Amazon has updated its Kindle iPhone app to add embedded audio and video to its e-books, a feature that can now be seen and heard in a small sampling of titles, from "Rick Steves' London 2010" to "Best of the Beatles for Acoustic Guitar."
The titles released Sunday include five travel books from author Rick Steves and publishing house Avalon Travel, a knitting book for novices, a book about bird songs, and a book detailing the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Each book taps into the audio-and-video feature in its own way. The knitting book offers six instructional videos. The book on FDR embeds audio from 30 of the president's speeches. The Beatles book teaches acoustic guitar to budding musicians, with music tracks for 21 different songs. And the Rick Steves travel books provide narrated tours.
"In the new Kindle Edition with audio/video of 'Rick Steves' London,' the embedded walking tours allow customers to listen to Rick as they explore the sites of London," Bill Newlin, publisher of Avalon Travel, said in a statement. "Rick's narration adds depth to the reader's experience, while listeners can follow the routes more easily with the text."
Although only 13 titles are currently available, Amazon is hoping that the new feature will entice authors and publishers to take advantage of it.
"This is just the beginning," Dorothy Nicholls, director for Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps."