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Old 03-20-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
AlphaTerminus
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TTS has increased my purchases by 300-400%

Consider this an open letter to all authors and publishers.

Since getting the Kindle 2 I purchase over 3 times as many books, and now actually pay to subscribe to newspapers, because the TTS allows me to consume about 3-4 times as much information over the course of a day.

I used to read about a book per month on E-reader via a netbook and a Windows mobile device. I subscribed to no newspaper and no magazines. Since buying the Kindle 2 I am reading 1-2 books every 1-2 weeks and daily newspapers and weekly magazines. I read when I can... breaks at work, before bed, while waiting somewhere. But now I'm able to listen to text-to-speech on my daily walks, while driving, and sometimes while falling asleep. As a result, I now purchase MANY more books than ever before, and actually pay to subscribe to magazines and newspapers.

Why, as a publisher or author, would you desire to sell me fewer of your works? I've never purchased both the audio and text version of the book, and never will!

In fact, if you disable TTS on your works, I'll not purchase them at all. In fact, your work is probably available for free as both a text and audio torrent file, and if I really want to read it and you make it difficult for me to purchase it, I'll likely seek out those "free" sources and encourage others to do the same.

Don't bite the hands that feed you. You need consumers more than we need you.

Luddites!

Sincerely,

A customer that wants to buy your books but won't if you cripple them.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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I've really enjoyed the TTS feature and think that it adds value to both the Kindle and the books. On the other hand, it in no way compares to a professional audio book; if I knew I was going to be listening to a book all day (long drive for instance) I would be inclined to get an audiobook version if it was available.
I hope publishers will choose to leave TTS turned on for their books, however, since I really like being able to listen to a few pages while I fold the laundry or work out at the gym. The ability to slip from written text to spoken word and back, without having to flip around or fast forward to find my place, is a great feature.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #3
AlphaTerminus
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I agree, catsittingstill. In fact, I have a 12 hour each way drive coming up, and just purchased 5 new books from Audible.com. They had 200 books for 4.95 each and I couldn't pass it up.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
Hantra
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Me too man. I listen to the WSJ on my commute. I LOVE it.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:21 PM   #5
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I can understand why they want to reserve the right but I think most if not all would be wise to choose to enable the feature especially periodical content providers.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:18 AM   #6
kyliedork
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publishers are not going to give away rights unless you hold a metaphorical gun to the head
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:25 AM   #7
David J. Guyton
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Yeah this is terrible. I am an author myself and I am THRILLED to be able to offer my book TTS enabled.

The Traditional Publishers are afraid because they are losing ther power. They are also greedy people who refuse to adapt to new technology, and instead, do all they can to fight it. Very sad.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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I bought 4 books yesterday alone... and I am thinking about getting a newspaper to top it off
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #9
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I agree. I read at night and then plug the Kindle into my car stereo and it reads to me right where I left off reading during my commute. I am reading more than I normally would and not just using TTS to complete a book.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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While I don't find the TTS speech technology too amazing (yet), I still do use it, and it's incredibly convenient, especially when I'm driving. I think that even for a personal like myself, it has gotten me spending a bit more on material.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:10 PM   #11
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Actually, we are much better off if the TTS is disabled. If none of the eBook at Amazon allowed TTS then wed be in great shape. We'd be golden. So here's to disabling the TTS.

Now, as to why we'd be golden has to do with the DMCA in the US. There is an exception that would allow us to strip the DRM of every single AZW format eBook that we wanted to and do so legally. So here's to TTS being turned off of every AZW ebook.

So I just want to give a big thank you to Random House for deciding to disable the TTS so we can legally strip the DRM from all of your AZW format eBooks.

And because we'd be legally able to strip the DRM, the TTS would once again be enabled.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
KarlB
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I listen to a huge amount of text using TTS, and its availability on the K2 was a major factor in my purchase. I use it almost exclusively for nonfiction, feeling that the "robot voice" is pretty grossly inappropriate for literature. Before the K2 I used my Macintosh's built in TTS to listen to online magazines, emailed newsletters, blogs, Questia.com books, etc., etc. Having the Kindle's huge selection of nonfiction books available for listening was a real thrill for me. I nearly doubled the size of my Amazon wish list in a few days.

When the option-to-disable-TTS decision was announced I had a moment of panic, but my response was to track down and figure out how to use the DRM-removal scripts that are available for Kindle books. Now I routinely convert Kindle books I want to listen to into plain text and listen to them on my Mac. The Macintosh TTS voice is a little better (IMO) than the K2's anyway.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:47 PM   #13
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I think it's okay for short periods of time but I would personally be annoyed by the voice if I had to listen to it for very long. Audible would be a much better choice.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy81 View Post
I think it's okay for short periods of time but I would personally be annoyed by the voice if I had to listen to it for very long. Audible would be a much better choice.
Of course a human voice is better, but the number of books available as audiobooks is pretty tiny compared to the number of books available as Kindle books.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:39 PM   #15
zadriel
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Whose hacked the DRM to be able to keep access to TTS? Has anyone come up with an easy way to make sure this stays available to us? If so please email me through the system here, or shoot one to trickstands AT aol DOT com. I don't want to advocate piracy here, and I am not interested in a discussion of piracy. What I want is to be able to 1. keep hearing my tts... which the copyright office says I have a right to. AND 2. be able to take my books to another device should i leave kindle 2 behind. thanks for your advice!
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