Friday, January 11, 2013

Kindle News: Amazon gets A&E content. Oscars app for Kindle Fire HD. Amazon's AutoRip CDs bonus. Amazon+Samsung leading Android market share. CES's giant tablets. Amazon now top ebook retailer in Japan. Apple and the Android invasion. New Age Electronics to distribute Kindles to retailers. Kindle Fire HD and business networks


Amazon announced the other day a licensing agreement with A&E Networks to add prior seasons of popular series from A&E bio, HISTORY, and Lifetime to the Prime Instant Video Service, which now features over 33,000 movies and TV episodes for Amazon Prime members to stream instantly, at no additional cost over that Prime free 2-day shipping program.

  The television programming includes Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms

OSCARS app - for Android and Kindle Fire HD

ABC wasted no time releasing this free app after the announcements Thursday morning that omitted Ben Affleck for director (Argo) despite the many nominations and also snubbed Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and, some feel, Tom Hooper (Les Miserables).

  The image from the app is from the PC Magazine story.
  The Oscars app is active starting yesterday and shows info on nominees, movie trailers, exclusive videos and the usual photos.

   It includes a 'MyPicks" interactive ballot and a "Backstage Pass."  The big show is February 24 at 7pm EST on ABC.  In years past, the Oscars app was released only for Apple iOS.

Amazons "AutoRip CDs" - a bonus for customers and a question
AutoRip is a new Amazon service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs they purchase from Amazon, for CDs designated "AutoRip CDs."

  In Amazon's words, "When customers purchase AutoRip CDs, the MP3 versions are automatically added to their Cloud Player libraries, where they are available, free of charge, for immediate playback or download – no more waiting for the CD to arrive."

  "Additionally, customers who have purchased AutoRip CDs at any time since Amazon first opened its Music Store in 1998 will find MP3 versions of those albums in their Cloud Player libraries – also automatically and for free."

  "More than 50,000 albums, including titles from every major record label, are available for AutoRip, and more titles are added all the time – customers can just look for the AutoRip logo."

  " 'What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs … and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?' said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO.

  'Well, starting today, it's available to all of our customers – past, present, and future – at no cost.  We love these opportunities to do something unexpected for our customers.' "

  These include top-sellers, recent releases and Amazon customer favorites. (See Amazon's press release for more details.)

  "In many cases, customers can buy an AutoRip CD, including the free digital copy, for less than they would pay for only the digital album at iTunes."

  I apparently haven't bought much in the way of this type of CD, as my new stash included just one (favorite) CD with 5 tracks on it, the mp3 versions of which wound up in my Amazon library last night.  I would imagine a few others found quite a lot.

  I was surprised to see the reaction was not so much happiness for the unexpected bonus (a day or so after releasing an extensive software update to an older e-Ink eReader) but instead an immediate question of "Why couldn't Amazon do this for Kindle books?"

  And of course the Big 6 book publishers would say, "Hey, great idea.  Let's do it!"  :-)

  Never mind the heavy resistance of most of the larger publishers to allowing people to borrow their e-books from public libraries (it's such a radical idea).

  PaidContent's Jeff John Roberts's article "Don't hold your breath..." gives several reasons this won't be happening anytime soon.  Mentioning that the eligible CDs total about 50,000, he cites a reason given by Lauren Indvik of mashable who in turn quotes Forrester's Sarah Rotman Epps, who says Amazon has sold so many books, it couldn't feasibly afford to subsidize e-book copies of past or future purchases.

  "If Amazon wanted to do something like this for books, publishers would make them pay through the nose."

  Indvik adds other reasons.  Full CDs are rarely bought these days when people can cherry-pick individual tracks but that's not the case with books, and "consumers can easily 'rip' CDs,  meaning the music studios are not giving up all that much in the Amazon deal.

  While Amazon is seen as "an ally and a source of leverage against Apple, many book publishers regard the retail behemoth as a ruthless bully who stomps on them at all turns."   :-)

  And, "finally, the nature of book rights mean Amazon would have to get copyright clearance from many individual authors unlike music where studios routinely license whole catalogues."

Amazon and Samsung "running away with the battle for Android tablet market share"
Venturebeat's John Koetsler writes that app analytics service Localytics is publishing new data indicating that "the big tabs are getting the lion's share of the market, increasing their lead on other tablets... especially true for Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung's stable of tablets."

  "For example, the number of Amazon’s 7″ Kindle Fires that Localytics saw [probably "say"] grew 322 percent from November to the end of December.  Samsung’s Galaxy Note II grew 80 percent, its popular Tab 2 10.1″ tablet grew 78 percent, and the smaller Tab 2  7″ grew 72 percent.  The Nook also grew, though not as swiftly, picking up an additional 62 percent."
  You can read how they arrive at these figures at Venturebeat's article.

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and the giant tablets
Wall St. Journal's Juro Osawa reports that
  (1) Lenovo announced a 27-inch! tablet, "which can be shared by several people to, for example, play videogames together," and
  (2) Panasonic "hopes to offer" a 20-inch tablet, which weighs 5.3 lbs! and comes with a screen more than four times the resolution of conventional full high-definition screens and which will be able to display documents 11.7 inches by 16.5 inches at almost full size..."

  The latter is targeted at business customers needing large, high-resolution devices for presentations and meetings with clients.

Other stories of possible interest
1. "Amazon dominating Japan e-book rivals months after launch."

2. "Amazon now top ebook retailer in Japan."

3. "Apple Must Think Differently to Slow the Android Invasion."

4. " reports from CES that "New Age Electronics has been authorized to distribute Kindle products and accessories, including Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, to retailers.
This means it will be easier to buy Kindle products while seeing them. The pricing most likely [will] be the same as other retailers which is exactly the same as

5. "Adding the Kindle Fire HD to a mix of BYOD devices is easier than you think."
  Citeworld's Ryan Faas writes, " can argue that Amazon beats Apple in its approach to some enterprise challenges, most notably app and content distribution.  The company has also built its own Kindle-specific mobile management system called Whispercast that any company or school can use for free."

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
NOTES on newer Kindles.
Updated Kindle Fire Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $299/$369
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $499/$599
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free but slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK

Canada - Amazon Canada
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $89
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China
Japan - Amazon Japan

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. I like AutoRip, though for my own 'archival' purposes I'll still want to SelfRip (I prefer this to be a lossless format).

    They added 43 'albums' to my mp3 cloud, though 2 or 3 of these only added one track from the album (these were 'compilations' so maybe the licensing is not 'transitive'). Probably not even half of the CDs I've purchased over the years, and no discernable pattern in terms of artist or publisher.

    I did my first post-AutoRip CD purchase. It was fun to have it show up in the cloud right away so I could listen (the CD arrived today, a couple of shipping days later, free shipping etc.

    I can't say how much this will influence my purchasing behavior; I generally prefer to order physical media for music album purchases, and don't mind waiting a couple of days. Still I would not under-estimate the power of instant gratification.

    1. Tom, 43 albums is pretty good! You bought things that others want.

      In my case, out of all the albums I've ever bought at Amazon, only ONE album qualified and then only 5 cuts from the album as it was also a compilation.

      Instant gratification is huge with me when it's thrown in for no added cost :-) If I want something lossless, then I'll do it myself too, but I have a hard time finding any CD since I moved. I no longer have them (if I even unpacked them, having done that with only 50% of my CDs) in any good organizational-sort as I used to before moving...

      I definitely will buy eligible AutoRip CDs from Amazon for that feature. I also love that it's not taken from the 5Gig drive data-count.


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