Amazon.com’s audiobook service,
Audible.com, is coming to the Mac the week of Feb. 12.
“We’ll have a ‘soft launch’ on Feb. 12 to give people an opportunity to try us out, then we’ll have a more promoted launch on the 13th or 14th,” company spokesperson Dan Scheffey told MacCentral.
Audible says that, with their service, you can forget the “hassle and high price of old-fashioned cassettes” as downloading audio programs from audible.com is “faster, easier, and far less expensive.” The audiobooks are priced at US$2.95.
The electronic bookstore carries such titles as “Drowning Ruth,” (one of Oprah’s latest picks) and “eBoys,” an insider’s look at Silicon Valley. As well as a large selection of bestsellers (such as “Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life”) and classics (like “Anne of Green Gables”), you can also find readings of newspapers like “The Wall Street Journal,” magazines like “The Economist,” and public radio programs like “This American Life.”
You can download any audiobook from Audible.com directly to your computer or mobile audio device (such as an MP3 player). The audiobook service is offering a Rio 500 MP3 player for $49.95 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) for a limited time.
Audible.com hasn’t had Mac compatibility before because of its security system. Scheffey said the system was designed four years ago on a PC “when the Mac wasn’t as pervasive as it is now.” This left them in a “catch up” mode, he said.
“But now we’ve created phase one of Mac interoperability, which will have streaming and downloading with RealNetworks technology,” Scheffey added. “We’re still working on a mobile solution. We think the Mac will be a great market for us because the audience and customers are perfectly suited to what we do.”