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Amazon Adds Audible.com Audiobooks to the Kindle Store for Direct Download to Complete the Expansion of the Kindle Content Delivery System for Audiobooks: No Cables, Computers, or USB Connections!

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Good news from Amazon today for Kindle lovers who, like me, enjoy listening to Audible.com audio books on their Kindles!

As we’ve been saying since last Summer, the latest-generation Kindles are fully ready for prime time when it came to playing nice with Audible.com audio books, which is as it should be since Amazon owns Audible. We posted here in the past about how you could buy Audible.com audiobooks on your computer — with the same account to which your Kindle is registered — and then find them as if by magic on your Kindle “Archived Items” listing so that you could download them wirelessly via wi-fi, with no cables or USB connections required.

The only thing that was lacking was direct access to Audible.com titles in the Kindle Store. We wrote to Kinley in the Amazon PR department last August 20 to ask when we could expect that, among other things:

It appears from the material in the user’s guide that Audible.com titles will be available directly through the Kindle Store. I’m wondering when this will be a live feature, and also if there will be a special announcement at some point during the week.

The Audible.com feature is going to create a lot of buzz, of course, around whether there will be another shoe to drop soon regarding direct purchase and download of music MP3s.

Kinley wrote back that “as for Audible, I’ll have to ask you to stay tuned.” We did, and as of today the Kindle’s in-built Kindle Store has been nicely built out to include over 50,000 Audible.com titles.

Just click on the Audible Audiobooks line at the upper right to search or browse for any of these books, select the one that’s right for you and click either the cash or credit buy button to begin automatic downloading via your latest-generation Kindle’s wi-fi connection.

Two important caveats:

  • Audiobooks are much more storage-intensive than Kindle books, and if you get five or six of these babies on your Kindle at once there may not be room for anything else.
  • If you are new to Audible.com, you are in for a treat, but I heartily recommend checking out the Audible.com website on your computer where you can find save a ton of money by buying credits in advance. I purchase the 24-credit annual plan and pay in advance and as a result each Audible.com title costs me just $9.56 — a lot less than I would pay for some of these books in the Kindle Store!

I also recommend going back to the October post on this subject for more details on how to get the most out of Audible.com audiobooks on your Kindle. So far this month I’ve listened to The Information, The Social Animal, and The Paris Wife on my Kindle for just $9.56 each.

Here’s the text of Amazon’s own blog post today on this subject:

The Latest Kindle Offers Wireless Delivery of Audible Audiobooks via Wi-Fi

by Kindle Editors on 03/24/2011

Now hear this! We’re thrilled to announce that more than 50,000 Audible Audiobooks are available for download on the latest Kindle via Wi-Fi delivery. Of course, owners of any Kindle device can continue to purchase Audible audiobooks from Audible.com and transfer the titles to Kindle via USB.

Audible offers two free audiobooks with a 30-day free trial of AudibleListener® Gold Membership. To get started, go to the Audible Audiobooks Store to view audiobook titles available for purchase from Audible, read by your favorite celebrities, authors and professional performers.

Hear Donald Sutherland breathe life into The Old Man and the Sea; Listen to Frank Brady recount the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life in Endgame; Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is illuminated by three different narrators who portray the maids and the white families they toil for in 1960s Mississippi…

Whether you enjoy histories or mysteries, romance, or sci-fi, the latest bestsellers or timeless classics, Audible has something for every discerning audiophile and bibliophile.

We’re watching of this carefully, of course. We’ve known for the last three years that Amazon has developed a great content delivery system for text, and it is also clear now that the Kindle is a great content delivery system for Audible.com audiobooks and, perhaps in time with greater storage capacity, other MP3 files. With the launch of the Amazon Android AppStore the other day, we can’t help but think as well that we are getting ever closer to the time when Amazon will roll out an Android-compatible Kindle-branded tablet that is a great content delivery system for text, audio, apps, and video.


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