Friday, April 5, 2013

Kindle News: Amazon Vinyls now come w/ free mp3s, StatsPac app, normally $9.99 is free Mar. 5. Cloud Player for Sonos is ready. Google's Same-Day shipping pilot.

Amazon will provide free digital versions of vinyl records you buy or bought, from 1998

AFP report carried by TimesLive, New Zealand.

" the initial service for CD purchases, launched in January, the service is being back-dated, meaning that customers with cloud players who have already bought records at any point in Amazon's history that are now recognised as AutoRip titles are set to receive digital copies of those purchases."

Steve Boom, vp of Digital Music for Amazon: "Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it's traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records-now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player."

  Caveat pointed out by Wired's Roberto Baldwin: "For albums with tracks that appear only on the vinyl version, the record label or artist must supply those exclusive tracks to Amazon for downloading. For example, if you buy The Lions This Generation box set on vinyl with four tracks exclusive to the to the non-digital format, it’s up to the artist and the label to supply Amazon with those tracks."

What happens to get an Amazon shipment to you
Amazon's latest one-million square foot fulfillment center shown in Tennessee
  Local NewsChannel5 cameras gave TV watchers a look inside its new Murfreesborog facility today, and there's a brief video at their page.  The facility is active 24/7.

  Newschannel5's Shannon Royster writes that the center has enough space to contain 25 football fields and "features more than four miles of conveyor belts.

  The center was opened back in September, with 400 employees and that's grown to the 1,100 full-timers they have now, in addition to a smaller group of temporary workers.  Most 'associates' in these centers start as temporary employees.  Amazon has 3 others facilities in Tennessee and another one opening there this Fall.  They seem to be building and opening new ones fairly often these days, one reason for their lower net operating margins (1.1% relative to much higher percentages for EBay and Walmart, not to mention Apple's 22%).

  A longer story yesterday, by Scott Broden for The Daily News Journal, pointed out that the general manager Brian Owens started as a temporary employee in Delaware 15 years ago.
  This article describes the various stages of package preparation in these facilities.  I take these deliveries for granted and don't think about the How, particularly, and this was interesting to me.

  Work hours and pay: "Employees work four 10-hour shifts a week, and the jobs pay a median of $16.50 an hour."

Amazon Cloud Player for Sonos is ready to go
Those with Sonos systems can now stream music, via new Cloud Player for Sonos app, from their Amazon Clouds everywhere in the house.  As expected, you can search, browse, play songs, albums and playlists, controlled from wherever you're sitting.  I've never wanted such a system and wonder what percentage of customers uses these.

StatsPac - for Numbers people
Any stats- or math-heads awake and reading this on Friday April 5 and with Kindle Fires or other Android-based tablets can go download today's free Android app, StatsPac, by, from Amazon's Appstore for Android, where you can test-drive it first or read reviews. If you get it for free on that page, it'll be in your Cloud and downloadable on your tablet.

 Description excerpt: "Includes all basic descriptive statistics like IQR, boxplots, histograms and scatterplots. Performs regression analysis, linear regression T-testing and proportion-test..."
  It's normally $9.99

Tech Media and its typical war-like language
One gadget or new feature is generally viewed as "killing" another entire lineup, in the tech blog world.  I still remember the big tombstone image Jason Perlow posted in his article on the imminent death of the Kindle back in early 2010.  The thinking:
  "April 3, 2010 will mark the beginning of the end for Amazon's great hardware experiment -- the Kindle. Faced with inexpensive, multipurpose tablets such as the iPad, which will be able to consume content from multiple sources including Amazon itself, consumer interest in the Kindle will fade into oblivion."   The tombstone read "amazon kindle 2007-2010"  :-).

  Today we read, in Seeking Alpha's article by Schlomo Wiesen today, that "Google Can Sink Amazon with Same-Day Shipping" (what about the products that are being shipped?).  Why "sink"?  Might they all fill varied needs?

  Wiesen's referring to Google's announcement of the launch of a "same-day delivery service, starting with its pilot program in San Francisco."

  The questions are not only about what the products being shipped are but what the customer support policies might be on unsatisfactory products (Amazon's current reputation strength). Google will provide express shipping but customers will be dealing with companies who've signed up for this, including Target, Toys "R" Us, Walgreen, Staples, American Eagle, "and a few local SF shops.

  Google Shopping Express will be free to start, during its SF pilot stage and "is expected to hire local courier services to carry out the same-day shipping."

I'm very impatient when it comes to shipping, but two-days free shipping with Prime has taken care of my overemotional needs on this and, currently, I have reason to believe that Amazon stands behind the shipping expectations and the quality of the merchandise delivered.

If you got this far down the page today, and have thoughts on this (whether this same-day delivery is exciting and you'd go for it, past the pilot stage, for whatever the charges will be), I'd love to hear the thinking of others, either in the Comments area below or, if you're a Facebook user and it's more convenient, at the Facebook page.

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  1. Why "sink"? Might they all fill varied needs?

    Great article; thanks, T.


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