If, like me, you enjoy listening to books and/or podcasts in your car or during leisure times, you should check out an app called Bookmobile Audiobook and Podcast Player from Freshmowed Software. It works on iPhones and iPads. The app is designed specifically for the spoken voice, not music, and the results are a clean, clear performance.
Bookmobile Audiobook and Podcast Player allows you to import files from the Web, your iTunes library and RSS feeds. It requires iOS 6.0 or greater and is optimized for iPhone 5, according to the developer. Users can download a trial copy.
Using The Product
A couple of years ago I found out about Audible.com from one of Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet’s Apple Context Machine (ACM) podcasts. Audible was a sponsor. I was immediately hooked on the whole audio version of my favorite books, read by professional readers who could infuse everything from nuances to appropriate accents. I have continued to be most pleased with the experience.
My introduction to Bookmobile coincided with a trip to the hospital, followed by rehab. I really had a chance to put this app through its paces. One of the features I appreciated most was the clear sound. I was able to keep the volume at a respectful level while still understanding every word.
I also tested this app in my car, comparing it to listening to books through the Music app. I simply was unable to understand everything using the Music app, even though it was broadcasting through my car radio. The Bookmobile app made a world of difference.
When opening the app for the first time the user will find simple directions for each task. For example:
Tap once to play/pause
swipe to left to skip forward
swipe right to skip backward
There is a separate screen for adding content. If I want to add books from iTunes, I just load them in iTunes and then click the button to add. iTunes allows me to select the books I want downloaded. It also allows me to delete books that I have read. All the books are available in the Bookshelf, and a simple click takes you to the list. The app works with both DRM-enabled content (from Audible.com or iTunes Store) and non-DRM content (from CDs, MP3s, LibriVox, etc.). You can download non-DRM audio directly into the App. iTunes sync is not required.
Screen for adding files.
Perhaps the feature that I like the most is the fixed 5/30 second and 5/30 minute forward and backward buttons that provide control over the playhead position. Do you have any idea how many times care givers in a medical setting can interrupt your listening experience? The ability to easily retrieve the portion of a book lost in those situations is delightful.
Add and subtract seconds or minutes with a touch.
Some of the other features of this app include the ability to swipe between driving, skip buttons and parts list. Driving mode allows you to tap a large cover image to play/pause and swipe-to-skip. Skip buttons provide precise, second/minute position control, and the parts list shows available chapters or episodes. There is a sleep timer.
There is also a shortcuts Drawer that makes switching between audiobooks or podcasts easy. Your audio files will continue playing in the background after leaving the app if you don’t disengage the item. There is a sleep timer.
This final image provides a visual overview of the attributes of the app.
View of options.
Users should allow themselves about half an hour to become completely knowledgeable of all the options available to them.
Do I Recommend it?
I do. Audio books are not inexpensive and when I listen to one, I want to hear every word clearly. Bookmobile Audiobook and Podcast Player makes that possible. Certainly those interested in it should download the trial version and check it out. I would also point out that this is a very stable and well designed app that is easy to use.