This morning's story about stripping DRM from Audible audiobooks inspired me to get serious about rescuing my audiobook library. I set out to download all of the Audible audiobooks I own, and strip the DRM.
I have yet to achieve that goal, but I have had an epiphany. I realized Saturday evening that no one is listening to audiobooks on Windows.
Or at the very least, they are not using Audible's software to do so.
Audible's app for Windows, Audible Manager, is so terrible that it is a foregone conclusion that no one, not even anyone at Audible, is using it.
Audible Manager has a jaundiced color scheme, and lacks basic features like integration with one's online Audible account (one cannot send audiobooks to the app from the website). It also lacks the option to automatically download audiobooks; instead one has to go through an annoying complicated process.
Don't even get me started on the process to update Audible Manager.
And as for the app's appearance, well -
Most media apps get a new, or at least refreshed, interface every few years. Microsoft updates Media Player with each new version of Windows, iTunes is updated regularly, and even the Kindle app has been refreshed several times since it launched.
The Audible Manager app, on the other hand, looks like the interface and features were last updated around the turn of the millennium.
Since obviously a company like Amazon would release an app like this, we must consider why this app is so old and out-dated.
It is apparently being maintained by a software engineer who is using his nostalgia for Windows 3.11 design theory to passive-aggressively protest Amazon buying Audible in 2008.
I do not understand why this person is employed at Audible when it is obvious they have not done any work for the past ten years; perhaps they are blackmailing their boss.
Maybe they have dirt on Jeff Bezos, I don't know.
All I know is that this app is less pleasant to use than even Adobe Digital Editions or iTunes, two apps which are terrible because no one at their respective companies' cares enough to do better.
Audible Manager is far less pleasant than the Kindle app for Windows, which just goes to show where Amazon is investing its time and money.
What with the continued growth of the audiobook market, one would hope that will change, but I wouldn't get your hopes up.