Amazon modifies Kindle text-to-speech feature

Amazon.com will let copyright holders opt out of having their books read aloud on the company's Kindle 2 book reader.

Amazon.com will let copyright holders opt out of having their books read aloud on the company's Kindle 2 book reader, in an apparent concession to concerns raised about the device's text-to-speech feature.

An experimental feature on the device, which began shipping earlier this week, allows users to have texts read to them in a digitized voice. The text-to-speech feature came under fire from the Authors Guild, which alerted its members that Amazon might be undermining the market for audio versions of their books..

Amazon said Friday it is modifying its systems so that rights holders can decide for themselves whether they want the text-to-speech capability enabled or turned off on each title. The company has already started work on the technical changes needed to allow these settings.

"With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is," Amazon said in a statement.

Also in the statement, Amazon asserted that the text-to-speech feature is legal, because no copy is made, no derivative work is created and no performance is given. The company also pointed out that it is itself in the business of selling professionally narrated audiobooks through its Audible and Brilliance subsidiaries.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags kindle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?