Yesterday Amazon announced the ability to wirelessly download audiobooks from audible.com directly to your Kindle via WiFi. Previously in order to get audiobooks to your Kindle, you would need to download the audiobook to your computer and transfer it via USB. Now after purchasing a book, all one needs to do is simply click a button to send it directly to your Kindle.
The latest Kindle has a nifty text-to-speech feature that works great in a pinch, but the robotic voice can get annoying after just a few minutes. Unless text-to-speech somehow magically gets better, audiobooks will continue to be the ideal way to listen to books. Luckily, Audible (an Amazon owned company) integrates nicely with Amazon's own Kindle. After signing in with your Amazon account, Audible gives you a free 30-day trial and 2 audiobooks to try out. The process is pretty simple—once you purchase the audiobook, simply click "send wirelessly to Kindle". Once you turn on your Kindle and connect it via WiFi, the audiobook begins to download.
There are a few problems however with audiobooks on the Kindle. For one, the file size of each audiobook is quite large. They're usually split up into 2 separate files, so you have to download each file one at a time. The price of audiobooks are a bit more than their text-only counterparts (around $15). There also isn't a way of purchasing the audiobooks via the Kindle itself. When everything is said an done, it's a nice feature to have since it makes putting audiobooks on your Kindle easier. However the practicality and price of audiobooks for the Kindle doesn't quite add up. In the end you might be better off either downloading audiobooks to your mp3 player or getting the Audible app for your smartphone.