Most helpful positive review
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Akimbo vs Ambling
on September 22, 2011
Samsung Epic, Android 2.2 official
Viewsonic gTablet, Calkulin+Clemsyn 1.5ghz Froyo Combo V6
So you amassed yourself a collection of audiobooks but have found that many media players just aren't up to snuff when it comes to handling this type of media, eh? Well just the club. Somehow the bookmarking and resume features found in old MP3 and media players has been lost on the latest and greatest. I've used MP3 players from pretty much every brand, half dozen media players on iPod/iPhone and Android each, and still hadn't come across a standalone media player that really worked well. That is until I came across Akimbo Audiobook Player and Ambling BookPlayer. Both were designed specifically for audiobook lovers, and specifically for audiobook playback. This review will cover all the essentials, comparing the two to see which is the better price.
Trial versions: Both. The Akimbo trial will pause every 5 minutes and require you wait 15 seconds before you can start it up again. Everything else is full functional. The Ambling trial version is a slightly watered down version, missing features from both their Personal and Pro versions. It also has a time based trial period, but requires a restart. Winner - Akimbo, as it allows you full functionality before you buy.
Price: Akimbo currently runs $2.49 for the full version, while Ambling is at $5.99 for the Personal Addition and $8.99 for the Pro. Winner - Akimbo.
UI - Both Akimbo and Ambling are pretty straightforward pieces of work, and generally easy to use. When in doubt, Akimbo offers a complete help section, detailing everything in precise terms. Ambling doesn't offer a help section, but does include tool tips which can be enabled/disable as desired. With Akimbo, what you see if what you get, while Ambling includes three different player skins for you to choose from. There was one thing I was really annoyed with when it comes to the UI on Ambling. Using the back button doesn't back out of the app and close it. The app is left open instead, and you have manually open the menu and select close to fully get out of it. Winner - Akimbo.
Tweaks - Both Akimbo and Ambling have a large set of parameters you can change. From what the small and big jump buttons do, to what happens when you get resume listening. Akimbo puts in extra bits for accessibility, while Ambling misses this entirely. Both have settings for Bluetooth devices, as well as file handling preferences. Winner - Tie
Library - Now here is the real meat of the matter, how each plays with your files. Neither simply scan through your SD card and add everything to your library, like a typical media player will do. No no, you have to manually create books by selecting files and folders. Akimbo fares a little worse here. Let's say you have a folder called Go West, which has the book Go West broken down in to three different subdirectories, called Disc 1, Disc 2, and Disc 3. When you point out the Go West directory it for Akimbo to read in, it will pick up each subdirectory as a separate book. Ambling will do this too, but, it also has the book editing features needed to fix the problem. Akimbo doesn't, which leaves you with a library full of book parts instead of whole books. Further, Ambling can help you keep a series in order, by allowing you to assign the series name and number to each book. Very helpful if you're trying to get through a while series rather and can't remember which book comes next. To make up for this a bit, Akimbo will go out and attempt to download cover are for the books in your library, which something that you have to manually set up in Ambling. Winner - Ambling
Extras - Often, it's the little extras that really separate products. That's certainly the case when it comes to these two apps. Extras? Akimbo has none. Ambling? How about a whole audiobook library, including lots of free titles for starters? Add in a bit of Facebook integration, to allow you to let your friends know what you're reading. Not a huge thing, but, it's there without challenge from Akimbo. And finally, Ambling has a sleep timer, allowing you to drift off to sleep while listen and not missing the whole book. Winner - Ambling
Summary - Both Akimbo and Ambling are really good players for audiobooks, but, I can't say that either of them are perfect. Both have some missing features, things I would like to see. While I'd like to say Ambling is the better of the two, it's price is more than double that of Akimbo, which really takes away it's charm.
I hope you found this review helpful, and if not, feel free to leave comments/question