digital recording on the Internet. They are not cheap by any means, new bestsellers cost anywhere between $15 to $30 which often is more than you would pay for the bestseller in book format.

Why am I telling you this? Because Audiobooks has just launched an audiobook flatrate service that lets you listen to as many audiobooks as you like for $24.95 per month. The store features more than 10,000 audiobooks right now, with new books being added on a regular basis.

How does it work? You visit the website and sign-up for a free trial account. You now have seven days to test the site and its functionality.

The homescreen displays the books that you are currently reading, recommendations based on your preferences, new arrivals, and staff picks.

When you hover the mouse over a listing, a short description is displayed. A click takes you to the audiobook's profile page that features a larger description as well as information about the play time, narrators, version, genre and publication date. You may also see user comments and ratings on the page which can further aid you in determining whether you'd like to start listening to that particular audiobook.

You can preview audiobooks here, which may be useful to get a feeling for the quality of the audiobook, or start playing the full version right away.

Audiobooks open in a new window with basic controls that allow you to stop and pause the playback, rewind or forward 30 seconds, and to add bookmarks which is useful if you want to continue from a specific position the next time you play the audiobook.

audiobook player

The player was developed using HTML5 which ensures that it is not only compatible with desktop PCs but also with many mobile devices that support HTML5 audio.

The site features a search that you can use to find specific books, authors or narrators. You can alternatively browse the audiobook collection by genre in case you are interested in a specific topic. Categories include history, non-fiction, comedy, politics and science & technology among others.

Tastes differ but it is not difficulty to find audiobooks that suite your taste. From Steve Jobs' biography over Russian language instructions to marketing audiobooks and bestsellers such as Dan Brown's Deception Point or Bond Girl: A Novel by Robin Gwyne.

audiobook genres

There is also a bestseller listing of 50 bestselling audiobooks for fast access.

The Good

As many audiobooks as you can listen to for $24.95. If you are buying at least one audiobook a month, you will certainly enjoy the service as it gives you access to thousands over thousands of books for the price of one. Plus, you can listen to the audio books not only on your desktop PC, but on mobile devices like tablets or the iPhone.

You can browse and search the selection of books prior to signing up, which can be useful to make sure that the books you are interested in are offered on the site.

The bitrate is rather low, but still acceptable, and it means that less data needs to be transferred to the computer.

The Bad

You need to keep in mind that all audiobooks are streamed which means that you cannot make use of the service in situations where you do not have Internet or only limited Internet connectivity. If you like to listen to an audiobook during travel for instance, you may not be able to make use of the service in that situation. And since there is no way to download an audiobook to your computer, you still may need to purchase some audiobooks in CD format.

The service is also only offered to users from the United States at this point in time.

There is also no option to listen to audiobooks while offline.


If you are living in the United States and purchasing audiobooks regularly, you may be interested to try out the new service. This service is mainly for computer and smartphone users who listen to audiobooks on their devices though.

I personally like the idea of an audiobook flatrate, and would welcome it if the developers would add offline listening capabilities to their service.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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