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Microsoft, others invest in Audible

Audible, which delivers audio over the Internet for its mobile playback device, says it has received investments from some of the big players in the investment world.

    Audible, which delivers audio over the Internet for its mobile playback device, today announced it has received investments from some of the big players in the investment world.

    Microsoft, New York Life Insurance, and CSK Venture Capital were among those that contributed a total of $11 million dollars to the firm.

    These contributors join a long list of powerful investors which include AT&T Ventures, Compaq Computer, Hambrecht & Quist, Intel, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others.

    Industry observers note that Microsoft may be interested in Audible in order to have its Windows CE operating software in as many handheld devices as possible. Unlike some of the other investors, the software giant also has its own audio content from MSNBC, a joint programming effort with television network NBC, to offer for sale.

    Audible markets its handheld MobilePlayer that can hold two hours of audio for mobile playback. The company has also created AudibleManager, a software system that manages access to, scheduling, and automatic delivery of audio programming. Audible is also a Web store, offering more than 10,000 hours of spoken audio programming from more than 75 different providers.

    The company was founded in 1995 by Timothy Mott, former CEO and former chairman of Macromedia, and Don Katz, an award-winning journalist. Mott is currently Audible's chairman.