Saturday, September 8, 2012

Whispersync for voice, cool but US only, of course

Amazon's new service for a limited number of books (15,000 at the moment I think), Whispersync for voice, syncing an audiobook with an ebook, or using both at once, seems to work only in the US.
Also this one. I've used ten minutes so far trying to find out.

It's not just the "secondary citizen" feeling one gets from this kind of thing that gets me, it's the fact that they almost never tell you up front that this is the case, so you get excited and disappointed, and you use a lot of time trying to get the caca to work, when it won't.
Why don't they just say right up front: "this service is for US only so far"? Let's have some honesty and let's have some precise, helpful communication. They know that half their customers are outside the US, so why do they continue to act as though we don't exist and don't watch their announcements or read on their site?

It's not just Amazon either, it's quite typical. If I could get the time back I have wasted on these things, I could probably take a week in the hammock.

By the way, just found this, which many had been asking about: Amazon says:
"A single charge lasts up to eight weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10."

Half an hour? The Kindle customers are dedicated readers, they say, how many of those only read half an hour a day? Real readers read books instead of watching TV, meaning several hours of reading every day.
Sure, the battery life is still impressive, but why do they insist on tweaking the stats so much, to make it seem even more impressive? Who cares if you need to plug in the Kindle every four weeks or every eight weeks?
And why hide the "half hour" base of the computation if it's nothing to be ashamed of? (The same with the ad-supported prices of the Kindles. Why hide that fact in the small print if they don't think people will mind?)

1 comment:

ttl said...

For the merkans, life outside their continent is a very theoretical concept. For example, they consider their national sports tournaments to be "world wide" (World Wrestling Federation, World Championships, etc.)

For this reason, they do not see the reason to explicitly mention that something is not available for export. Rather, they will mention it when they do provide it elsewhere -- as an exotic detail.

As we have discussed before, the way to do business with the merkans is to pretend you are one of them: have a US postal address, US payment system (credit card), etc.

Also, on the phone, mimic their ridiculous accent the best you can. Lest they don't understand you. Pronounce all your t's as d's (budder, not "butter"). Don't use any difficult words. If you are unsure, any noun can safely be substituted with the word ass.