It appears that Amazon’s Cloud Player is now available for download, and it will store all your Amazon music purchases and a bunch of imported music (for free) and a bunch more (for a fee). Unfortunately, it’s having its serious issues. Don’t install it for now if you are using an iPad or iPad Mini. It will delete your Kindle book library. Read more about it at Venture Beat.
Never one to pass up a good opportunity to compete, Google is now launching a same-day shipping service to go head to head with Amazon. Google Shipping Express will cost a little bit less than Amazon Prime, and will direct shoppers to other vendors besides Amazon (of course). Not to be outdone, Amazon is also working toward expanding its one-day delivery service, and of course eBay is bringing up the rear, yelling “me too!” The rest of the story is at the link at Digital Trends. Be sure to read all the way down to the bottom for a real futuristic surprise!
And now, for something entirely different, and the answer to why Google is wasting its time with same-day shipping! I have not been in my happy place all day today, due to having to be where I don’t want to be (we all have to do that sometimes, you know…to pay the bills!) Anyway, I just ran across something that made me say “YES!! I want that!” …the newest product to come out of Amazon, and the answer to Google’s tired old same-day delivery wannabe’s. Watch below for a good laugh!
Now, tell me: what else would you expect from the most innovative company in the world? 🙂
Got Coins, Amazon? Oh, no, that’s Amazon Coins – to be released in May. What is Amazon Coins? It’s a type of virtual currency to pay for apps, and, I suppose to get people hooked, Amazon will be spreading them around quite a bit at first, for free. So, that brings on the question: what about the “free” apps of the day as they currently stand? Will they be paid for with “free” Amazon Coin? And then eventually will the “free” part disappear once we all get accustomed to the newness of it all? I guess only time will tell. In the meantime, get the details at the LA Times website.
You may have heard that Amazon is looking at ways to resell “used digital content,” aka e-books, and have even been awarded a patent to get going on this. Although not patented, ReDigi has already launched a similar marketplace with “advanced technology” that verifies as legal all goods listed for resale. (UPDATE: Thanks to commentary by Bob, who is more familiar with the situation, ReDigi has indeed been issued a patent for their approach.) At least one person, Nate Hoffelder, is pretty sure enough can go wrong that he wants no part of it! Mosey on over to The Digital Reader and see his rationale. My opinion is that, like with all things new, it will be awkward and inconvenient at first, and then people will get used to it, the technology will settle in, and eventually everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. Kind of like vacuuming robots.
Cloudyn says if you use AWS database services, you (and your company) are probably using way more storage than you think you are (and paying for much more than you need to). Cloudyn’s business is helping customers minimize and optimize their use of AWS, so they do have a dog in this fight. See what the fuss is about at GigaOM.com.
And for the soft-hearted, as opposed, I suppose, to the hard-headed (did I hear someone call my name?) Amazon.ca reveals a list of the top 20 most romantic cities in Canada. I suppose that would make a wonderful trip for you and your sweetie, to wish each other a Happy Valentine’s Day! See what cities top the list!
Digital Book World analyzes the proposed merger between Random House and Penguin, which is trying to keep Amazon from dominating the publishing industry as it has for the past several years. But according to DBW, the issue isn’t size but controlling access to the ultimate consumer. Learn the rest of the analysis at Digital Book World.
This is one I wasn’t expecting: There’s a new $7.99 per month subscription option for Amazon Prime! The reason I am surprised is that Prime is so popular I’d think Amazon would feel comfortable in continuing with the yearly fee. Although I don’t have all the details yet, it looks like even if you sign up for the monthly option, it auto-renews for a year, anyway. So, the price is higher but you don’t have to pony up as much money at one time. You still have a free month to decide, but the fee is ongoing. More analysis of the entire deal at DigitalTrends.com.
