July 2, 2005 The first self-playing digital audio book was announced this week, and although there was no huge fanfare, the moment was a significant one as it’s the first time that electronic media of any form has been sold complete with the player. FindawayWorld is developing a range of digital audio consumer products and the first product to market is the Playaway which will be sold pre-loaded with premier content from leading publishers and authors. Designed in conjunction with IDEO, one of the industry's leading product innovation and design firms, Playaway can be expected to take an immediate chunk of the audio book market as it offers the ability to go straight from the shelves to your ears without the need for downloading or another audio player as it is entirely self-contained. Playaway is expected to announce an array of licensing deals with content creators, publishers and authors in the near future.
"People are ready for a product that finally makes portable digital content available in a simple and immediately usable format that fits into their life," said Christopher Celeste, one of Findaway's founding partners. "Everyone will enjoy the fact that they can get first-run books with first- rate digital audio without having to download it or buy a separate digital device."
Playaway gives listeners the option of placing digital bookmarks and controlling the speed of a narrator's voice, all while easily moving both forward and back through their audio selection. The player is packaged with earbuds, a lanyard and a AAA battery to allow consumers to listen as soon as they are ready, no more waiting on a download or for your PC to sync with your PDA. Because of its size, half the size of a deck of cards, Playaway is convenient for people of all walks of life.
"Working with Findaway, we set out to create something that is portable, affordable and easy to use," said Mike Nuttall, an IDEO founder. "Because Playaway is so technologically simple, anyone will be able to enjoy it and adapt it to their listening needs and desires."
Findaway will soon announce a series of publisher agreements and retailer relationships that will allow Findaway to provide a broad selection of popular titles and authors available to people across the nation in time for the 2005 holiday season.