Amazon Acquires Audible, Apple Anxious About Audiobooks?

I am a big fan of Amazon, mainly because I think their web services division is brilliant. I’m also a fan of Audible and I listen to audiobooks all the time, so I was excited to hear about Amazon’s purchase of Audible. I think it can only mean good things, Audible will be able to take advantage of Amazon’s web services and advertising abilities and Amazon grabs the a huge chunk of the digital audio book market.
Amazon is positioning itself carefully as consumers are getting used to the idea that they can own digital copies of media without a physical copy to worry about, digital can provide an almost instant gratification that waiting for a shipment of a physical copy just can’t compete with. Among Amazon’s biggest moves lately have been the launch of the popular Kindle device an ugly device that has some great functionality and great potential.

Amazon and Apple have started to become more directly competitive with Amazon beginning to offer MP3 Downloads, Video Downloads, and the Kindle as a multimedia device (although no video) to compete with Apple’s iTunes store and the various iPods. Now, with the purchase of Audible, Amazon will be able to offer a huge selection of audiobooks that were supposed to be offered exclusively only to one third party until 2010, Apple. After 2010 Apple is likely to lose this source of content, or at the very least have to pay one of their newest and largest competitors for the privilege. Not only that, but if Apple were to lose the license to play Audible format files (I don’t know the terms of that agreement) if would be an even bigger blow.

I hope that the companies play nice, the Kindle and the iPod only overlap on a small portion of the market and the ability to listen to audiobooks on an iPod is important to me and losing that ability would reduce my satisfaction with both companies.

Happy Knew Year! Resolution #1

We’re a week into the new year, how are your resolutions holding up? I’m actually pretty excited about them this year so I started a couple of them a little early and the one that I’m no so excited about I’ve put off starting so I can get a little help in the motivation department. As I get back into the blogging spirit this week I’m going to cover my resolutions, and if you’re a programmer I’ll highly suggest the first two. Here’s #1:

1. Read a self-improvement book: I’m not talking about anything from the self help section, I’m talking about learning something general that you can use to make your life better. Job related books are definitely a good place to start. I like to get something that’s about programming and computers in general or that can help me improve my interpersonal skills. This year I’m reading Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Last year I listened to How to Win Friends & Influence People, and the year before that I read The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Pragmatic Programmer actually inspired Resolution #2, which you’ll hear about tomorrow.

Amazon Releases Best Books of 2007 List

Amazon has just released their Best of 2007 book list. You can check out the Editor’s picks and the Customer Picks.  My views tend more with the other customers.  Harry Potter is high on both lists and I guess you can’t argue with that, also A Thousand Splendid Suns sits at the top of both lists. If you haven’t read or listened to this book yet, it can be quite an eye opening experience to what it’s been like for the people of Afghanistan over the past decades. The only book that I read (or least tried to read) and disagree with is number 11 on the editor list, The God of Animals. Maybe it was just the audio book version but I just couldn’t take it and gave up about a quarter of the way into it.