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Wednesday, March 06, 2002
Roxio paves way for books on CD

Software maker Roxio and spoken-word audio provider Audible on Monday announced software that will allow customers to burn Audible tracks on CDs. Audible sells downloadable audio versions of books, magazines and other written content. Customers can listen to Audible files via a PC or download titles to portable devices that support the service.

Despite investment support from Microsoft, Audible has struggled in recent years, laying off 40 percent of its staff last year and scrambling to keep its stock above $1 a share. One of the limiting factors for the company has been a lack of options for listening to books on the go. Audible tracks will only run on a few MP3 players from Sonicblue and Digisette, a few models of Pocket PC-based handheld computers, and an add-on for Handspring's Visor handhelds.

The Roxio software will be available in a few months as a free plug-in for Audible's Audible Manager software. After 30 days of use, customers will be able to continue using the free plug-in, but it will only be able to burn tracks at the CD writer's slowest speed. For full-speed burning, Roxio will sell its Easy Creator 5 CD burning application for $100.

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