Amazon Backs Off Text-to-Speech Feature on Kindle

katz_journey_cover-41This February, Amazon launched a new version of its popular e-book reader Kindle 2. The Kindle 2 is thinner (thinner than an iPhone), has a crisper black-and-white display, turns pages much more quickly and should hold its battery charge for about 25 percent longer than the previous model. New features were also supposed to include text-to-speech and the ability to transfer content to other devices (such as mobile phones and other Kindles) at the same price as the original Kindle model of $359. Amazon started shipping the new product on Feb. 24. However, today Amazon announced that it will let publishers decide whether they want the new Kindle e-book device to read their books aloud. In any case, Amazon maintains that the feature is completely legal as “no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given.”

The text-to-speech feature allows Kindle owners to have books read to them in a male or female computerized voice. Al Katz’ new book, A Journey with Mac: Rediscovering the Fundamentals of Business that is helping businesses and organization get back to basics and survive this recession, is now available in Kindle on Amazon.com.

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