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How Come I'd Recommend Amazon Over Audible?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How come Amazon nearly always has something of interest to me on their home page while Audible almost never does? How come I can look up a book at Amazon that I have read and that I know I like, and find another book of interest to me in one, two, three clicks at most, while this technique doesn't seem to work at all at Audible? How come my Amazon wish list contains enough items to fill an entire shelve in my bookcase, while my wish list at Audible is completely empty? How come Audible needs me to explicitly state my favourite categories, while Amazon can find out on its own? (And still give me far better recommendations. That one is actually a bit spooky!)

Also, why does Audible recommend books to me that I have already bought from them? Now that is really, utterly beyond my comprehension.

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GBGames says:

I have an item on one of my lists to do some research on Audible. As far as I know, it is a fairly new company, so it may just be growing pains, but that last point you made is something that shouldn't happen. Still, Audible doesn't have the audience that Amazon has, and so I imagine it doesn't have the statistics yet to accurately suggest items for you. In fact, since the statistics are so lacking, your purchase might have been the only thing it could suggest, as laughable as it is. How long have you been a member of either store? Still, if I can help it, I try not buy things from Amazon. After all of the issues with software patents, I think Amazon was saying that they didn't deserve my money. Unfortunately, they are sometimes the only site with the book I want, such as Dating Design Patterns, but most of my purchases are through Barnes & Noble. I've also discovered as an inexpensive computer bookstore, although I haven't bought anything from them yet so I can't comment from personal experience. Amazon has been better these days. For years I haven't heard of any stories of them actually using the absurd software patents they get. Still, I refuse to post links to Amazon when on forums, and I try to buy elsewhere. I try not to do business with those companies who think that they can use software patents to abuse other companies, although I do appreciate that Jeff Bezos is open to listening to reason.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 1:28 PM

Joost Ronkes Agerbeek says:

Audible has been online since 1997, they have more than 300,000 customers and I have bought about fifteen books from them. In addition, I told them what my favourite categories are and I have browsed their catalogue for many hours. That should be more than enough statistics for a decent recommendation from time to time. I don't care much about morals and politics when I decide where to buy my stuff. A shop has to offer me two things: the products I want and good customer experience. Nowhere have I ever been treated more respectfully as a customer than at Amazon, so I remain their customer. I don't even compare prices with other bookstores. My customer experience at Audible has been poor, which is only one step up from downright bad. Audible has one thing going for it, though: they have the largest collection of audio books available to me. Nowhere in the Netherlands can I easily get audio books, so Audible is pretty much my only option. If you want audio books, go with Audible. I do. Just don't expect to be treated with too much respect.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 6:27 PM

GBGames says:

Like I said, I was going to research Audible. I had no idea it has been around for so long. You're absolutely in the right about the problems. They definitely should be at least on par with Amazon when it comes to recommendations, and they should never have recommended an already purchased item. When I make a decision where to buy my things, politics and morals play a part like they do in all things. I can't just turn off my morals just because Walmart offers a better deal than Target or Best Buy has a larger discount than Microcenter. When I spend my money at a company with policies I don't agree with, I am supporting those policies and am only making it easier for the companies involved to continue with their policies. However, I believe the world is big enough that I don't have to choose between a bad company with good service and a good company with bad service. There are others, and so if Audible is that bad, I am sure I can find one that won't be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 8:55 PM

Joost Ronkes Agerbeek says:

Gianfranco, I commend you for the way you choose the companies you do business with. About Audible, don't dismiss them just because of my bad experiences. I'm fairly sensitive about these things. You can probably find people who have nothing but good things to say about Audible, too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:00 AM

GBGames says:

Thank you for your kind words. Regarding Audible, I have generally heard nothing but good from them, so it is good that I get to finally read about a bad experience. Of course, until I'm ready to test it out myself, I can't make a decision. On the other hand, I have been directed to from the MAKE blog ( It doesn't seem to have a big selection yet, but it is apparently DRM free. The two comments in the blog give conflicting opinions on "best", which gives me something to look out for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 5:29 PM

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