Apple needs to buy or partner with an audio book company

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Boilermaker_coday, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Boilermaker_coday macrumors member

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    #1
    ...Like audible.com, or something similar, and implement it into the iBooks App.

    I was just thinking how convenient it would be if you bought a book in iBook's store, and had the option to read it or listen to it on your drive home, when you have to keep your eyes on the road. The real convenience factor would be that you could get both versions with one purchase, and they were "bundled" together. Then, when you were reading during your lunch break you could bookmark it where you left off, and when you're driving home, you could listen to the audible version continuing from where you left your book mark. And vise versa, so it automatically book marked where you quit listening to the audible version and put your bookmark for the "print" version in the same spot.

    I know that some people don't enjoy "listening" to books as much, and others hate reading but they like stories so they have gone to almost completely using audiobooks. So not everybody would want both. In that case, you would have the option to just purchase one version of the book. If you changed your mind later, and wanted the other version too, you would have the option to purchase it separately and they would still "bundle" themselves so bookmarks would work. To purchase both at the same time, there would of course be a premium price factor, but it would be slightly cheaper than buying both versions separately.
     
  2. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure Apple already sells audiobooks?
     
  3. bransoj macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Audiobooks are available in the iTunes store and i think they then show up in their own section of the music player. At least on an iPod Nano there is a specific section for Audiobooks.
     
  4. Boilermaker_coday thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    I did not know that, because I've never bought audiobooks before. That is pretty neat. But would they "sync" with iBooks like I've explained? That would be so nice, and I think it would be a good selling point for Apple and iOS. It would fit into the iOS environment very nicely, and allow you to keep all your books (text or audio) in one place. Seems like the type of thing they would like to do.

    I found a workaround, kind of, where you can get Siri to read the book. Kind if the same thing...
    http://m.tuaw.com/2013/03/18/siri-trick-turns-ibooks-into-audiobooks/
     
  5. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #5
    Apple did announce a partnership with Audible several years ago so most of the audiobooks do come from there. Apple is far more expensive then purchasing the same books on Audible.
     
  6. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #6
    I don't get it.
     
  7. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #7
    I'm waiting for a company to come out with AI tech that can automatically read eBooks, killing off the Audiobook market entirely.
     
  8. Boilermaker_coday thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I can see that. It is kind of like my idea, if you would build that option into iBooks. You can kind of do it with Siri right now, but it doesn't really work. There is no way to distinguish who is saying what in the text if you're not looking at the page. Because you can't see when it is a new paragraph.
     
  9. theSully macrumors newbie

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    #9
    AI's wouldn't have personalities or convey things like character, tone, mood, etc.

    I'm not a big audio-book person, but there is more to it than 'reads a book as dispassionately as Siri'.
     
  10. Boilermaker_coday thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    That's why I think implementing audio books and print books into the same "package," as I discussed in my first post would be a good idea. You are right that there is something about a person reading a story out loud that a computer would have a hard time recreating. But we could make the audiobooks "smarter."

    I really wish I would of titled this post differently, because it was really just an idea to implement in one of the future versions of iOS so I put it in the iOS 7 thread. But since I used the word "acquire" it was moved to this forum and hasn't had as much discussion.
     
  11. theSully macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Doubt it would ever happen. Look at the price difference between an audio book and a paperback.

    I'm all for multi-platform licensing though. If I pay $49.99 for a game, I should be able to play it on my xbox, pc, ipad, whatever platform it's offered.
     
  12. Boilermaker_coday thread starter macrumors member

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  13. pdjudd, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013

    pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #13
    It isn't going to happen - given that the publisher controls both mediums, they are going to keep them separate and define them that way. It makes sense from their perspective given that they are produced very differently and involve different sets of costs.

    The only way it could happen would be through legal action and there really isn't ground for it given that printed books and spoken produced content is very different and the content owners have a very compelling argument to state that the two mediums are different.

    I wish that too, but that's not how the content viewers see it and they have a valid argument - the production of content on each platform is targeted toward different platforms and since the platforms are different, it's a different sku and different product.

    As to the OP, Apple sells audiobooks in the same location that they sell all of their audio and video produced content - the iTunes store. It's not going to be sold in the iBooks store since they are already separate items (and Apple doesn't have a say in that, the content providers sell them separately). It's largely based on legacy agreements. Apple sold Audiobooks long before they sold physical books and their deals were likely based on the store. I bet that Apple simply sees Audiobooks are better sold in the iTunes store since it's consumed in the same fashion. Apple probably see's iBooks as just for print. That and it is distributed differently than iTunes.
     
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #14
    Amazon lets you buy the book and then get the audiobook at a reduced price. I think Apple has left that alone simply because they can't compete with Audible/Amazon, nor would they partner with them.

    I have used the built-in text-to-speech feature on my Kindle. Honestly, it's not as good as the real thing. I love audiobooks with the beautiful narration.
     
  15. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #15
    Amazon can do that since they own Audible - a company that does have some agreements with Apple give that they support Audible books in iTunes and have for years. Apple can't really do this since they don't have the connections with the publishers of the content as much as Amazon does.

    They are still separate entities though and the only people that will change that are the publishers or the government and the government has no reason to do anything.

    I agree. Audiobooks that have a good production value (like the Harry Potter books) sound really great and are a joy to listen to.
     

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