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Print 13 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Feb 1 at 8:09 PM

Amazon.com announces its plans to buyout Audible.com for large sum

Amazon.com, Inc. announced on Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Audible, Inc. to buy out the digital spoken word business.  The purchase will cost Amazon.com about $11.50 per share, totaling roughly $300 million. This will include Audible’s cash and short-term investments at closing.

Audible.com offers a massive range of audio books from top authors, as well as a library of newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs, and original programming.  The website hosts over 80,000 programs throughout the U.S., U.K., Germany and France.  Some of the major authors and sources include, Stephen King, Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Charlie Rose.

"This deal brings together two pioneering companies that share a long history of ceaseless focus on improving the customer experience," said Donald Katz, founder and chief executive of Audible.com. "We are very excited to be joining a company as innovative as Amazon.com."

It looks like Amazon is focusing on the digital music market with this purchase, and its recent move to take its DRM-free digital music download service international. 

The acquisition is expected to close by the second quarter of 2008.



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Very Happy
By lukasbradley on 2/1/2008 10:28:45 AM , Rating: 5
Amazon's MP3 purchase service is fantastic. Direct download to appropriately named MP3 files without DRM. Copy them wherever you like, from your file system.

I was very happy with the service.




RE: Very Happy
By BladeVenom on 2/1/2008 11:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
They should offer FLAC or some other lossless format.


RE: Very Happy
By wordsworm on 2/1/2008 12:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed 100%. When that happens, I'll be an Amazon digital music downloader. The fact that MP3s are lossy is the only thing standing in the way of my purchase of them. In fact, I'd even go a step further and suggest that they start offering true 24 bit music... finally. 16 bit sucks. I don't know about you guys - but some records really kick CD butt. One artist that comes to mind is Janis Joplin. She sucks on CD, rocks on vinyl. Somehow the soul of her music and her voice comes across better on the black vinyl.


RE: Very Happy
By Scrith on 2/1/2008 2:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
This would be a major milestone that would officially render the CD dead...being able to download something that is HIGHER quality than a regular CD! Not to mention immediately render iTunes downloads, even lossless iTunes downloads, as obsolete. Amazon, are you listening?


RE: Very Happy
By Staples on 2/1/2008 2:32:28 PM , Rating: 1
I hear this comment from so many people who used to complain about legal digital music. Now they have moved on to a different excuse not to buy music. I doubt we will see loseless for a long time but when it does come, I am sure another excuse for many will bubble up. I think it is time for people just to admit that they feel guiltless in stealingn music because for most of them (sounds like you are not one of them), it is the price that stands in the way and none of their other excuses really have any bearing whatsoever.

I have 200 iTunes songs and only a handful of them are in their Plus format. I vaguely remember Steve Jobs saying at launch that he expects that 80% of their library would be iTunes plus by the end of 2007. What happened? Seems that all the labels are going DRM free with Amazon. What is going on with Apple? And I am all about higher quality. The Apple DRM does not affect me so much because the iPod is the best mp3 player if you ask me. If it was a crappy player, then the Apple DRM might annoy me.


RE: Very Happy
By wordsworm on 2/1/2008 8:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hear this comment from so many people who used to complain about legal digital music.


I've actually never tried to buy an mp3. My experience refers to Yahoo's Internet radio service. I paid for a subscription. Most music, especially 'boom box' music which is made for inferior music systems, is just fine. However, I find that some music will clip. Zero 7 or Emiliana Torrini get clipped in particular with sounds from bell-like instruments. For whatever reason the name of the instrument eludes me. I've noticed this also can happen for orchestral music. Anything where the must has a wide dynamic range. Why would I pay 99 cents for a clippy audio?


RE: Very Happy
By tastyratz on 2/1/2008 1:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
Lossless would sure be nice however I doubt we will see that for an extremely long time.
Right now Amazon's service is 256kb music. This is a far cry from many mp3 services that were 128kb for a very long time. 256 is a very acceptable bitrate to have. I personally use 320kb mp3's for all my personally ripped sansa music but 256 is more than acceptable if you ask me. They have come a long way. Look at napster/Itunes rates and you will see they offer a better quality drm free music.


RE: Very Happy
By hellokeith on 2/1/2008 12:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree. I have over 1GB of legally purchased music from Amazon MP3. With Warner and Sony BMG's recent agreements, we'll see 90-95% of all popular bands on the service soon.

Regarding the lossless comment, keep dreaming. I like lossless and use flac daily, but it isn't going to happen.


RE: Very Happy
By pauldovi on 2/1/2008 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
I have purchased quite a few albums from Amazon MP3 just recently. Several bands have appeared since the Sony BMG DRM-free choice. Great service!


RE: Very Happy
By joey2264 on 2/1/2008 1:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
If by fantastic, you mean abysmal, I agree with you 100%. Sure, the final product is fine, but the shopping experience couldn't be farther away from iTunes if you tried. Their selection is horrible, and 9 times out of 10, a search for a particular artist or song will bring up 10 CD links that you have to sift through before you find a digital offering.


RE: Very Happy
By lukasbradley on 2/1/2008 3:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
I admit that I had some problems getting their one-click payment processing to work.

I'm also willing to admit that I was so starved for the service they were offering, and waited so long for it, that I'm over looking the problems I had.

Reminds me of Eddie Murphy's joke about being starving, and someone throws you a cracker... feels like the best cracker ever.


RE: Very Happy
By hellokeith on 2/1/2008 3:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Selection horrible? Wrong. See above comment about Warner & Sony BMG agreements. Amazon MP3 will have a better selection than iTunes very soon. Madonna, Chili Pepper, Kelly Clarkson, Led Zeppelin.. all just added in the last 2 weeks.

Shopping horrible? Wrong. The URL is http://www.amazon.com/mp3
Put your card on file, and buy away. Much easier than iLoons.


Worried
By mikable on 2/1/2008 11:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
I worry about Audible's subscription plan. Would be a shame if Amazon changed it. But I'm not gona hold my breath.




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