Not sure I’d have said it in the same way, but honestly, my sentiment about Amazon’s Trade-In Program isn’t far from The Digital Reader’s. My first reaction was: are you guys nuts? I suppose some people go for it, but really, these offers are ridiculously low. Really, you want me to buy an item for $100 and trade it back in for a dime (that’s just an example, but not far off the mark). Much better to just SELL the darn thing on Amazon. You can usually get a lot more for it that way!
Well, I guess that’s why I write almost daily about Amazon. It never ceases to amaze! See ya in a day or so! Hope the election results are pleasing to you – whatever they are 🙂
Today’s been a very busy morning for weather forecasters and rescuers. I certainly do hope that no rescuers get hurt in the process of saving people who thought they’d brave it out, but I also know there are some people who truly need help and may even have not been able to get out in time. And while I would certainly never wish for a deadly storm to distract people from the political race, I’ll have to admit I would rather read about the weather than about politics. My best wishes to everyone in the path of the storm. Be safe!
In a very bold move, Amazon positions itself very blatantly against the iPad Mini on its home page, with “Much More for Much Less” as the opening volley. It’ll be interesting to see how iPad responds to this challenge against its price, its display, its speakers and its ability to stream HD movies. To my mind, it’s a huge challenge, and for those who aren’t over-awed by Apple’s “cachet,” the entire advertisement is quite persuasive! To me, it’s a no-brainer, but I have never cared for Apple products. Yes, I HAVE tried them, and I am certain they are very good products, but my brain just doesn’t work in that way.
Looks like Penguin and Random House have joined forces to make a strong joint effort to get a toehold over the global digital and ebook markets. It should be interesting to see how this combination will affect their distribution of digital products through Amazon and the other biggies, like Apple and Google. Paid Content.org talks about it at the link.
A new lawsuit filed by Amazon against Google is going to put the two giant web services head-to-head, according to Gigaom.com. Daniel Powers, who left Amazon after signing an 18-month non-compete agreement, went to work at Google within only four months, and Amazon’s not happy about that! Gigaom has a link to the actual filing, if you want all the details.
Finally, Amazon sellers were greeted with an email today, reminding them it might be a good idea to put their products on hold if there’s any possibility they will not be able to fulfill their shipping obligation in a timely fashion. Fulfillment By Amazon sellers will have the entire system handled by Amazon, of course, one of the excellent perks of being an FBA seller at Amazon.
“Meanwhile, the company suffered a net loss in the quarter of $274 million, compared to net income of $63 million in the third quarter last year.”
See, it all depends on how you look at it. It’s entirely possible to crow over increased sales, and still take a loss, and not a small one, at that. Digital Book world reports that the Kindle is likely to blame for the loss, but Mashable’s also reporting a $160 million dollar loss on Groupon-clone Living Social. Of course, $160 million and $274 million are both in the category of “a lot of money,” but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to $13.81 billion-with-a-b.
I also mentioned that Amazon believes you are only renting your ebooks…what do you think about that? David at Caveat Lector blog has quite a bit to say about that, based on his different take (as a programmer) on the recent locking of user “Linn”s account. His post is very interesting discussion of the opportunity afforded by this news. Read it! It’s good!
For those of you who are interested in the technology of touch screens, Seeking Alpha reports that Amazon has discontinued its Neonode Technology in its lower-end touch screens, and wonders whether other e-readers will follow. I kind of wonder what is going to happen to Neonode, now that its biggest customer has disappeared. I’m always happy to see technology, but a bit sad to see the impending demise of a company.
For Amazon authors, Mark Coker, founder of Amazon competitor Smashwords, thinks “Amazon is playing indie authors like pawns.” I’d be curious to know what others think. As an author who publishes exclusively on KDP – at least for now – his words make me wonder if I should diversify some. Of course, that’s his job as the founder of Smashwords….to get people to come over to his side!
In lighter news, Kindle FreeTime is a Fire HD parental-controls update that Amazon has been promising for a while, but many owners are not too happy about it, according to The Digital Reader. Why? Because what kid in his right mind would want to use a reader that allows no pictures, no music, and no content from anywhere else?