About

On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

Recent Comments

September 2016
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Audible Promo Makes Kindle Touch & Kindle Fire Even More Affordable

Amazon’s audiobook subsidiary, Audible, has a long standing promotion for new subscribers that could make your next Kindle upgrade significantly more affordable than expected.  It is not a new thing, in fact I am pretty sure that I’ve mentioned it here before from time to time, but since Amazon hasn’t been spending a lot of time advertising it recently I thought it would be worth another mention.  The way it works is simple enough to summarize here.

We’re making the assumption here that you enjoy the occasional audiobook.  Many people do, for a wide variety of reasons.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out the quality and usefulness of Audible’s selection, but you would like to consider making use of this promotional credit, do not succumb to the instinct to try out the service with a 30-Day Free Trial.  Yes, this is available, but you are only able to make use of one promo every 2 years according to the present terms & conditions and doing so would make you ineligible.  your best bet is to ask around for somebody who is already a member and try out something they have picked up.  It shouldn’t be hard to find someone, in my experience.

That addressed, it’s a simple enough arrangement.  By making the commitment of a 12 month membership plan at $14.95 per month, you get one book each month and $100 any qualifying product.  This includes any number of electronics from MP3 players and headphones to GPS devices.  There are even some tablets and laptops in the selection.  Most importantly, as far as I’m concerned, is that every Kindle product currently available is included in the promo.  This means that your Kindle Fire could be picked up for just $99, assuming you wouldn’t rather just have a free Kindle Touch.

To take advantage, head over to this Amazon promo page.  Under the heading “How to get your $100 promotional code” there is a link to sign up.  Your new audible membership will be tied directly into your Amazon.com account as soon as the transaction is complete.  This offer should be good until at least January 31, 2012.  It may be extended beyond that point, and has been in the past with no notice or fanfare, but you never know for sure.

There’s little risk in this if you are an audiobook fan.  Signing up for 12 books at $15 each isn’t exactly a ripoff on Amazon’s part, and they do not insist that you remain an active member to listen to them.  These days you can download your Audible selection to practically anything, up to 3 devices at a time, and take it to go.  The readings are above average, for the most part, and the service has been around long enough that reviews are plentiful and often highly informative.

Should you find yourself regretting the decision shortly after signing up, have no worries.  The program can be cancelled at any point in the first 30 days.  In that case you would be given the option to either pay the difference on your Kindle Fire (or whatever device you purchased with the $100 discount) or send it back unopened.

Audio & The Kindle Fire: Win Some, Lose Some

The Kindle Fire does a lot of things really well.  From the streaming video library to its many apps, there’s always something to do.  Despite all the effort at polish though, the majority of the sound playback abilities seem pretty much tacked on.  Admittedly this is not meant to be a portable MP3 player, as might be assumed based on the weight and slightly less than pocket compatible size.  There are a few things that could have been done to bring the level of functionality up a bit.  While it isn’t recommended that anybody pick up a Kindle Fire just for the auditory stimulation under most circumstances, it is definitely nice to know what the tablet is capable of to get the most out of your new toy.

Music

The obvious sound function is listening to music.  The integration for this is easily as clean as that offered for Instant Video titles, allowing users to browse by album, artist, or song as well as produce, edit, or start playlists.  Downloading albums to local storage is simple enough, but streaming from the Amazon Cloud Player is excellent and the extra 5GB of storage for user uploads that were not purchased through Amazon will allow for a lot of music even if you don’t have any urge to pay for extra space.  The store isn’t obtrusive, but it does let you look up albums based on the usual factors or look up other albums by artists already in your collection with the touch of a button.

Audiobooks

In most cases this will work exactly the same as Music playback, assuming you’re not using Audible.  If you are using Audible, things don’t get much different.  The Audible app comes pre-installed with every Kindle Fire.  Just pop over to the App page and you’ve got access to everything you own so far.  The internal store seems to be just a mobile skin over their website, but it does the job.  My only complaint is that if your audiobook is from Audible you can’t stream it.  The need to download can be a pain, given the size of some books and the Fire’s limited storage space.

Read to Me

Unlike every previous Kindle release with any form of audio output, this feature is missing.  Amazon hasn’t made any real comment on this so far, and it seems doubtful that they will.  Whether it’s an effort to push Audible to the front of things or a desire to break away from this feature, there is no indication whatsoever that this will change.  Annoying, but possibly predictable.

Playback

The most important concern in all these cases is probably how it will sound.  Sadly, this is where things come up short the most.  The Kindle Fire has stereo speakers built in, but they are about as mediocre as might be expected.  The headphone jack works just fine, and will probably be great for watching movies, but doesn’t seem as useful as it might be given the tablet’s lack of portability compared to an average MP3 player.  There also isn’t any way to output high quality audio to a stereo system, which would have been nice, or to hook up a bluetooth headset.  Overall, just good enough without impressing in any way.

Recommended Uses

The usefulness here will come from audiobooks and listening to music while reading.  Chances are good by now that you have a better, more portable MP3 player, so it would be silly to try to turn this into one unless you really need the streaming option.  The audio quality on the speakers is fine for listening to books while you do something out, and just about anything will do for listening to music while reading a book.  These are, at best, perks for Kindle Fire owners, but it’s the little things that add up.

Audible Offers Many Advantages Including A $14 Kindle

Do you like reading?  Do you like audiobooks?  Would it be useful to combine these two book consumption methods into one convenient package? If you’re answering ‘yes’ a lot here, it’s probably a good time to look at Audible and the Kindle.  While it isn’t precisely a new offer, at the moment you can pick up a new Kindle w/ Special Offers for just $14 when you sign up for a year of Audible.com’s audiobooks at $14.95 per month.

