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Old 08-07-2019, 09:02 AM   #46
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I was commenting on using Whispersync to continue listening to an audio version in your car as suggested by Amazon. Under current laws in this area, you might get away with this as long as you did not touch the device playing the audio during your trip in the car so no playing back a passage that was missed or any other interaction with the device while your vehicle is not parked.

The remainder of the message was discussing that Amazon.ca does not show any matches using Audible Matchmaker while Amazon.com shows matches for my books purchased through Amazon.ca but even with the discounted price, on the expensive side by my standards.
I use CarPlay with audible to listen in the car. Yea, if you are trying to replay passages and the like, then you probably shouldn't be listening to audiobooks while driving. You are too focused on the book, and not focused enough on driving.

No idea about Amazon.ca, but the kindle app and my kindle device pretty much automatically match the ebooks and audiobooks for me. As long as I have both books, I don't have to do anything. As long as you buy the eBook first, you can sometime get a pretty big discount on the audiobook.

I've found that most of the time, if you buck the system then things are hard, but if you use the system the way you are suppose to, then life is a whole lot easier.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:49 PM   #47
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I use CarPlay with audible to listen in the car. Yea, if you are trying to replay passages and the like, then you probably shouldn't be listening to audiobooks while driving. You are too focused on the book, and not focused enough on driving.

No idea about Amazon.ca, but the kindle app and my kindle device pretty much automatically match the ebooks and audiobooks for me. As long as I have both books, I don't have to do anything. As long as you buy the eBook first, you can sometime get a pretty big discount on the audiobook.

I've found that most of the time, if you buck the system then things are hard, but if you use the system the way you are suppose to, then life is a whole lot easier.
Audible app has a ‘car mode’ UI to make it more compliant with driving requirements (In California, I think you need it mounted on dashboard where it does not obstruct vision, and you can only do ‘one touch’ operations.). It has a big Play/Pause button, skip back 30 seconds button, and Bookmark button, and that’s all: no sleep timer speed control, chapter navigation.

The audiobook discount applies on books borrowed from a library or from Kindle Unlimited (the latter are usually under $5).

As far as matching, it is not as easy to find the Kindle edition that works with an Audible title you may have. The audible site does not have a link to the Kindle edition on Amazon, so you have to find the title on Amazon and then confirm there that you own the Audible title for WhisperSync for Voice. For public domain titles it can be a nightmare because there can be a dozen different editions to check, and some of the linked titles are incorrect. For example, an English edition of Anna Karenina was linked to a Russian language audiobook (!?). And there are a number of English language audiobook editions of this title.

The other problem that happens for me too frequently is that I own both ebook and audiobook, but it does not show up in Kindle app as having an audiobook companion. I’ve had to call customer support at least 6 times to fix such issues, sometimes problem is on Audible side and sometimes on Kindle side so it might take two calls to resolve it. With my last call it only got resolved on one device; the others still do not show it to have Audible companion. Granted, I have a pretty large library of audiobooks and ebooks so I have more ‘exposure’ to problems like this. The problem can strike at any time: sometimes an ebook update breaks it, and sometimes audiobook update breaks it. So it is annoying.

Last edited by tomsem; 08-07-2019 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:37 PM   #48
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Audible app has a ‘car mode’ UI to make it more compliant with driving requirements (In California, I think you need it mounted on dashboard where it does not obstruct vision, and you can only do ‘one touch’ operations.). It has a big Play/Pause button, skip back 30 seconds button, and Bookmark button, and that’s all: no sleep timer speed control, chapter navigation.

The audiobook discount applies on books borrowed from a library or from Kindle Unlimited (the latter are usually under $5).

As far as matching, it is not as easy to find the Kindle edition that works with an Audible title you may have. The audible site does not have a link to the Kindle edition on Amazon, so you have to find the title on Amazon and then confirm there that you own the Audible title for WhisperSync for Voice. For public domain titles it can be a nightmare because there can be a dozen different editions to check, and some of the linked titles are incorrect. For example, an English edition of Anna Karenina was linked to a Russian language audiobook (!?). And there are a number of English language audiobook editions of this title.

The other problem that happens for me too frequently is that I own both ebook and audiobook, but it does not show up in Kindle app as having an audiobook companion. I’ve had to call customer support at least 6 times to fix such issues, sometimes problem is on Audible side and sometimes on Kindle side so it might take two calls to resolve it. With my last call it only got resolved on one device; the others still do not show it to have Audible companion. Granted, I have a pretty large library of audiobooks and ebooks so I have more ‘exposure’ to problems like this. The problem can strike at any time: sometimes an ebook update breaks it, and sometimes audiobook update breaks it. So it is annoying.
I've got a bit over 700 audiobooks and 3500 ebooks, so I have a fair number. Of course, I also don't actually use whispersync, so I'm fairly oblivious towards any problems with the service.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:24 PM   #49
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Major book publishers sue Amazon’s Audible over new speech-to-text feature

Dear Publishers:

Get a life!

