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Digital Audiobooks in a Whole New Form

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Digital audiobooks…in a whole new form. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Audio books have been around for ages….on cassette tape…on CD….and downloadable audio books from companies like Now a company called Findaway….has created a new format. Audio books that are self contained on chips….that come in their own pocket sized players. Company founder and president Christopher Celeste….says simplicity is at the heart of the idea…

"It comes with a battery already loaded in it. It has a little pull tab, when you take it out of the package, you literally pull the tab, press the earbuds in, push the power on button and the product is ready to go. Which is a very different experience than choosing the player you want to own, choosing the subscription service you want to belong to and becoming a downloader."

More than 30 titles are available….from publishers like Random House, HarperCollins and Simon and Schuster. Prices range from 35 to 50 dollars. The price is the same as the list for audio books on CD, but the company may begin an exchange program…allowing devices to be sent back in ….for significant discounts on new titles. In addition…

"We have Playway already in 300 libraries around the country, including the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library. The opportunity to have an audio experience simply, versus carrying out CDs or carrying out cassettes or being forced to learn how to digitally download is very powerful so Playaway in that environment is growing very rapidly."

You can find more information at You can find us at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.