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How to Play .opus Audiobooks on Android

Posted in: Matthew's Tech Posting

Headphones places over a blue and a red book, “plugged in” at bottom of the blue book.

People who listen to a lot of audiobooks will know just how much of a pain it can be to store a large number of them onto portable devices when even 64Kbits MP3 audiobook can be well over 1GB in size.

More recently, however, newer and more efficient audio codecs have been released. The best known of these has been Opus which is an open-source codec that can provide high quality encodes of audio at far lower bitrates compared to MP3. This is especially true for audiobooks as Opus is able to produce very good results with vocal-heavy audio, down to 24Kbps.

The Problem with Opus When It Comes to Audiobooks

In recent years it has become more common to use the M4B container for audiobooks (AAC), that enables features more suited to playing back audiobooks. While Opus should be perfect for this role with its extremely efferent handling of vocal audio, its container is fairly lacking in features which is a big shame.

How to Better Play .Opus Audiobooks on Android Devices?

To have a good experience with playing Opus encoded audiobooks on your android device, you are going to use a third-party app. Fortunately, there are a number of both free and paid apps that are dedicated to playing audiobooks.

There are two android audiobook players I would recommend;

  1. Voice Audiobook Player (free)

Voice Audiobook Player is a free audiobook player for android with full support for opus. The problem with this app is that it is lacking in advanced features, though it still has the more important feature required in an audiobook play player which is a pause and its automatic book search is good.

The main feature that I wish it has was some way of fixing broken or missing background images.

  1. Listen Audiobook Player (paid)

Listen Audiobook Player is in many ways similar to “Voice Audiobook Player” but has a better GUI, more advanced settings and allows the user to replace broken background images. It is slightly better in the ways that make the app nicer to use. At £1.89, Listen Audiobook Player is a good deal for people who regularly listen to audiobooks.

Published: 20th of November 2019

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