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24hourforums.com • View topic - Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

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Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:02 pm

Hi, Everyone.

The Amazon Kindle (as of the Kindle 2) allows users to have ebooks read to them via text-to-speech technology. When Amazon released the device, the Author's Guild raised holy hell about it, because (they claimed) it violated their copyright agreements. So Amazon changed the Kindle 2's firmware to allow publishers to opt out of the text-to-speech technology, if they wanted to.

I'm curious about what people think of this. Should Amazon have just said "screw it", and let text-to-speech remain mandatory for all books, or do the publishers have a point? I firmly believe that Amazon struck the right balance by letting the text-to-speech be voluntary, given that the publishers would've just pulled out of the ebook market, setting a terrible precedent, but I know others who blame Amazon for caving on the issue. What do you think?

Here are some links for reference to the issue:




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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Marie5656 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:10 pm

:dontknow: I see both sides of the issue, I guess. But what about the Text to speech programs on computers that people with vision impairments use? If you use the Guild argument, than copyrights are violated if the user has the program convert the online newspaper or something like that. One article sugested folks who have impairments could register something that would unlock the block. Sounds too much like singlig out those with impairments...
There is definatly a lot of grey area here.
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:37 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Linnea » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:13 pm

You've already covered the point I was going to make about the voice quality of the Kindle versus the actual performance by a trained actor real audio books have... there's no comparison at all. I don't understand why the book biz would be concerned about it, they're not even in the same league.
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby spot » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:14 pm

It's why Digital Rights Management conventions exist, to allow restrictions in use. If publishers choose to use it then it simply reduces the value of their work to a minor extent. Some people will mind, others won't. Just as with locking handsets in the cellphone market.

The more restrictively and obtrusively it's done, the more people will end up illegally using unlock sites just as they have with their cellphones. Publishers will no doubt want to balance their own instant gratification with an awareness that if they push too far there'll be a backlash to some extent. If they're out to maximize income they need to be cautious.
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:21 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:26 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby spot » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:30 pm

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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:13 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Text-To-Speech in the Amazon Kindle

Postby Linnea » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:32 pm

How is OMFG ROTFLMAO pronounced by a computer? Would it say each letter or would it sound like it was speaking Mongolian?
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