Duobook Lets Readers Listen to an Audiobook Exactly Where They Stopped Reading, or Vice Versa

Four years ago Amazon announced Whispersync for Voice, a Kindle feature which let you sync your reading position with Audible audiobooks. Now a competitor ebook company has finally released  an alternative.

Last week ebook and audiobook distributor Findaway released an iOS app, Duobook. This app is both an audiobook player as well as an ebook reader, and it is the first commercial app to duplicate Whispersync for Voice functionality.

It lets users easily switch between reading and listening to the same story. it's not nearly the first app to offer this feature; there's Amazon, of course, but also save-for-later apps like Pocket and Instapaper offer a similar feature.

But Duobook differs from those two apps in one key way; it pairs actual audiobooks rather than using text to speech to convert text into audio.

This app is the work of Will Dages, the leader of a small development team at Findaway. Dages writes over at Product Hunt that the app is launching with a small catalog, and that unlike Amazon, Duobook would not sell audiobooks and ebooks separately. "Every DuoBook story will include both text and audio, so no buying one format, and then making a second purchase to add-on the other, he wrote. "We're hoping the simplicity of that resonates with people!"

An Android app is also in the works.

iTunes via DuobookIntelligent Hoodlums

About Nate Hoffelder (10621 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on Duobook Lets Readers Listen to an Audiobook Exactly Where They Stopped Reading, or Vice Versa

  1. There is already a couple of apps which offers this feature on the market including Legimi.de / Legimi.pl

  2. Two comments:

    1. currently Duobook just offers the switching between reading and listening, but not the synchronous highlighting (which is actually _the_ interesting feature for e.g. language learning), but their spoke-person wrote they are working on it;

    2. their stack is proprietary, exactly like Kindle+Audible, so the customer is tightly confined to use their own apps (BTW, no mention of an Android version…).

    The “only” advantage over Kindle+Audible I see is that they sell the book+audiobook as a single purchase, rather than two separate purchases.

    Having had my fair share of work in this area (see: https://www.readbeyond.it/audioebooks.html or https://www.readbeyond.it/portfolio.html ), I would have been happier if they chose to go with an open format solution, i.e. EPUB 3 with Media Overlays for the synchronization.

    Anyway, the “hard” problem is getting publishers (holding the rights on the text) on board. In my experience, they are extremely reluctant to anything threatening their beloved (inflated) revenues. The timing of the Duobook announcement, very close to DBW 2017, is indicative.

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