Can Google Home Play Audible Audio Books?

Google Home is the search giant’s answer to the Amazon Echo. It’s a smart home gadget that looks like a small speaker, has voice commands and can optionally have a screen if you buy the Google Home Hub. Of all of the abilities Google Home has, audio books was a little late in coming. Now it’s here, how can you use it? Can Google Home play Audible audio books for example?

Smart Home

Audible is owned by Amazon and is not really supported on the Google Home. There is a way around that though which I’ll show you in a minute. Google has its own audio book setup in the Google Play Store and its own audio book app in Google Play Books. Google would much prefer you to use the Google Play Books app to get your audio books but you can get Audible to work if you want to.

Google Home and Audible audio books

As one of the main ways to listen to audio books, being familiar with Audible is essential for anyone who likes to listen to books instead of read them. Now Google Home supports audio books and will kind of work with Audible, you can listen anywhere.

There are two ways I know of to listen to audio books on Google Home. Cast it from Audible on your phone or download the audio file and play it using Google Play Music. Neither is ideal but they do get the job done.

Casting Audible audio books to Google Home

Casting is one of the coolest features of Android. As long as both devices are on the same network and ideally logged in using the same account, you can send data from one device to the other. You can even cast to some non-Android devices like smart TVs. In this scenario, we will cast an audio book from Audible to our Google Home.

You will need the Google Home app on your phone for this to work.

  1. Make sure both your phone and Google Home are on the same network and optionally logged into the same Google account.
  2. Open the Google Home app, select the three line menu icon in the top left of the screen and select Cast Screen/Audio.
  3. Select your phone from the device list that appears.
  4. Start Audible and load an audio book.

You should now hear your audio book play on your Google Home. The Google Home app doesn’t care what the source is for the audio or video, it sends the audio track through the app to the speaker using your WiFi network. You can connect via Bluetooth as well if you like but WiFi seems much easier and you don’t have to stay in proximity to the Google Home to maintain the connection.

Download audio books with Audible

The other way to get Google Home to play Audible audio books is to download them and upload them to Google Play. It’s another workaround but until the two systems play nicely together, it’s one of the few options you have. Audible would prefer you to stream your content but does provide an app for downloading and managing them. There is also an open source audio book manager that achieves the same goal. You will also need a file converter. Epubor Audible Converter is widely recommended but there are others. You will need to do this on a computer before you need the audio book. You cannot do this on a phone.

  1. Log into Audible.
  2. Navigate to your Library and select a book to download.
  3. Select OpenAudible or the Audible Download Manager on your computer.
  4. Open the downloaded .aa or .aax audio book file in Epubor or audio converter program program.
  5. Open the file in Epubor, select Options and select to Split by Chapters.
  6. Convert from .aa or .aax to MP3.
  7. Copy the MP3 file to your phone or Google Drive and play using Google Play.
  8. Cast to your Google Home or have Google Home play directly from Google Drive.

This is another clumsy workaround but it does work. Make sure to download your files as .aa or .aax though and not the newer .aaxc format. The newer format doesn’t play nicely with MP3 conversion so you need to use one of the two older formats.

Neither of these ways to get Google Home to play Audible audio books is elegant but they do work. Do you know a better way? A better audio converter to get from .aa to MP3? Tell us about it below if you do!