I was searching for the best places online to get audio book downloads from and came across 5 main sites which are listed below and compared each website on their specials, # of audio books, interface usability and price. Here are the sites I compared:
1. Audible – best interface, biggest selections, and best prices, plus their owned by Amazon.com. For your first 3 months you can get one credit each for $7.49 ( 1 credit = 1 audio book). Then on your fourth month it goes to $14.95. Even at the $14.95 price it still beats all other options.
If you go with the Platinum option you can get 2 credits for $22.95 which gives you better pricing. Plus with Audible you don’t have to worry about your audio book being compatible with your player, as they work with nearly everything, (in case you don’t have an iPod).
For United Kingdom residents, check out Audible.co.uk – United Kingdom Site
2. iTunes Audio Books – no specials, tons of audio books, uses iTunes interface and prices range from $9.95 -$34.95, Depending on the popularity and how new the book is you’ll pay more, but not always.One thing to be aware of though is that iTunes sells audio books from Audible.com. I compared some various titles and found that iTunes is sometimes a couple dollars less than Audible.com for their one time retail purchases.
Browse for audiobooks by genre on iTunes site: http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/books
3. Audio Books from Barnes and Noble – has maybe slightly better prices than Borders and way better interface than Borders.com, but prices range just like you would pay on iTunes ( iTunes is usually less than Borders or Barnes and Noble) or Borders, so why would anyone buy from here.
The way I see it is that most people will either buy from iTunes if they can find a cheaper audio book price and also have a subscription to Audible.com for the additional price break since most audio books I would say average around $22.95.
4. Audiobooks.Borders.com – Borders Book Store – not all compatible with ipod and crappy interface, prices are higher than you would pay for a book around $25-$35 range. Doesn’t make any sense to purchase retail for an audio book any more by going to a book store or the online book store version.
5. Audio Book Rentals through SimplyAudioBooks.com – yes there is a Netflix for audio books. You can get one book at a time for $18.00/month mailed to you and then you can listen to it via CDs. This doesn’t make that much sense to me. Maybe only for people that don’t have an iPod or mp3 listening device.
You can listen to as many audio books as you want but keep in mind the delay in sending the CDs back and getting new ones just like Netflix. They also have a download per month plan of one book a month for $14.95, which is same price as Audible.com, but simplyaudiobooks.com only has around 11,000 book titles, while Audible.com has around 60,000, so you get a lot more to choose from at Audible.