Friday, September 21, 2012

Kindle Fire, tex-to-speech

To recap:
Kindle Paperwhite does not have text-to-speech, or indeed any audio capabilities at all. We are many who are very unhappy about that.

KP is not sold in the UK, but surprisingly, Kindle Fire is. But many of the most attractive services are not included, for example Amazon's own movies. Or indeed text-to-speech or audiobooks! I guess it saves me from buying two Kindles, but it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

There are still no text-to-speech in iPad apps for Android or iPad. I think the barrier can't possibly be technical (as they claim it is for the Paperwhite), because many apps do have text to speech. Blio for instance even has it for ebooks! But it's not the greatest voice, and of course it won't play Kindle books.

Text-to-speech on the iPad is still a sorry mess. You can now in some apps get it, but only from selected text, and you can't just select several pages. There are a bunch of apps which will do it, but they app pretty much will only do it with copied and pasted text, or text you write yourself, or PDFs. Not what I'm looking for.

Some writers push the theory that Amazon deliberately cripple their devices in calculated ways, calculated to make more people need to buy more than one device. It is supported by small indications, like the Kindle fire being unable to change line height in the books.
I dunno, it would seem to be against the ethos Bezos (hey that rhymes) has loudly stated recently, that they make their money only on content, not on forced hardware upgrades/purchases.


TC [Girl] said...

Text-to-speech on the iPad is still a sorry mess.

WEIRD...along w/the "no audiobooks" thing. :-/

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah. I dunno if all these things stem from copyright battles, but I wouldn't be surprised. Amazon got immediate problems when the K2 came out with TTS.