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Some of the world’s largest book publishers have jointly filed a lawsuit against Amazon-owned audiobook company Audible today over a new, controversial speech-to-text feature the literary industry claims is a violation of copyright law.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District Court of New York, includes the Big Five: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. It also includes San Francisco-based publisher Chronicle Books and Scholastic, the major children’s publisher that owns publishing rights to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. All seven plaintiffs are members of the Association of American Publishers.

Publishers are taking issue with Audible’s new Captions feature, introduced last month. The feature uses machine learning to transcribe spoken words into written ones, so users can read along while they listen to an audiobook. The issue, however, is that Audible is doing this based on audiobook recordings, which have separate licenses to physical books and ebooks. The company is not apparently obtaining the necessary licenses to reproduce the written versions of these works.

Because Audible is relying on artificial intelligence, it appears the company is trying to claim a distinction between a newly created piece of text composed using AI, based on an audio recording, and the virtually identical text version of the book the audiobook was created from. At the time of its launch, Audible CEO Don Katz positioned Captions as an educational feature designed for schools, telling USA Today, “We know from years and years of work, that parents and educators, in particular, understand that an audio experience of well-composed words is really important in developing learners.”
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:15 PM   #50
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Have some sympathy!
They probably never heard of the ADA.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:20 PM   #51
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Have some sympathy!
They probably never heard of the ADA.
Oooo... that's cold
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:21 PM   #52
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Have some sympathy!
They probably never heard of the ADA.
You know, I wondered at first how this different from close captioning of television. But why would the deaf actually bother with audiobooks? Wouldn't they just buy the book?
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:38 PM   #53
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You know, I wondered at first how this different from close captioning of television. But why would the deaf actually bother with audiobooks? Wouldn't they just buy the book?
And the blind could buy a Daisy version of a pbook.
But that's not how the law is written: the Laws (several, actually) explicitly outlaw "separate but equal" arguments. Requiring the disabled to buy a separate product is explicitly called out and prohibited. The only exceptions are for "undue burden" but now that feasibility of an economical solution has been established the exception goes away.
In fact, other audiobook vendor might be *required* to add captions.

They can take it up with Congress.

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-23-2019 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:50 PM   #54
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You know, I wondered at first how this different from close captioning of television. But why would the deaf actually bother with audiobooks? Wouldn't they just buy the book?
Depends on the level of disability. It is not black and white. If you are partially deaf with bad eyesight, are you required to buy both audiobook and book? You need all the advantage you can get. Closed captioning doesn't have to be just written word. I imagine in the future you will have an AI version that will translate audio into sign language. They would surely sue again if the next Kindle app would have something text-to-ASL as that is a copyright violation as it is a "translation" or "performance".
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:55 PM   #55
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In fact, other audiobook vendor might be *required* to add captions.

They can take it up with Congress.
Yep, let them sue and accidentally force a precedent to force CC.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:15 AM   #56
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Yep, let them sue and accidentally force a precedent to force CC.
And TTS.

Audible was heavy handed in implementing it but they have three separate defenses, all proven in previous court cases.
They have accessibility laws.
They have a court-approved contract clause.
They have the fair use, transformative precedent established by the Google lawsuit.

They are asking the judge to throw out a lot of case law.

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-24-2019 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:04 PM   #57
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I imagine in the future you will have an AI version that will translate audio into sign language.
Audio to text to ASL has been a thing for a couple of years. Major reason for not implementing it, are vague non-patents held by patent trolls, intent in getting their pound of flesh from everybody in that space.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:19 PM   #58
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And the blind could buy a Daisy version of a pbook.
But that's not how the law is written: the Laws (several, actually) explicitly outlaw "separate but equal" arguments. Requiring the disabled to buy a separate product is explicitly called out and prohibited. The only exceptions are for "undue burden" but now that feasibility of an economical solution has been established the exception goes away.
In fact, other audiobook vendor might be *required* to add captions.

They can take it up with Congress.
And once again, Gideon J. Tucker is proved correct when he wrote: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session."

BTW, how exactly is "undue burden" defined? Are they using the US Supreme Court's definition dating back to the 19th century? Please note that that definition prevents the legislature from passing a law that will create an undue burden. Going by that usage, if a court ruled that the ADA created an undue burden, the ADA would be held to be unconstitutional and, hence, invalid.

Hmmm.... I do remember one friend of mine getting a chuckle when his neighbour in Texas obtained a rifle and a hunting license despite being well past the requirements for legal blindness (he uses a bioptic telescope to watch television).
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:10 AM   #59
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And once again, Gideon J. Tucker is proved correct when he wrote: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session."

BTW, how exactly is "undue burden" defined? Are they using the US Supreme Court's definition dating back to the 19th century? Please note that that definition prevents the legislature from passing a law that will create an undue burden. Going by that usage, if a court ruled that the ADA created an undue burden, the ADA would be held to be unconstitutional and, hence, invalid.

Hmmm.... I do remember one friend of mine getting a chuckle when his neighbour in Texas obtained a rifle and a hunting license despite being well past the requirements for legal blindness (he uses a bioptic telescope to watch television).
Who know what evil lurks in the hearts of politicians?