Audible is probably the best place I have found so far to grab audiobooks, at least in terms of selection and reliability.  While on occasion I have found specific books with better readings elsewhere, I have yet to be unhappy with anything I’ve found through the site and in general they provide the best.  Their monthly plans include one or two audiobooks per month, with a small number of rollover opportunities if you want to skip a month or save up for newer books being released at the same time.  Technically they also do have annual bulk options for 12 or 24 books at a time, but that tends to be a bit much to digest all at once.

In addition to getting access to a selection of over 85,000 audiobooks, signing up through the banner in the Kindle Store will provide a coupon code good for $100 off of a selection of devices.  The Kindle w/ Special Offers is probably the best deal of the bunch, but there are others including other Kindles up to the Kindle DX, a range of Apple iProducts, and the occasional GPS device.  I’m going out of my way to specifically push the Kindle connection because the integration of the Kindle Store with Audible.com has made it amazingly simple to get everything working perfectly.  You can also, of course, transfer your Audible purchases to your iPhone, computer, or even burned CD.  The latter option is especially useful for long drives, I’ve found.

What made this at all worth noting right now, besides simply a desire to highlight the advantages that this deal, and Audible in general, provides to Kindle owners new and old, is the recent stir over the pseudo-children’s book, Go The F–k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach.  In addition to being a source of cathartic entertainment to many parents, babysitters, teachers, etc., and of course a source of outrage for the uptight, Go The F–k To Sleep stands as an example of the sort of success that internet fame and word of mouth can bring an otherwise small production.  A few copies of the book found themselves on popular filesharing networks and the buzz that this generated had it a number one spot on the Amazon lists before it was even released.

For now, Audible account-holders can get a copy of this book read quite effectively by Samuel L. Jackson for free as long as the limited time offer holds out. I wouldn’t say that this alone is incentive enough to spend a year paying $14.95/month, but put it together with 12 professional audiobooks and a nearly free Kindle and you’ve got quite the deal.

Audible Audiobooks for Kindle Goes Wireless

Most everybody has probably at least heard of Audible at this point.  Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) has done a good job of promoting their services both as a general thing and in connection with the Kindle.  Now, to make things even easier for fans of Kindle audio books, users should find themselves able to download their new acquisitions directly over the WiFi connection just like a normal book purchase.  It’s still not available via the 3G, but that should come as little surprise given the size of audio books compared to your average Kindle data transfer.  It doesn’t seem likely Amazon would want to foot the bill for doing that via WhisperNet any time soon, really.

This is a nice change.  While it was hardly a major problem to download and transfer your Audible purchases to the Kindle via the computer, anything that streamlines the process has to be considered an advantage.  Not only does this save users the potential hassle of arranging temporary storage space and such, it means improved mobility for those of us who like the audio book option on occasion.  Not much is more annoying than finding yourself without a book to listen to when you’re not in a position to read but still want to enjoy a book.

For anybody who might be unfamiliar with the Audible service, here’s the gist of how it works.  You can sign up for either a monthly or yearly membership.  Each month or year, you will be charged a set rate and given “credits” as a result.  The basic membership option, for example, will give you one credit every month as your payment is received.  These credits can then be redeemed for the book of your choice.  Not much more to it.  I haven’t run into any interesting books that required more than one credit, but the site does assure users that this is something to be aware of.

If you want to grab Audible books via the Kindle itself, you can link your new Audible account directly to your Amazon account and have all of your existing One-Click Purchasing options simply work.  This is done by signing in through the Audible.com site.  It’s simple.  After you’re linked in, you can head to the Audible section of the Kindle store using your Kindle and look around.  Members can either use their credits at checkout or, if you’re out of them or would rather not use them for whatever option, pay using your usual method.

It’s a bit more expensive per title if you want to purchase these audio books with cash rather than using the credit system, but there are options for multiple credits per month or, as mentioned earlier, a yearly plan that gives you 12 credits all at once and is renewable at any time.  Just in case you get hooked and can listen to more than one or two per month.

At the moment, there are over 50,000 titles available through this service and the basic plan is going for only $7.49 for the first three months.  I recommend giving it a try if you have any interest whatsoever.  The pricing is reasonable and you’ll definitely notice a major difference over the Text-to-Speech option.  There’s even a 30-Day free trial that provides 2 free audio books!

Audible Incentives

There are a lot of good reasons to pick up a Kindle.  It’s neat to read, occasionally very useful for its ability to be a portable internet device, and it saves on effort and potential injury when you compare it to the hundreds or thousands of paperbacks you might otherwise have to carry down a flight of stairs on moving day.  One of the less talked-about uses, however, is as a vessel for audiobooks.

Having worked with the Kindle while helping out students with learning disorders, I can tell you that this is a really useful feature.  It’s also proven helpful with an elderly relative of mine who sometimes has trouble even with the device’s largest font sizes, but who still really loves her books.  The Text-to-speech feature isn’t bad, though it can trip over some words in odd ways sometimes.  I personally prefer to go with actual narrated book readings.  It adds something that, if you’re forced or inclined to be listening to a book rather than reading it yourself in the first place, helps significantly with personal immersion.

Since I’m sure there are those of you out there who agree with me, as there are certainly those who find my position ridiculous, I figured it was worth pointing out the current incentive for people still on the fence about the usefulness of eReaders.  For the moment, Amazon is offering a discount of $100 off their device if you sign up for a year of Audible.com membership.  I don’t really know how limited a time this offer is, but I’d guess not terribly.  It’s been around a while.  I personally consider it a worthwhile investment if you’re interested in audiobooks.  Audible provides good prices on good readings of good books.  What more can you ask, really?  Chances are that if you’ve read this far into the post, you’re interested in audiobooks anyway.  Might as well get a discount on your Kindle and a new source for your reading all at once, right?