Say it isn't so, Amazon! Taking a page from iTunes' recently announced (as in yesterday) variable pricing scale, Amazon has decided to follow suit just one day later. Boo, hiss!
Apple's iTunes yesterday introduced a variable pricing model where songs sell for $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29. The move earned Amazon some short-lived praise for staying under a buck, but that all goes out the window today.
To be fair, the blame more than likely goes to the music studios, who may have raised prices in exchange for serving up DRM-free titles. Amazon and Apple aren't alone in switching to variable pricing, as it appears to have also affected Real's Rhapsody store and Lala. Prices are up at Wal-Mart too, with some songs reaching $1.24.
Reactions to what looks like an industry-wide price hike? Hit the jump and sound off.
Both Gamestop and Amazon are making a bid for your used games with tantalizing promotions. For Gamestop's part, the used-game reseller has been running a tiered trade-in offer. Trade in at least 2 games and get 10 percent extra credit. That number doubles to 20 percent if trading in at least 4 games, and doubles once more to 40 percent if trading in at least 6 games. Naturally, the trade-ins must be in full working order and the offer is good towards games only.
Amazon, on the other hand, has begun a tiered offer of its own. Send the company two used titles and receive an additional $10 off select new releases, or send the company four games to receive $20 off. These credits are in addition to the Amazon.com Gift Card sellers receive when trading in used games. See here for a list of eligible new releases, which include titles like Halo Wars Limited, Resident Evil 5, MLB 09, Street Fighter IV, and a whole bunch more.
Amazon launched its trade-in store earlier this month with 1,500 eligible titles. The company foots the shipping bill when you send in your used games, then issues Amazon credit in the form of a Gift Card, which can be used anywhere on Amazon.com. A quick glance of eligible titles reveals slightly better trade-in pricing than Gamestop in many cases.
Discovery Communications, The Discovery Channel’s parent company, is currently locked in a legal battle with Amazon over the Kindle 2, claiming that it violates some of their very own patents.
The lawsuit, which claims that Amazon violated their patent for an Electronic Book Security and Copyright Protection System, was filed all the way back in 1999 and was issued on November 20, 2007. Discovery is asking Amazon for an unspecified amount of cash.
Evidently Discovery’s founder, John Hendricks, is a pretty well known inventor, and back in the 1990’s was working on the technology to digitize content. His patents for digitizing TV were sold, but the e-reader patents were kept.
"The power of the DMCA compels you! The power of the DMCA compels you!" That was essentially the mantra muttered by Amazon, who invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to convince MobileRead.com to remove instructions on how to use a hack to circumvent DRM on the Kindle eBook reader.
"Although we never hosted this tool (contrary to their claim), nor believe that this tool is used to remove technological measures (contrary to their claim), we decided, due to the vagueness of the DMCA law and our intention to remain in good relation with Amazon, to voluntarily follow their request and remove links and detailed instructions related to it.," MobileRead.com forum moderator Alexander Turcic said in a post.
The hack involved a small Python script called kindlepid.py, which ultimately made it possible for Kindle owners who followed the site's instructions to be able to read books legally purchased from other e-book stores on the Kindle. MobileRead.com neither created nor hosted the 'offending' script, but posting a tutorial was enough to draw the legal ire of Amazon, who threatened the site with a lawsuit if it didn't "immediately remove" information relating to the computer utility.
Some game developers and publishers are vehemently opposed to used game sales, and for them, Amazon's announcement of a new used-game trade-in program is nothing to jump for joy over. For everyone else, it just might be.
The Good More options is always a good thing, right? The obvious comparison here is to GameStop, and Amazon bursts out of the gates with over 1,500 eligible titles. But the real surprise is how the trade-in values compare. Amazon appears to be offering more than both GameStop and Game Crazy on most titles. For example, Little Big Planet (PS3) fetches $29 at Amazon versus $26.25 at GameStop and $22.73 with Game Crazy. In that same order, Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360 pulls in $26.50, $24, and $22.73 respectively.
A lot of people already have iPhones and iPod Touches, and it looks like now this gigantic target audience can double these handy devices as an Amazon Kindle, all thanks to a free app.
The Amazon Kindle app, which is currently available on Apple’s App Store, is completely free and gives users of it full access to the 240,000 eBooks currently available on Amazon.com (for the same price as Kindle users, of course).
While there are plenty of people that have already adopted the Kindle, one can’t help but think that plenty of them that have both are kicking themselves right now. After all, a backlit screen alone can turn the tide of battle!
Does the newly released Kindle 2's text-to-speech feature violate copyright law? That's a question Amazon would rather avoid asking, and so on Friday the e-tailer announced it would be modifying its eBook reader to give authors and publishers the final say on whether or not to enable text-to-speech.
Even though Amazon has decided to pass the buck on possible legal ramifications of using text-to-speech, the company maintains that it doesn't infringe upon copyrights. In a statement released Friday, Amazon said "Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given."
Amazon says it pulled the 180 because it believes "many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat." Or, as CNet interprets it, "Amazon caved." Amazon had been receiving criticism from the Authors Guild, who said it wouldn't rule out the possibility of suing Amazon. By making the text-to-speech function optional, Amazon has left authors and publishers to fend for themselves if they decide to enable the feature, which most of them probably won't.
Did Amazon make the right decision? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Amazon's second generation Kindle eBook reader has barely had a chance to roll off the assembly line, but there's already talk of a Kindle 3, and it might ship sooner than you think. Citing un-named "market sources," DigiTimes says Amazon plans to release a new generation of Kindle by the end of this year, one that is both larger than either existing Kindle and equipped with a touchscreen.
Such a quick followup to what's expected to see popular sales in the Kindle 2 seems unlikely, however this isn't the first we've heard of a proposed eBook reader from Amazon with large proportions. One early rumor had the Kindle 2 checking in shaped like a standard 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper (Kindle 2 measures 8 x 5.3 x 0.36 inches), but to our knowledge, this is the first we've heard of any touch functions being implemented.
Stay tuned, as we have a feeling the rumors are just getting started.
Since Amazon’s announcement on Monday, we’ve had Kindle 2 on the brain. After all, the long-awaited sequel to Amazon’s ambitious eBook reader improves on the original in almost every way: it’s got a better screen, better battery life, more storage, better buttons, and it’s just a hell of a lot nicer looking, to boot. So what’s stopping us from jumping on the preorder list? The price.
Launching at just about 360 U.S. dollars, the Kindle 2 is a pretty hefty investment. But maybe we can justify buying the new Kindle anyway. We’ve heard people bandying about the notion that—based on the discount price for eBooks—the Kindle will actually pay for itself over time. Sounds good, but we wanted to find out just how long it would take to break even, so we went out and did a little research.
The latest of many rumors regarding Amazon's next-generation Kindle eBook reader predicted the new device would make an official debut today, and New York Times blogger Brad Stone can now pat himself on the back for getting the release day right. Amazon has finally introduced the long anticipated Kindle 2, the followup to the immensely popular Kindle.
"Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable of holding hundreds more books. If you want, Kindle 2 will even read to you—something new we added that a book could never do,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO.