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How to listen to audiobooks with iBooks for iPhone and iPad

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How do I listen to audiobooks with iBooks and adjust their controls?

Updated March 2017: Updated to add information about downloading audiobooks and info for iOS 10.3.

If you’re just diving into the world of audiobooks, you may be surprised to know that you can listen to them with iBooks — and customize them, too!

How to view and download audiobooks with iPhone and iPad

The iBooks app isn’t just for written books — it supports audiobooks, too, and you can sync them across all your devices with iCloud. To find an audiobook on the iBooks Store, you need only search for it.

  1. Open the iBooks app.
  2. Tap Search on the lower right side of the screen.
  3. Enter the title of the audiobook you are looking for.

  4. Tap Audiobooks to filter the results.

If you’re trying to re-download an older title, you’ll just have to visit the Purchased menu.

  1. Open the iBooks app.
  2. Tap the Purchased tab.
  3. Under the My Purchases menu, tap Audiobooks.
  4. Tap Not on This iPhone.

  5. Tap the iCloud Download button to redownload your title.

You can also download audiobooks to your Mac that you’ve previously purchased, but you’ll need to go through iTunes instead of the iBooks app.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Click on iTunes Store in the upper right side of the menu bar in the iTunes window.
  3. Enter the title of the audiobook you are looking for into the search field in the upper right corner of the iTunes window.

  4. Click on Audiobooks on the right side of the iTunes window to filter the results.
  5. Find the audiobook you have previously purchased.
  6. Click the Download button below the title.

How to change Skip Forward and Skip Back time

You can customize how much time your audiobook will skip back or ahead. If you don’t want to miss much, start with a 10 second jump. If you can’t remember what you listened to last, set the skip-back time a full minute.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap the iBooks button.
  3. Scroll down and tap Skip Forward.
  4. Tap the time you wish to skip ahead. A blue checkmark will appear.

  5. Tap iBooks to return to the Settings menu.
  6. Tap Skip Back.
  7. Tap the time you wish to skip back. A blue checkmark will appear.

How to change the playback speed of an audiobook in iBooks on iPhone and iPad

If you are a busy person and want to get through your audiobooks a little bit faster, you can speed up the playback. You can also slow it down a little if you want to take your time getting through one.

  1. Launch iBooks from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the audiobook you want to play.
  3. Tap on the Playback speed button in the bottom right corner of your screen.

You can keep pressing the Playback speed button to rotate through the options, which are in order, as follows:

  • 1x
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
  • 0.75x

How to set a sleep timer on an audiobook in iBooks on iPhone and iPad

If you like listening to audiobooks before bed, or just tend to fall asleep while they are playing, you can set a timer to automatically stop playback so you don’t miss out on anything important in the story.

  1. Launch iBooks from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the audiobook you want to play.
  3. Tap the Sleep button at the bottom of your screen. It looks like a crescent moon.
  4. Tap the option you would like.

    • Off
    • When current track ends
    • 5 minutes
    • 10 minutes
    • 15 minutes
    • 30 minutes
    • 45 minutes
    • 1 hour
    • Custom

How to set a custom sleep timer on an audiobook in iBooks on iPhone and iPad

If you don’t like the pre-made timer options available to you, you can create your own custom timer for up to 23 hours and 59 minutes. Are there any audiobooks that last that long? I’ll bet Dune comes pretty close.

  1. Launch iBooks from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the audiobook you want to play.
  3. Tap the Sleep button. It’s at the bottom of your screen and looks like a crescent moon.

  4. Tap Custom
  5. Adjust the picker for your desired amount of time.
  6. Tap Done.

Questions?

Let us know below.

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