Amazon Marketing Fail

I’ve been using Audible since before Amazon bought it. Cheap audiobooks? I’m there, honey! I’ve been addicted to being read to aloud since before1 I was born.

When Amazon bought Audible, they pushed linking Amazon and Audible accounts. Okay… That’s fine. Not thrilled, but not annoyed enough to kick up a fuss.

When they came out with the Audible app for the Android, I was thrilled. It was well designed, had features2 I really want in an Audiobook player and it worked out great.

Well, the Kindle can play Audible content, and Amazon is now pushing for people to listen to their audiobooks on Kindle, first by offering to send any Audible purchase directly to the Kindle, then by changing the listening format to Enhanced, which is the format required by the Kindle.

I love my Kindle, mind you. Use it every day. It’s a great e-reader. But:

The Kindle is a terrible way to listen to audiobooks.

You don’t listen to an audiobook when you’re sitting still, except maybe when you’re in a vehicle. One listens to audiobooks while moving – doing household chores, cooking dinner, working on a sewing project… The Kindle is just too big to be a decent device for listening to audio content when on the move. When listening to audiobooks, you want a small device. You want a device that’s really a bit too small for comfortable, long-term reading. There’s a reason I prefer my Kindle to the Kindle app on my Android for actual text reading.

I might have tried it out for before sleep listening, except that the Audible player on the Kindle does not have a sleep timer. That makes it completely useless even for that purpose.

Amazon, please. The Kindle doesn’t need more features to make it awesome. It’s perfectly-designed for what it’s intended for – reading text. Don’t try to shoehorn other features into it. I’m still buying the audio content, honest, but stop trying to push me into consuming it on your Very Special Device. You’re starting to act like Apple and devices. There’s a reason I’m not an Apple customer. I don’t even use an iPod any more!


1Seriously. Mom started reading aloud to me when she was pregnant, and was very patient about my story addiction until I learned to read for myself.

2Sleep timer. Developing the habit of falling asleep to audiobooks has done more to prevent nightmares and staying up all night ruminating on problems than any other technique I’ve ever tried. It’s wonderful.

One Reply to “Amazon Marketing Fail”

  1. Ah, the sleep timer with audiobook combo, I know it well. I do this every night, myself, and you’re absolutely right, it’s a great way to get to sleep and stay there. I still get struck with insomnia from time to time, but mostly when I wake up super-early in the morning rather than being unable to sleep at night.

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