Does Audible Download Or Stream? (Explained & Solved)

Audible has two ways to listen to books: by downloading them or streaming them. Which one should you choose?

This article will explore the pros and cons of each option so that you can decide which is best for you.

Here’s how Downloading and Streaming Work with Audible: is a subscription-based media service that offers access to a large library of audiobooks. Subscribed members may stream any audiobook they can access with a working internet connection. Members may also download titles to their devices to listen to later, even offline.

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Can you Decide Between Downloading or Streaming with Audible?

Audible is a streaming service at its core, but the option of downloading is also very much there.

There’s no way you’d ever be able to download all 500,000+ titles in the Premium catalog or even the 10,000+ in the Plus catalog, which is why streaming is vital to the service.

You can stream and listen to any title in this vast collection with a valid subscription and an active internet connection.

However, if you’ve picked out specific audiobooks you’re interested in having available, whether you have an internet connection or not, that’s where downloading comes in.

As long as you have the space on your device, you can download any title in the library to your collection.

Once you’ve done this, you can listen to the title(s) in question as often as you want. No internet is required!

Can you Listen to Audible without Downloading the Content?

Audible is a streaming service. It’s a streaming service that also lets you download content, but streaming is at the center of what it offers.

The same is true for many other streaming services, like Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

All these services have in common with Audible, a vast library of content that’s way, way bigger than any personal collection the average user may have access to.

Audible isn’t the only service to offer a hybrid approach either, focused on streaming but with the additional option to download.

For instance, Spotify members enjoy what is also, at its core, a streaming service but likewise have the option to download music for later offline listening if they so choose.

Since nobody could realistically download the entire library of any streaming service, streaming allows one to access this vast library at leisure, as long as one has an Internet connection.

Does Audible Download the Books to your Device?

Data is being sent to your device over the internet and may be temporarily stored in a buffer but is ultimately replaced by the next bit of data, the next, and so on.

Thus, when you stream, any data sent to your device is stored only temporarily, and when you’re done, it’ll all be gone.

However, the option to download titles is very much there, and Audible won’t do it unless you ask.

If you’d like to download an Audible title to your device for later listening, follow these simple steps:

For PC:

  1. Launch the Audible PC App from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Click “Library” in the left pane.
  3. Browse and find the title(s) you wish to download.
  4. Once you find a title you want to download, click the downward-facing arrow in the bottom-left corner of the cover art.

For Android:

  1. Launch the Audible Mobile App from the Google Play App Store.
  2. Tap the menu button in the upper-left corner.
  3. Tap “Library.”
  4. Tap the “My Library” drop-down menu.
  5. From the drop-down menu, select “Cloud.”
  6. Browse and find the title(s) you wish to download.
  7. Once you find a title you want to download, click the downward-facing arrow in the bottom-right corner of the cover art.

For iOS:

  1. Launch the Audible Mobile App from the Apple App Store.
  2. Tap “My Library,” in the bottom-left, then tap “Cloud” in the top-left.
  3. Browse and find the title(s) you wish to download.
  4. Once you find a title you want to download, click the downward-facing arrow in the bottom-right corner of the cover art.

Can you Delete the Downloaded Data to Free Space on your Device?

You have to ask Audible to download anything in the first place, and you can ask it to un-download (delete) any data you don’t want anymore.

In your library of downloaded content, you should be able to select any title you’ve previously downloaded to your device.

You can listen to any of them as many times as you want. Of course, if you’re done with them, you can also delete them.

The specifics will vary between Windows PC, macOS, Android, and iOS, but all operating systems should have a clearly-marked “delete” button.

When you click or tap this “delete” button, you’ll be prompted with a confirmation that you want to permanently delete the title.

Choose “yes” on the confirmation window, and Audible will completely remove that title from your device.

If you want to get it back for whatever reason, follow the guide in the above section to find it again and re-download it!

How Much Bandwidth Does Audible Use?

We couldn’t find a definitive source answering this question, but we did find enough user-reported information to cobble together an idea.

Audible doesn’t use much Bandwidth/data, as even the most high-quality recordings run at about 30 Megabytes (MB) per hour of playtime.

This means that your internet must download (or stream) 30 MB of data to stream one hour of an audiobook.

Internet speed is measured in Megabits Per Second (Mbps). One Megabit equals 8 Megabytes.

If we did our math correctly, you’d need a speed of 0.07 Mbps to stream an Audible title without interruptions.

For context, an “average” internet speed is considered 25 Mbps. That’s many times more than you need to stream an Audible title without interruption.

This means that anyone, even with slower-than-average internet, should have no trouble streaming Audible titles.

How Many MB Is an Audiobook on Audible

Based on user reports, the average high-quality recording seems to be about 30 MB per hour of playtime.

So a book that takes an hour to listen to would be about a 30 MB download. A two-hour-long audiobook would be about 60 MB, and so on.

On Audible, shorter books take about 5-10 hours to listen to, and long books (think something like the Lord of the Rings trilogy) can take 20-40 hours.

This means that there will be a huge variability of file size between short and long audiobooks on Audible.

Using what we know, we’re probably looking at a range of 300-1,200 MB for a single audiobook, depending on length.

With a download speed of 25 Mbps (an “average” internet speed), it would take a minute and a half to download a 300 MB file. That’s not very long!

On the other end of the spectrum, that 1,200 MB figure—representing a very long book—would take about 6.4 minutes at the same speed.

In short, even with just “okay” internet, it shouldn’t take you very long to download Audible books at all.


The Differences Between Downloading and Streaming

How to Download Books on Audible

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