iOS Apps - AudBooks

AudBooks - an Audiobook Player for iOS that automatically parses your iPod library, looking for similar named albums which it then gathers together into a book.  The book, no matter how many albums it contains, can then be listened to with just a single tap.  The app remembers where you listened to, across any number of books, so that you can swap and change between books depending upon your mood safe in the knowledge that when you return to a book you can continue listening exactly from where you left off.

You can add any number of bookmarks so that you can return to a part of a book easily.  Also, AudBooks remembers book data across iPod Library syncs.  This means that you can remove a book from your device and then later on, when you add it back, you can carry on listening from where you stopped - great for devices with limited memory, for say when you are going on holiday and want some books for the whole family to listen to.  When you get back just put your books back on again and carry on as if the book had been there all the time.

On start up, the AudBooks scans the iPod Library and compares the names of the albums.  It builds a list of similar named albums and presents them as a list of Books (see screenshot above).

The list can also be ordered by Author (see right).

The list will also include individual music albums, these can be ignored by AudBooks, so that they do not show in the lists (however, see the description of the Settings screen below).  If an Author is marked to be ignored then all ‘books’ are also not shown for that author; also, subsequent re-syncs with the iPod library will honour the ignored author and any additional books for that author are also not shown. 

To mark a book or author to be ignored, right or left swipe the relevant table cell and then tap the Ignore button, as shown in the screenshot to the right.

Note that ignored books and authors can be listed from the Settings screen.

Selecting a book will display the detailed view for that book, see the screenshot to the left.

The Start / Continue button allows you to play the book from the time that you last listened to that book, or obviously the start of the book if you haven’t listened to the book yet.  The button shows the Album, Track and index in the Track where play will resume.

Selecting the Albums button will allow you to show the list of albums that comprise the book, and thence the tracks for each album.  Selecting a track will play the rest of the book from the start of that track.

The Bookmarks button allows you to show any bookmarks that you have made for that book.  Selection of a bookmark will then continue to play the rest of the book from that position.

Acknowledgements: Toolbar Icons by Glyphish

When a book is playing the Now Playing button, positioned at the top right of each screen, is enabled.

The Now Playing screen shows the details of the currently playing track.

The screen contains the usual play controls: Play / Pause, Next Track, Previous Track.  Navigation using the Next and Previous Track buttons is seamless across the books albums and tracks, i.e. tapping Next Track for the last track of an album will automatically go to the first track of the next album.

A scrubber bar shows the current index in the track and can be used to move the current play position in the track.

The volume can be changed using the device’s (or remote or docking station’s) hardware buttons, or by using the volume slider at the bottom of the screen.

The Add Bookmark button is used to create a bookmark at the currently playing position.  You are prompted to give a name for the bookmark, or you can just use the suggested one.

Note that a bookmark can be deleted from any bookmark list by a right or left swipe on the relevant table cell and then tapping the Delete button.

The Sleep button is allows you to set playback to stop after an elapsed time.  Each time you tap the button the sleep time remaining increments by the time specified in the Settings screen (defaults to 10 minute increments).  The remaining time in minutes is displayed on the button when it is activated.  The sleep timer can be set to a maximum of two hours.

To switch off the sleep timer then press and hold the Sleep button.  A popup will be displayed asking you to confirm that you meant to cancel the sleep timer.

The Settings screen shows allows you to tailor the AudBooks app.

The first section shows the iPod Library synchronisation times; when the library was last updated via iTunes, and when AudBooks last synchronised to the device’s library.  The user can force AudBooks to re-scan the library with the Synchronise Now button.

The second section allows you to see which Authors and Books have been ignored, and which books are archived, i.e. books that are recognised by AudBooks but are currently not present on the device. 

Note, an archived book can be deleted from AudBooks by a right or left swipe on the relevant table cell and then tapping the Delete button.

If desired, Ignored and Archived books and authors can be shown in the main lists by using the toggle switches.  Ignored items are shown in Red, and Archived books are shown in Grey.

The third section allows the user to change the sleep timer increment in minutes.