Make Sure to Back Up Audiobooks Purchased from the iTunes Store; You Can’t Re-Download Them

In this week’s Ask the iTunes Guy column at Macworld, I discuss an issue with audiobook chapters, and I close by recommending that audiobook listeners buy from Audible.com:

Audible’s books can be cheaper than the same books from Apple—you can get a book-a-month plan for $15 a month, and other plans can cost even less. If you’re a big audiobook listener, Audible is the better deal.

It’s a better deal, but there’s something else I hadn’t realized. Unlike other content on the iTunes Store, you cannot re-download audiobooks. I never noticed this, never needing to re-download the couple I bought from the iTunes Store.

But a reader wrote me today, pointing this out, saying that he had some issues with getting his large audiobook collection onto a new iPod.

Audible iosI now strongly recommend that audiobook listeners avoid buying from the iTunes Store. Not only is it more expensive, but if you lose your files, you can’t even get copies. Audible provides you with a Library page where you can download your books at any time, and Audible’s iOS app shows you all your books, and lets you download them at any time.

There’s no excuse for Apple’s not allowing you to re-download audiobooks. It’s worth noting that Audible provides audiobooks to the iTunes Store, so they’re the only one with the content anyway. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Amazon owns Audible?