App Review: WMF AudioBooks | webOS Nation

App Review: WMF AudioBooks 4

by Riz Parvez Fri, 11 Mar 2011 3:59 pm EST

Are you an audiobook enthusiast looking for some relief from the sea of classic audiobooks being sold for upwards of $1.49 each? Look no further than WMF AudioBooks, a free, ad-supported, open-source application that accesses’s vast repository of public domain audiobooks.

Created by WebOS Internals developer watchmefreak, WMF AudioBooks provides full search and streaming access to Librivox’s complete audiobook library. WMF Audiobooks provides a lot of convenience features you’d expect from an audio book player, including play/pause, one and ten minute skips, and bookmarking. Also nice is the ability to create a listing of the books you like right on the device for easy access later. Notably absent is a scrubber bar, but given the content being listened to and the ability to bookmark, this isn’t a particularly large inconvenience.

Over the last few days of use, I’ve found the app can sometimes be a bit finicky with resuming over 3G, but it more than adequately gets the job done. It would also be nice to have some visual feedback for button presses or buffering, as when this takes more than a moment it’s easy to conclude the app is hanging when in fact it’s working fine.

Librivox, for those not in the know, was started in 2005 with the self-described goal of “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.” Essentially, volunteers record themselves reading chapters of public domain books and then submit the files to Librivox who package them together and release them on the net in the public domain. Librivox provides the disclaimer that these recordings are truly free, and as such can be used for any purpose, including profit as has been done by some developers in the App Catalog.

In all, the app is a terrific free alternative to more costly per-book solutions in the catalog which provide the exact same content. It’s available now in the App Catalog.