What I think of the new Storytel updates

As most of you know, I’ve had a Storytel subscription for a while now. For those who don’t know Storytel; Storytel is an app where you can listen to more than 250,000 audiobooks. I started listening to audiobooks last year and have loved the concept ever since. I find audiobooks to be very useful. I like to listen to them before going to sleep, but also when I’m in the shower and on the train.

I already tested the app a while ago, but recently some updates have been made and Storytel looks completely different. That’s why I’m taking another look at the app today and giving my opinion about the new (and not so new) features.

Positive points

  • New releases are quickly available on the app. Many of my anticipated books were already on the app on release day.
  • In Belgium you can choose to find audiobooks and e-books in Dutch, French and English on the app.
  • The app layout is even better than before. I thought the app was already well built and everything was easy to find, but the layout has now been updated and looks much more modern.
  • Following certain authors or series. You can follow an author or series and then see in them your account under ‘following’. You also see how many people follow the same author or series.
  • Trending searches: when you want to look up a book or author, you get a tab with books and authors that are popular at the moment. Those names are often looked up. I really like this idea because it gives you some inspiration. I also just like to know what people are listening to right now.
  • Searching via tags is a very nice feature. If I feel like fantasy, cyberpunk or rather Greek mythology, I can easily search and find it.
  • You can clearly see how many hours, minutes and seconds remain in your audiobook.
  • The dark mode is very nice.
  • You can find books based on emotions. When you’re done listening to a book, Storytel asks you to describe the book using some emojis and emotions. So you can also search for books based on those emotions. So if I’m in the mood for something heart-warming, I can easily find books that are described as heart-warming.

Negative points

  • Some authors appear twice in the app. When I read a book by V.E. Schwab wants to read, I can only find 2 books on that name. The rest of her books are under the name ‘Victoria Schwab’. I don’t know if this is also the case with other authors who use initials in their author names, but keep this in mind.
  • Following authors or series doesn’t really do anything for the time being. I think the idea of ​​choosing which authors and series you want to see is a great idea, but so far it seems like nothing is really being done with it. I don’t see a category “Books by the authors you followed” or anything like that. Also, if I want to click on an author I follow (eg Marie Lu), I don’t go directly to all her books. I have yet to manually look up her name to find her books.
  • E-books can only be read on the app (i.e. via smartphone or tablet) and cannot be placed on an e-reader. This is somehow logical. I also have the app to listen to audiobooks and not to read ebooks, so it doesn’t bother me!
  • The bookshelf is unorganised. Now you have all your favourite books in one list. You can filter them, but it’s still a bit chaotic. I would like to organize my books myself like on Goodreads in ‘to read’, ‘reading’ and ‘read’.

Tips

A nice idea would be that users of the app could fill out a form somewhere about which books or authors they would like to see on Storytel.

Conclusion

The Storytel app works as it should and is also very nice to use. Everything is easy to find and Storytel has a wide range that grows daily. There are some points for improvement, but the advantages far outweigh the ‘disadvantages’.

If you want to give the service a try, you can now listen for free for 30 days instead of 14 days. You can do that via this link.

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