Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kindle Lending and Free-App-Periodical features announced

I first heard the news about Amazon's latest plans announced for the Kindle  (UK: K3) during the Books in Browsers conference (interesting presentation linked) Friday afternoon.

  The announcement was about features that Amazon plans to have ready soon and was made at the Kindle Community forums area.

Coming later this year, Amazon will introduce a customer Kindle-book lending feature that is, from all I can tell, the same as the one for Barnes and Noble's Nook: customers will be able to lend an e-book only once per e-book, for two weeks (during which time it's not available to the customer as in 'real' life), and then the lended book disappears from the lendee's Kindle-compatible device whether or not the lendee was finished reading it and cannot be lent/borrowed again, ever, to anyone.

  The lending is possible only if the publisher approves it, and from what was seen at Barnes and Noble's support pages, publishers have tended to approve this feature for their books about 50% of the time.  I imagine that since B&N had negotiated this much from the publishers, it was not difficult for Amazon to get the feature at this point.   Kindle customer reaction has been positive re the coming ability to lend some of the Kindle books at all.  You can read customer feedback to the announcement of the new feature in the forum message thread linked below.

I'm fan of Amazon's sharing plan for families and trusted close friends, as it's been run in a very flexible way relative to implementation by other online ebook stores, and the new program will be a way to lend a book (when the publisher allows that) without needing to share an account.

They announced that "many newspapers and magazines will be available on our Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and then we'll be adding this functionality to Kindle for Android and our other apps down the road."

  "Our vision is Buy Once, Read Everywhere, and we're excited to make this possible for Kindle periodicals in the same way that it works now for Kindle books."

NOT REALLY in the same way as it works now for Kindle books, though.
  Newspapers and magazines have been usable on ONLY ONE physical Kindle and not sharable between one's own Kindles (as books are) during the last 3 years.

  This sorry situation causes old-issues to be unreadable when a new or replacement Kindle is in place, even when we had bought the old issues -- an untenable situation for some of us who bought issues that we want to search as a reference data base of articles and news, similar to the way we keep older magazines on book shelves for later reference.  And that includes the information-rich Sunday New York Times paper issues.

  Said to be a restriction by publishers, there is probably something more now to entice publishers to allow the periodicals on the free Kindle apps at least, though it appears the hideous restrictions against putting them on one's own 2nd Kindle or a Kindle replacement (for defective or upgraded Kindles) are still intact to my dismay despite their repeated 'vision' of "Buy Once, Read Everywhere"
  Nevertheless, this is a big improvement for those who just want to be able to read recent issues on their free Kindle apps.

Here's the text of Amazon's forum post (all emphases mine) and immediate customer feedback:
' Initial post: Oct. 22, 2010 8:33 AM PDT
The Amazon Kindle team says:
We wanted to let you know about two new features coming soon.

First, we are making Kindle newspapers and magazines readable on our free Kindle apps, so you can always read Kindle periodicals even if you don't have your Kindle with you or don't yet own a Kindle. In the coming weeks, many newspapers and magazines will be available on our Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and then we'll be adding this functionality to Kindle for Android and our other apps down the road.  Our vision is Buy Once, Read Everywhere, and we're excited to make this possible for Kindle periodicals in the same way that it works now for Kindle books. More details when we launch this in the coming weeks.

Second, later this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable - this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.

We will post to the forum later this year when these features are available. '

A thanks for Twitter alerts received also from the "miss-nothing" Golf11 (Randall) and Mike Cane

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. This is great news. I've been treating my subscriptions like paper ones -- toss after it's no longer timely, and don't get expensive ones. It would be great to have them be a bit more like Kindle books.

  2. This is good news. Also good news is how Kindle items are compatible with many other devices, such as the IPOD.


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