The Amazon Kindle App got a major upgrade on June 27 to add audio and video functionality. The Kindle App is a free download that is available to Apple users with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Amazon is currently embedding audio and video in only a select few of their Kindle books, but they hope that more authors and publishers will soon take advantage of the technology. Right now there are thirteen books available and they include:
Five of Rick Steves’ travel books with audio walking tours of cities like Paris, London, and Rome
Rose’s Heavenly Cakes cookbook now contains video with baking tips from Rose
A Les Miserables songbook with audio of the songs from the musical
Knitting For Dummies with 6 demonstration videos
They are all priced at $9.99 and you can take a look at all the offerings on Amazon.com .
The update is only for the Kindle App, and the Kindle device itself does not have audio and video capability. Although, this news has only intensified rumors that Amazon is developing a device that will compete with Apple’s iPad. Apple’s ereader app, iBooks, currently doesn’t support audio or video.
Amazon’s main competitor in the area of books that also contain audio and video is Vook.com . Vook sells video enhanced books that you can view on your computer or iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. They currently offer over 50 titles.
Personally, I think multimedia books are a logical next step for books given that we have the technology to support them. I’ve really enjoyed the two Vooks I’ve read because the video was relevant to the book–they didn’t just add video for the sake of adding video.
What do you think about multimedia books? Will you embrace them or do you like to keep it old school? Are any of you Kindle owners annoyed that your device doesn’t support audio or video?