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Amazon announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis.
[from CNET] Amazon retreats on Kindle's text-to-speech issue
"Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal," Amazon says, but "We strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat."
So Kindle's text-to-speech will depend on each publisher and title; some will have it, some won't.
Once again, xkcd whittles things down to their core-
Where's the beef?
In today's New York Times op-ed. Blount, author of the popular title Alphabet Juice, confirms that "Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one."
He continues, "And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing." His beef is that the authors and members of the Author's Guild, where he currently holds the position of president, are not receiving audio rights to Kindle 2's robotic audio versions.
Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.
Gizmodo has a Kindle 2 and they are providing a hands on review.
Some of the comments:
Controls are almost exactly the same as Kindle 1, just slightly re-arranged, for the better. You can still page forward from both sides. Although now, with more non-button room on the sides, you can definitely pick it up without turning the page. They nailed the buttons.
Hey, it's downright iPod Touchy.
I'll bet it kicks butt as a cake cutter.
Michel Cuhaci of Ottawa had received a misprinted copy of A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equation and he left a bad review on amazon.com.
The author saw the review and decided to make things right. More on this fantastic story at the Dayton Daily News
More electronic books are coming to mobile phones.
In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1.
Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.