! ... not so sure now
I have a Kindle and also my library app on my cell , this is a fantastic alternative! Lots of book options , quick down load and I dont have to wait for a book ! All for one small fee a month!! I love this !
- this was my initial it’s not unlimited books ... I have to wait 24 days now .., why is this ?
I was so happy to find an app with unlimited audio book options but I started my member ship 10/28/18 and I have been billed $9.99 three times !!!!! I just canceled today . It’s a shame
Great App, Great Customer Service
By Maela Kay
So. I never write reviews, but this app deserves one.
I’ve had this app a while now, so I started off with a setup similar to Audible. $15 a month, a single premium book but with the option to listen to lots of free books. I had both subscriptions for a while, but when Otto became Hibooks and I could listen to literally everything I not longer wanted Audible.
So, understandably they changed to having a timer on more premium books. A bummer, sure, but still a great deal.
This week got down to three days (finally) and I checked back first thing this morning. My timer went up to six days (😱) so obviously I’ve been in series withdrawals for 20 days and was shocked!
I sent a quick email to support, I was all “what’s up with that?!” And a sweet lady, Madeline, answered back immediately. She was all “I’m gonna get this fixed ASAP, and while you wait here’s some recommendations in the mean time.”
So, obnoxiously long review I know, but my timer is fixed and I can start the book I’ve been waiting on!
best of the worst of audiobook apps...hint hint, possible competitors
They mostly let you listen to however much you want. Well, they used to. They’ve now switched to a “rotating” library system. Their website states that they are moving to a purchase-heavy system (150k+ books for sale). They will have 40k books (versus the current “over 50k” books) available for “unlimited” listening. No telling what those 40k books will be. Currently, books rapidly disappear off the app without warning, and most books have a timer for when you can access them....but somehow “13 days” is still “13 days” 13 days later. Regardless of their intent, the lack of communication with customers has made it so that the change blindsided everyone. And their refusals to give details about upcoming changes just feels like a scammy way to string you along and keep you subscribed. It just feels like they’re going from the netflix of audiobooks (which I was honestly willing to subscribe to for life) to an on-demand service with a few random books that you can listen to for no extra fee.
It’s the best audiobook app I’ve found for the price. But all the changes are for the worse, as far as I can tell, and their tactics have made me so angry.... they are just so unbelievable...I currently have no plans to renew after this month.
You can download titles, which is great for airplane rides, places with bad reception, etc. It also has a decent collection. No, not every book is there. But I’m often surprised by some of the titles I do find...they occasionally even get a recent release that I’ve been looking forward to.
Unfortunately, “discoverability” remains an issue. There’s a basic attempt to make suggestions, group books by categories, alert you to other books by the same author, etc. But, it’s...not great. You basically need to craft your reading list somewhere else (goodreads anyone?) and then type in the titles one by one to check if they’re available. I would recommend checking via both author and title...
Pretty much every customer service email from them comes with an offer to make a personalized list of suggestions. So, I took them up on their offer. I received a reply over two weeks later. That might just be me, though, because I sent them detailed information about what kind of books I was in the mood to read. The recommendations I got weren't bad....but half of them literally do not exist on the app anymore. Lol.
More about customer service.... Usually they're pretty good at responding quickly. Emails are friendly and upbeat. Once, when service was disrupted for a few hours, they offered me an iTunes gift card so that I could get one month free. Pretty cool, especially since I didn't ask/expect that....Oh, the good ‘ole days. When books were actually “unlimited”, you didn’t feel like you were being scammed, and customer service went above and beyond.
Bait and Switch
I loved this app for a few months when it was truly an unlimited audiobook service. I listen to four books a month normally. Now they have changed it to be throttled and limited us to selecting from a small subset of books that is just books hardly anyone wants to read. All bestseller books will be a charge of some kind that they won’t disclose yet. Avoid this app. They didn’t tell anyone they were even going to throttle and all of a sudden timers showed up. Very poor handling of this change.
By M00die Girl
Please add a bookmark feature so I’ll stop losing my place when I doze off while listening.
A Not So Happy Tale
Hibooks was a 5 star app for me until November. That is when the change began to occur. Books began to have countdowns on them-and many books disappeared from the app completely. Hibooks was very vague with explanations and eventually we found out they were restructuring the format of the app. I held out in hopes that it would be for the best. Despite their customers asking for an explanation-none was given until yesterday when the CEO posted a blog entry explaining (somewhat) what would be happening in the next month or so. Unfortunately this app is moving away (even though they keep reminding us we can stream 40,000 books) from an audiobook Netflix type app to more of an Audible type app where you purchase the books that you can’t stream (which would be over 150,000). If you want to purchase books-this may be the app for you. Personally I would go with Audible since they at least have been forthright about their app! I would hate to purchase books and then an app close and lose all of my books-and since Audible is tied with Amazon I don’t foresee it going anywhere soon! I sadly find myself cancelling my Hibooks subscription-and I truly am sad about it! I used this app on a daily basis. However-I don’t want to purchase books. I read so much that I don’t often re-read-and those I do I have on Audible or my Kindle-or the physical copy of the book. I honestly don’t foresee this app making it. They are competing with Amazon lol. Also-they keep switching things around so much with little communication that they isolate their consumer base. I think if they truly cared they would have consulted their customer base just to get a reading on it all-a poll perhaps. I will unhappily move back to Scribd where at least I can listen to some of the books I want to-and if necessary pick back up my Audible subscription.
Quickly deleted free trial
My friend raved about how great the app used to be. I downloaded it and was unable to find any books she had on her download list. Apparently there are popular books but I have not found any. Not worth it!
NO MORE UNLIMITED
It’s the scribd nightmare all over again. I just read the email from the CEO about the new changes that are coming in January and I am so sad. It looks like They are going to lower the cost and give you unlimited listening to the older books that you can listen to for free pretty much anywhere, but for the newer, more current books (all the ones you actually want to listen to) you’ll have to purchase those separately or wait 30 days until your subscription renews to listen to another one. They call it “rotating their library.” I call it bull——. This is exactly the reason I left scribd.
This app was literally perfect, five-star, and an app and brand that I was prepared to be a loyal customer for life. I’ll have to apologize to everyone I convinced to make the switch from Audible. I really feel like an idiot now; And I’m embarrassed For being as excited as I was. I really hope this doesn’t cause me to lose credibility with everyone. I can’t even express express how disappointed I am.
Not unlimited as advertised
The service was advertised as unlimited audiobooks now anything interested is unavailable and shows a countdown timer. I have canceled my subscription and requested a refund.
I started using this app over the summer I loved it at the beginning, about a month ago it started getting very difficult to download books almost every book I tried to download was unavailable. I got a message saying I would have to wait 19 day before it became available who has time for this. About to delete the app.