Amazon just updated the Kindle app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch to support embedded audio and video in enhanced ebooks. The apps which are available for download on the market today will include audio and video content that adds to the book in different ways.
The launch of this new feature is supported with books like Rick Steves’ London 2010, which includes the ability to listen to walking tours of London as they explore the city themselves. Other use cases include tips on preparing the best cakes in the book Heavenly Cakes and audio clips that relate to the content in Bird Songs.
For now, the number of titles that takes advantage of the new embedded audio and video features is limited, but you can expect to see the number of titles grow over time as publishers and authors find new ways to enhance their ebooks with audio and video.
I take away two pieces of good news from this launch. First, the enhanced ebooks are still in the $9.99 price range which helps show that this isn’t just a gimmick to get more money from readers. Second, the publishers haven’t tried to turn ebooks into movies. The launch list of enhanced ebooks is full of books that stand to benefit from this new feature; how to books, book on music, travel books etc. I am glad the latest Sci-Fi Epic isn’t half text, half SyFy channel late night special.
In addition to pushing these new updates for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch; Amazon has also released the Kindle for the Android. Now, Android users with phones running Android 1.6 or higher (if you have a new phone you do) have access to the Kindle library and can sync page numbers between the Android and the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.