I have written about trying out Audiobookshelf five months ago. What has changed since then?
One has to give it to the dev team - they do a lot of work on the app. The updates are quite frequent.
However, it seems that the specific few features I have been missing are still not there. Well, I guess it's more unfixed bugs than missing features, really.
Unfortunately, I stopped using ABS after a few books.
Two things are important to me when listening to audiobooks:
Offline listening. I want my books to play when I have time to listen to them. I don't want them to cut out just because the 'net coverage is crappy again, or I'm in a tunnel or a basement somewhere.
Frankly, this is one thing that I don't get. Many other people say they only use streaming. Is the coverage that good elsewhere? Do they mostly listen in wifi range? How does that work?
Bookmarks. Instead of just listening passively, I tend to make bookmarks when I hear something interesting. It might be some important concept when listening to non-fiction, a nice turn of phrase in fiction, or anything else. Later - usually long after finishing the book - I go back to the bookmarks and use them to make notes in Joplin.
One great feature of ABS is that it syncs bookmarks to the server; meaning that I have them backed up and accessible even after I remove the book from my phone.
Both of these are broken in ABS. The android app does support downloading for offline listening, but more often than not, I receive permission errors when the download is at 99%. And even when I get it to work somehow, it breaks again after the next restart of my phone.
And it turns out that bookmarking just isn't available on downloaded books. The functionality is simply hidden; you can't create any bookmarks at all.
I've asked about those issues in their Discord as well. All the people there are super nice. But it seems there aren't many others who would care about things like offline bookmarks, so they're probably not getting fixed anytime soon.
I'm not criticizing the dev team, or anything like that. I understand that the devs' to-do list doesn't currently align with my wish list. And since they're doing it for free, I can hardly complain. It is a bit of a bummer, though; other aspects of the app, like the web UI or the stats, are great.