Kindle users can now browse, buy, and download audio books from Audible.com. You'll need to be connected to Wi-Fi to actually download anything, but the good news is that users can do everything directly from the device. Already purchased Audible content does not seem to be accessible via the Kindle, but you can download the files and transfer them to the device via USB (this has been available before; today's announcement is all about Wi-Fi).
If you own a Kindle and want to test out the new feature yourself, start by opening up the Kindle Store on your device. You should see a new link to browse audio books. There are 50,000 titles available that you can browse either by genre or via the search feature. Just like regular e-books, you can download and listen to a sample.
An audio book shows up in your main book list, and opens up the same way a regular book does. The page then shows a cover thumbnail, a summary of the book, and a set of on-screen audio controls for playing, navigating, and skipping tracks.
If you're already an Audible subscriber, you can sign in from the Kindle and then spend your Audible credits. If you are not, you can sign up for a 30-day trial of AudibleListener Gold that gets you two free audio books, or you can simply charge your Amazon account as you already do with regular books.
Amazon bought Audible for approximately $300 million in cash and short-term investment in January 2008. The move came only a few months before the company released its Kindle e-reader, which has supported the Audible audio format since its 2007 launch.
"Whether you enjoy histories or mysteries, romance, or sci-fi, the latest bestsellers or timeless classics, Audible has something for every discerning audiophile and bibliophile," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.