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Old 02-26-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
TadW
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Kindle Swindle? sez Author's Guild

Here is a NY Times editorial with Roy Blunt, president of the Author's Guild, in which he is trying to defend the allegation that the text-to-speech system of the K2 is a form of copyright transgression.

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You may be thinking that no automated read-aloud function can compete with the dulcet resonance of Jim Dale reading “Harry Potter” or of authors, ahem, reading themselves. But the voices of Kindle 2 are quite listenable. There’s even a male version and a female version. (A book by, say, Norman Mailer on Kindle 2 might do a brisk business among people wondering how his prose would sound in measured feminine tones.)
And

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In fact, publishers, authors and American copyright laws have long provided for free audio availability to the blind and the guild is all for technologies that expand that availability. (The federation, though, points out that blind readers can’t independently use the Kindle 2’s visual, on-screen controls.) But that doesn’t mean Amazon should be able, without copyright-holders’ participation, to pass that service on to everyone.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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The whole thing is just silly and really just a disguised money grab. Text to speech has been around for over a decade in computers, and it's been mostly ignored for most of that time too because while the voices are "listenable," it doesn't take too long for it to transform into a monotonous drone.

The truth they want to ignore is that Text to Speech is no more a competitor to Books-on-CD or MP3 than a skateboard is to a car. I can't imagine anyone listening to complete book via Text to Speech. People buy Kindles mostly to READ books. Certainly there are less expensive and more compact devices available if they want to listen to them.

Authors should get every dime coming to them, but they are coming off as sniveling pedantics here.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quality is poor I agree but the Kindle II has now made every Amazon ebook an audiobook, and less expensive than audiobook prices. Less quality but more variety and at lower prices. Wonder how many will find that attractive
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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I dunno... It's pretty terrible! I was hoping to use it every once in a while but it's too awful to listen to for even a few minutes.

The guy is full of it.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervserver View Post
Quality is poor I agree but the Kindle II has now made every Amazon ebook an audiobook, and less expensive than audiobook prices. Less quality but more variety and at lower prices. Wonder how many will find that attractive
It's not just less quality. It's a totally different experience than a real audiobook. Not even close to the same thing.
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