Home Android Could Get Audible App Before iPhone

Android Could Get Audible App Before iPhone

Amazon’s audio book provider Audible.com is testing an app for the Android platform. With a target date of “Summer 2010” the company will likely land its popular service on Android before it does on the iPhone. The app will allow subscribers to participate in the Audible ecosystem beyond simply listening to the audio files; a lightweight social network, accomplishment badges, analytics concerning your listening habits and text content all appear to be supported. It might seem unnecessary for the company to build a dedicated Audible app – but there’s actually some very good reasons to.

Breon Nagy gained beta tester access to the app and posted screenshots today on his site DroidDog.

Amazon acquired Audible.com for $300 million in 2008. The service charges a monthly subscription fee, sells DRM-protected audio books and provides substantial financial support for the larger community of free podcasts on the web through advertising.

The Richness of the Files

Audible files are published using the RSuite Content Management System, which allows the company to append more than 100 different fields of metadata to each file. That much metadata offers opportunities for cross referencing various fields and other data sets, such as social activity, meaning that an Audible app could offer incredibly rich functionality. In other words, there is reason for a dedicated app to be built.

Audible has a complicated and unfulfilling relationship with the iPhone.

Unfortunately, Audible doesn’t support in-app purchases of audiobooks in its Blackberry app or this forthcoming Android app. The Android app is also not particularly attractive. Audible has a

complicated and unfulfilling relationship with the iPhone

; there is no iPhone app for the service. Wireless syncing, file sizes, proprietary formats and audio book competition appear to be complicating factors.

Any time Android wins, it’s good for competition and the larger ecosystem.

Android screenshots below are from DroidDog, where there are more posted as well.

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