In this case, it would seem "undue burden" is taken to mean "you can no longer make a profit".

(Auto emission requirements raise car makers costs but they simply raise prices so profitability isn't impacted. Audible isn't charging more for captioned files so whatever costs they incur don't seem to impact profitability enough to raise prices/matter. So, not unduly burdensome?)

Here, try this. The catfight is amping up:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...-text-feature/

(Aside: Audible is exempting the files of those suing from captioning until the court rules. Until then, other publishers' files will be listed as captioned. We'll see if it impacts sales or not.)

Quote:

The publishers argue that this is straight-up copyright infringement. In their view, the law gives them the right to control the distribution of their books in different formats. Audio is a different format from text, they reason, so Audible needs a separate license.

This would be a slam-dunk argument if Audible were generating PDFs of entire books and distributing them to customers alongside the audio files. But what Audible is actually doing is subtly different—in a way that could provide the company with firm legal ground to stand on.

The caption feature "is not and was never intended to be a book," Audible explained in an online statement following the lawsuit. "Listeners cannot read at their own pace or flip through pages as they could with a print book or eBook." Instead, the purpose is to allow "listeners to follow along with a few lines of machine-generated text as they listen to the audio performance."
Quote:

So it seems that the Audible app is generating text captions in realtime as the user plays an audio file. The app sends snippets of audio files to an Amazon server and gets back corresponding sections of text, which it then displays on the screen one word at a time. (It's possible that AWS Transcribe has an offline mode that allows the transcription to happen on-device, but I haven't found any documentation about this. I've asked Audible about this and will update if they respond.)

Audible is likely doing this because it strengthens the company's argument that it can do this without a license from publishers.

To see why, it's helpful to review two of the most important copyright decisions of the modern era. The first was the 1984 decision of Sony v. Universal that declared the VCR legal. Hollywood argued that the "record" button on a VCR was an invitation for customers to infringe their copyrights. But the Supreme Court disagreed, arguing that copyright's fair use doctrine allowed "time shifting"—recording a show now to play it later.

The courts built on this decision with a 2008 ruling known as Cartoon Network v. Cablevision. In that case, a bunch of media companies sued the cable company Cablevision because it was offering customers a "remote DVR." Like a conventional DVR (or a VCR before that), Cablevision's technology allowed customers to record and play back television shows at their convenience. But unlike a conventional DVR, the remote DVR was located in a Cablevision data center, not in the customer's home.

Television content owners argued that Cablevision was infringing their copyrights by making unauthorized copies of their show on a massive scale. Cablevision disagreed, arguing that the copies were being made by customers, not by Cablevision. The physical DVR might be owned and maintained by Cablevision, but the customer was deciding which shows to record. And the customer was entitled to do that under the earlier Sony ruling. An appeals court ultimately accepted this argument.

The Cablevision ruling provided a legal foundation for cloud-based "storage locker" services that allowed customers to upload, save, and stream (but not share) their music and video collections.
Audible might not even need the accessibility defense.

The cited cloud storage lawsuit:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...layer-illegal/

Amazon, et al, won that one without directly fighting:

https://www.wired.com/2011/08/cloudm...s-not-a-crime/

Quote:

That design decision seemed to be in keeping with a decision in the Cablevision case, where the Second Circuit Appeals Court ruled that the cable company's DVR in the cloud was legal only because every user who told the service to record a given show got their own copy of the show made.

By contrast, Apple's new cloud-music service – created with the blessing of the big labels, only uploads the songs it doesn't know – and uses master files. In fact, if a customer has a low-quality copy of a song from one of those labels, Apple will automatically upgrade the song to a better one.

But Judge William H. Pauley III in this case said that MP3tunes' system complies with that ruling.

"Importantly, the system preserves the exact digital copy of each song uploaded to MP3tunes.com," Pauley ruled. "Thus, there is no "master copy" of any of EMI's songs stored on MP3tunes' computer servers."
So, adding it up, it is legal for *consumers* to ask the remote service for the captions (under Cablevison) *and* further, it would be legal for the service to save the captions generated by the first request to serve all future requests.

So the only costs to the audiobook vendor would be tbe conversion, the file storage afterwards, and the snippet streaming. (Theoretically, the whole converted file could be downloaded for offline playback, and still be legal.)

That doesn't seem to be an undue burden.
Those are minimum costs, of course, if Audible requires always-on internet for solely on-the-fly captions the costs will be higher but not too much more. AWS services are cheap.

Of note, the publishers aren't suing over *how* the captions are produced, only that they are. And that seems to require only a Cablevision defense so the MP3tunes cloud precedent is frosting.

They really needed to do deeper research before suing...

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-20-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:24 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
Hmmm.... I do remember one friend of mine getting a chuckle when his neighbour in Texas obtained a rifle and a hunting license despite being well past the requirements for legal blindness (he uses a bioptic telescope to watch television).
There are gun ranges who have a sub-specialty of training blind people in gun safety, and target shooting. Blind, as in no vision at all.
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