Audible.com Adds Wireless Content For SmartPhones
Let Your Phone Grab an Hour Of New York Times, Wall Street
Journal, Etc. For Your Morning Commute
by Daniel P. Dern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vendor: Audible.com Product Name: Audible Air
Price (MSRP): included in Audible Gold ($14.95/month) or
Platinum ($22.95/month) service, plus any wireless costs Availability: Now, for selected smartphones; software for more models
coming Product URL: www.audible.com/audibleair
Tech Requirements, Smartphone capable of running the Audible Air software
While users can carry and listen to magazine, newspaper, book, broadcast and other audio content from download-pioneer Audible.com on iPods and other popular mobile/portable devices (or
notebook/desktop computers, of course), until recently, the retrieval had
to be done through a computer, and transferred to their mobile device -- not something the early-rising professional may have time to do.
For busy professionals and others with a number of smartphones, Audible now offers their Audible Air delivery option -- retrieving content directly to the mobile device, without needing a PC.
Retrieval can be via cellular (Audible recommends you get an "unlimited data" plan), WiFI, or through the cradle.
For example, you can get an hour's worth of the New York Times or Wall Street Journal -- or another set of chapters from the audiobook you're listening to -- each weekday morning, read and produced by Audible, and wirelessly delivered in time to listen
during your commute to work (or cab to the airport). Audible Air, as the name suggests, consists of audio-only -- there no text or image content.
Audible offers its downloads in four formats, representing a range of file size (and corresponding audio quality). One hour in Format 3, the most commonly used one, represents about 16MB, which, according to Audible's Jonathan Korzen, "downloads to my Treo over Verizon in about four to five minutes."
Wall Street Journal content, according to Audible, consists of four to five of the morning's lead articles, read in their entirety, plus the "What's News" column. The New York Times content, by contrast, consists of 35 to 45 abridged articles. The audio is read and produced by Audible According to Audible's Korzen, you'll first hear the Table of Contents, and can navigate through articles, or fast-forward to the next one.
Audible doesn't charge anything extra for this service. (The cellco service for the download may cost you, though.) You'll need the Audible software for your smartphone -- versions for more models are being worked on.