When I moved in 2013, I decided I was done with physical media for TV shows and movies and ripping all of my DVDs into digital format. I set up my first very Plex server running on an old MacBook Pro I had, and it worked well for several years. After that, I used an Nvidia Shield for several years and recently moved to an Intel NUC with a 14 TB external drive to house all of my media. I then have my setup rounded out with a Backblaze subscription to keep everything backed up. Plex is an essential part of my media life for TV and Movies. Earlier this year, I added a new type of media to my server: Plex audiobooks with the Prologue app.
I’ve been an audiobook fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve had an Audible subscription since 2008, and I’ve listened to hundreds of books during that time. I will often find cheaper copies of books on CD from Amazon, and then use Audiobook Builder to combine them into an M4B format that works great for audiobooks. Once I discovered it was possible to put these files into Plex, it became an audiobook dream setup for me. While Plex doesn’t support it out of the box, it’s a pretty straight forward process to add a section of your library for books. There is a step-by-step guide for configuring it on the Plex Forums.
Once that is all set up, the Prologue app becomes the best audiobook app on the App Store. Instead of having to load your books manually, you sign in to your Plex server, and all of your books are available to stream or download offline. Playback progress syncs over iCloud to listen on your iPhone and your iPad without losing your spot. If you build “collections” in Plex (think: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc.), they will show up as Collections in the app. It has a great CarPlay version, so it’s perfect for listening to books in the car. It also supports voice boost (similar to Overcast), variable playback speeds, sleep timer, bookmarks, and Siri support.
Prologue is a free download on the App Store, and there is a one time $5 in-app purchase to unlock offline downloads and the collections features I mentioned earlier. It’s a fantastic app, and it’s well worth the download. The developer has a tip jar to support continued development, and I frequently use it whenever new updates come out. If you use Plex, and love Audiobooks, you’ll love Prologue. It doesn’t work with Audiobooks with DRM (Apple Books or Audible) but does work well with MP3, M4A, and M4B files.