Apple is now selling audiobooks and public

posted by Jason Kottke Oct 21, 2003

Apple is now selling audiobooks and public radio programs via iTunes Music Store.

Reader comments

IanOct 21, 2003 at 11:01AM

$4 for an episode of Car Talk? Um, no thanks. A dollar for a song I might only listen to once is reasonable, but $4 for a radio show I know I'm only going to listen to once is absurd.

jkottkeOct 21, 2003 at 11:33AM

Yeah, you're certainly right about that. And shouldn't NPR follow the BBC's lead and make their radio programs, you know, public and freely available?

benOct 21, 2003 at 11:38AM

What's lacking in iTunes is the subscriptions one can get from audible. If they worked out a way that one could subscribe ($10 a month for Fresh Air or This American Life, as I remember, not shabby at all) and have the programs downloaded automatically and added to your playlist I would renew those subscriptions from audible in a heartbeat.

Matt HaugheyOct 21, 2003 at 1:10PM

I wish the pricing was cheaper than books-on-CD, but it looks like most best-sellers are still around $30. I thought the whole point of the $10 albums at iTMS was to demonstrate how not having physical product saved money. Though I'm a sucker for anything written and spoken by Steve Martin so I shall pay thirty bucks for the books.

heatherOct 21, 2003 at 1:25PM

if you want the books, you should bypass i tunes. audible.com has a membership where you can pick two books at month for $20 and they support the ipod.

AnthonyOct 21, 2003 at 1:59PM

I don't know about Car Talk, but it seems like most/many of the NPR shows are available for listening from the show web sites.

jeremyOct 21, 2003 at 2:40PM

I haven't found any of the NPR shows that aren't available on the website, so you should be able to download and rip to MP3 (or your open source audio compression scheme of choice) with little trouble. As long as you aren't re-distributing, this is also perfectly legal, I believe.

Jim RayOct 21, 2003 at 3:22PM

Right - most all of NPR's content is available online, it's just either streaming WMP or Real, not exaclty iPod friendly. However, with a bit of creativity, it's not too hard to take that captivating Terry Gross interview on the road with you.

I've even got Audio Hijack setup to start recording the day's news while I'm still asleep, then I sync to my iPod and catch up on the train into work.

You're absolutely right, though - NPR should make their content a bit more consumer friendly. I'm certainly not going to get rich pirating an All Things Considered marathon.

AnthonyOct 21, 2003 at 11:37PM

This is all assuming O'Reilly doesn't get NPR shut down. Read the part with REP. CLIFF STEARNS (R), FLORIDA starting about half way down.

SchmeldingOct 22, 2003 at 3:20AM

Your tax dollars at work so you can pay again the second time to listen to something that you were too late to catch the first time.

OyvindOct 24, 2003 at 5:28PM

Something odd is that on Audible.com, everyone in the world can buy most titles (there are some exceptions). But at iTunes Music Store, the same audio books can only be bought if you are living in the US. I guess Apple didnt want to split it up, so that only audio books could be bought outside US. But I wish they did. Shouldnt be too hard to do...

Johnathan GrantOct 26, 2003 at 11:20PM

I do think it's a bit odd that Apple chose not to support Audible subscriptions inside iTMS, but one of Apple's big selling points is that they don't push or require a subscription to anything; it's all ala carte.
It would be very nice, though, if they could at least (as suggested above) allow subscription holders to log in and have whatever is in their Audible "My Library" section auto-synced to iTunes & iPod (perhaps there could even be an "Audible" playlist added for this).
BTW, FWIW, Best Buy (brick & mortar) seems to carry a DVD-size case for $9.99 that contains a 1 month subscription code for Audible Basic (1 book & 1 subscription program) as well as a CD of the Windows software. I found that I could go to the website listed on the code slip and sign up using the code on my Mac. I did put the CD in, but it seemed to actually contain a blank Mac volume. I'm surprised they would go to the trouble of that, and not just stick a copy of iTunes on there. (I would assume Apple would more that willing to let a partner like Audible distribute it.) I think it would have been nice if they even listed Mac compatibility somewhere, and indicated iTunes could be downloaded.

Home Improvement Loan Feb 01, 2004 at 7:34AM

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.