Scribd Unlimited – Real Talk

It’s no secret I’ve been singing Scribd‘s praises for the last three months – so I want to talk now about the downfalls – the glitches, the frustrations, the WHYS, everything.

To be clear – I still think Scribd is a fantastic value. For $8.99 per month you can have unlimited audiobooks at your fingertips – on and offline. With select new releases available on pub day. To say I’m always impressed to see that so many highly publicized and new books are available is an understatement – I literally thank my lucky stars that I don’t need to purchase, pine over, or library-hold-wait for a chance to read these wonderful books.

However, I’ve noticed some serious pitfalls that I want to highlight if you’re starting to fall for all of my praise. Also I’m not a programmer, but I don’t think these things would be too hard to achieve. Just saying… 🙂

There’s no way to tell how much time if left in a book.

This is seriously so frustrating for me. There are, of course, a few ways to kind of tell but nothing legitimate. On the home screen it will round to the nearest hour but, to be honest, I don’t even know if it’s rounding up or down.  The player screen will also tell you the time left in the chapter, and in the Table of Contents area you could theoretically add up all the time left in future chapters – but seriously, who has time for that? (computer algorithms, that’s who.) I’m a major countdown person when I read books (even books I love!) so I find this super frustrating.

There’s no Google Cast function.

All I want to do when I’m doing housework / cooking is listen to my audiobooks! It makes the time go faster and makes me less upset that I’m not doing exactly what I’d rather be doing – reading. It drives me crazy that I need to use headphones – I know, I know, this is a major first world problem – when I can “cast” every other app to my smart speaker. Most of the time I don’t even have to cast, I can just say “Hey Google play 99% Invisible” (the best podcast). Google has been advertising that that’s how Google Books works works, so please Scribd, pay Google whatever they’re asking and get a freaking cast button in your app. (Thanks!)

MAJOR ISSUE: They delete books from the library with no warning!

So here I was, thinking I got away with “cheating” on my Unread Shelf Challenge for the month and enjoying listening to A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, when all of a sudden, I open my Scribd app and it asks me if I’d like to “continue listening to the sample”. THE SAMPLE?! I was 75% of the way through (or so I estimated because there’s really no way of knowing). Low and behold my book was gone!

I started noticing this pattern when I first got the app – I immediately “saved” Spineless and Beartown, two books high on my TBR, only to discover later that they weren’t available in the library. This one feels so much worse – I was literally in the middle of listening to it! If you had told me yesterday that it would be unavailable today, I would have finished it! It really bugs me that I got no warning, and if I didn’t own the hardcopy I would have no way of finishing the book without paying additional money (to someone else, not even Scribd).

So there you have it, all my Scribd frustrations. Have you experienced something similar? Do you love another audiobook app I should try? Lemme know!

7 thoughts on “Scribd Unlimited – Real Talk

  1. Wow, Scribd revoking your book while you’re in mid-read is completely unpleasant! There should be a way for them to calibrate where you are in the book and then ask you if you’d like to finish it before the expiration.

    This is kinda like Netflix-now for me… they used to show what was expiring if the show was in your queue (like, 5 years ago) but now there is no indication of when something is leaving on the site or app, you have to look it up on Vox or whatever. So annoying. I would prioritize watching something if I knew it was leaving!

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  2. That sounds so frustrating. I’ve never used it because I’ve listened to audiobooks on my Library’s website through the Overdrive app. (The newer version is called Libby.) Because I listen to so many podcasts, I don’t listen to as many audiobooks as many other hardcore readers. Good to know about the faults of Scribd!

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  3. I’ve been using Scribd for several months now (I had an audible subscription I canceled because I couldn’t justify 2 subscriptions). I love the unlimited feature with Scribd but I’ve sent several suggestions to their feedback team. One of my biggest complaints is that when I bookmark a part of the book it doesn’t sync or remember my last played position (if I go back to listen to the bookmark). That drives me crazy because after using audible and my library audio app, Libby, I just get annoyed everytime I use the bookmark feature.

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      1. Yes they did respond to the feedback and said they are always working to make things better. I’d definitely encourage you to reach out to them and share your concerns. They are nice about it. The book make issue is still not fixed but I’m still listening to books on scribd so it’s just something I’ll have to be OK with until they can get that one right.

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