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July 4, 2015

How to listen to audiobooks on your iPhone

I listen to audiobooks on my iPhone all of the time. I like the convenience of carrying such a small and light device around (as opposed to my iPad, which is kind'a like carrying a cookie sheet around the house, or my old iPod, which had to be plugged into a speaker, or required ear plugs).

The latest update to the iOS (the operating system that your iPhone uses) has finally made listening to audiobooks make more sense. Audiobooks are no longer in a mysterious hidden area of the Music app, they are now part of the iBooks app. But you still gotta do a little work to get them on there.

First of all, they won't show up just because you have iTunes match. All of your music does, but audiobooks don't. It has something to do with Digital Rights Management, you can Google it if you're interested. But the bottom line is that they will need to be synced to your phone just like the old days with your iPod. And the files actually need to live on your phone, as opposed to your movies, TV shows, music, etc., which just stream. Yeah, audiobooks are still kind'a old school that way.

To do it, plug in your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes. From there you will need to sync your audiobooks. Now don't go getting crazy and try to sync everything - your iPhone isn't like your old iPod, it has much less space. I have a couple dozen audiobooks on my iPhone, and it doesn't seem to mind it.

To listen to your audiobooks, once you've synced them onto your phone, go to iBooks. They'll be there, on the shelf. The old workaround is gone, and the app now supports audiobooks properly, including a nice new feature of a sleep timer.

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