[Review] SuperUtils Audiobook Downloader Pro

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

SuperUtils Software’s Audiobook Downloader Pro

Version reviewed:

v1.0.0.0

Software description as per the developer:

Audiobook Downloader Pro is a fast and convenient download manager of free audio books from the LibriVox and Internet Archive catalogs. It enables you to effectively find an audiobook that you are interested in, and download it at maximum available speed.

Download size:

4.9 MB

Supported OS:

Windows XP/Vista/Win7

Price:

$29.95 (USD)

{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Allows users to download multiple audiobooks at once.
  • Allows users to access the audiobook webpage for each audiobook.
  • Allows users to easily play audiobooks after they have been downloaded, either using Angel’s Vox audiobook player or the default player on the computer.
  • Allows users to pause/resume downloads.
  • Has a portable version.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Doesn’t provide any value-added services: Users can just visit the Internet Archives audio catalog or Librivox grab their audiobooks just as easily.
  • Doesn’t allow users to download audiobooks in parts/sections/chapters.
  • The download menus have a slight lag in appearing when they are called.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Aside from a slight annoying lag in regards to the download menus showing, very easy to use.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”7″}Performs well for what it does. The only problem is it doesn’t do very much and there are some claims by the developer, in regards to feature, that I cannot validate.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”2″}I don’t see why anyone would find this program useful. Users can visit Librivox.org and download audiobooks from there; the same audiobooks Audiobook Downloader Pro allows you to download.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”2″}Asking $29.95 for what essentially is a convenience software (i.e. for people that are too lazy to type in Librivox.org in their Internet browser)? Does the developer want my car too? Until the developer adds some value-added services, I wouldn’t even pay $5 for this program.
{/for}
{for=”Final Score” value=”3″}
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Audiobook Downloader Pro is a program that allows users to download free, open domain audiobooks.

This is what the main program window looks like:

Using ADP (Audiobook Downloader Pro) is very easy:

  • Search for an audiobook:

  • Once the audiobook you are looking for is found, you can open the audiobook’s webpage in your Internet browser or download it:

As far as I can tell, ADP downloads audiobooks only from LibriVox.org. Since ADP indexes audiobooks from LibriVox, the audiobook webpages are all LibriVox webpages and users are allowed to download the audiobooks in three formats (since LibriVox allows provides three format downloads).

  • Once an audiobook has been downloaded, you can listen to it or open the folder where it was saved:

If you have Angel’s Vox (an audiobook player by SuperUtils Software) installed, ADP will automatically play the audiobook in Angel’s Vox when you hit the “Play” button. If you don’t have Angel’s Vox installed, you will get an error message which will allow you to launch the audiobook in your computer’s default player:

Other features of ADP are:

  • The ability to download multiple audiobooks concurrently.
  • The ability to pause/resume downloads.
  • The ability to double-click on an audiobook to open its webpage, or download it (default is open webpage but this is changeable via settings)
  • The ability to list all available audiobooks  by going to “Edit” -> “List All Audiobooks”. At the time of this writing, a total of 3825 audiobooks are available.
  • The ability to automatically suggest a search query, by either going to “Edit” -> “Suggest Search Query” or clicking on the “?” located to the left of the search box.
  • ADP has a portable version.

Here are the available settings of ADP:

The “when double-clicking list item” allows for “Open audiobook page”, “Download audiobook in MP3 @ 64 kbps format”, “Download audiobook in MP3 @ 128 kbps format”, and “Download audiobook in OGG Vorbis format”.

In regards to performance, ADP performs well for what it does: It downloads books quickly and downloads them just fine. However, my problem with ADP is that it doesn’t do enough.

ADP provides absolutely no features that would make users want to use it. All ADP does is allow users to download audiobooks from LibriVox… something users can just as easily do directly from LibriVox (for free). Heck, ADP doesn’t even provide features one would expect in a “download manager”, such as a history of downloaded audiobooks. Really the only feature ADP provides that many even remotely interest someone is the ability to pause/resume downloads; but that feature can be handled by any download manger if users download directly from LibriVox. In fact, downloading from LibriVox provides an advantage not found in ADP. From LibriVox users can download audiobooks in pieces (i.e. chapter 1, 2, 3, etc.) or download the whole audiobook at once. ADP, on the other hand, only allows users to download the whole audiobook at once.

Furthermore, the developer claims “Multithreaded downloading at maximum available speed.” Since I was getting extremely fast downloads via ADP (typically over 1 MB/s) I thought “hey maybe this is where ADP adds value – it helps boost download speeds”. However, when I tried downloading books directly from LibriVox, I got similar highspeeds of over 1 MB/s; so no value-added feature there.

Similarly, the developer makes two claims on the homepage of ADP that I find to be misleading/untrue:

  • Enables you to search and download among 3825 free audio books (and 234663 files).
  • Accessing to a book summary.

Maybe I am using the program incorrectly – so someone please correct me if I am – but I am unable to find the “234663 files” the developer claims users can download from ADP and I am unable to access any sort of book summary. Yes, I can download 3825 audiobooks (all of which seems to be from LibriVox.org – someone please post if you find any audiobook from a different source available in ADP) and yes I can access the webpage of each audiobook that has a book summary listed on it; but the actual program itself does not list book summaries and does not index anything more than the 3825 audiobooks.

On a similar note, on the same homepage of ADP, the developer lists:

Audiobook Downloader Pro is a fast and convenient download manager of free audio books from the LibriVox and Internet Archive catalogs.

As far as I can tell, ADP only indexes audiobooks from LibriVox and does not index audiobooks or audio files from the Internet Archive catalogs. At first I thought the “234663 files’ the developer claims are available via ADP were audio files found at the Internet Archive catalogs. So, I went through some of the audio file listings in the Internet Archive catalogs and searched for them on ADP, such as The Holy Quran; but I found nothing but LibriVox audiobooks. Now, to be fair LibriVox is listed in a category on the Internet Archive catalogs so the developer may have just meant that; however if that is the case, claiming to be able to download free audio books “from the LibriVox and Internet Archive catalogs” is a bit misleading in my opinion.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}You want free, open-domain audiobooks? Simply visit the Internet Archive catalogs and LibriVox directly and download them yourself. It isn’t that complicated to do.
{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Charging users $29.95 for something they could do for free by visiting the Internet Archive catalogs and/or LibriVox? As far as I am concerned, this program is nothing better than a scam. Until SuperUtils Software adds some value-added services to this program dotTech gives it a thumbs down – rejected!
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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2 comments

  1. Sunny

    This reminds me of those manufacturers who put plain old chilli pepper in capsules, market it as a health supplement and charge outrageously for it.

    There are fools and suckers everywhere, the trick is to avoid being one.
    Thanks Ashraf for the much needed reminder.

    Great to have you back!