Blind Bargains

Roughly Half of Amazon Kindle Bestsellers have Text-to-speech Disabled

Roughly half of bestselling books available for Amazon's Kindle book reader have text-to-speech functionality disabled, according to an informal survey performed by Blind Bargains. Amazon lists whether TTS is enabled or disabled on the book page for Kindle titles. 6 out of the top 10 titles in Amazon's own bestseller list had speech enabled while a survey of the New York Times' top-selling fiction books gave less favorable results. In addition, Amazon's Kindle 2 has the ability to remotely kill TTS functionality, an option which has already been performed on titles by Random House and other publishers in 2009. Some larger publishing houses including Harper Collins appear to have left that TTS feature intact, however.

Category: Books/Movies/Music
Displaying 2 comments.
darknexus Friday, 30-Jul-2010 04:06 AM ET:

Could any less be expected of a company who caved to the publishers on this without even attempting to defend tts features?

DPinWI Friday, 30-Jul-2010 4:01 PM ET:

I find it hard to blame Amazon for this. They are subject to the sometimes misguided whims of the publishers, and are not in the business of defending the print disabled community. That said, it appears Apple has found a way around it, and perhaps Amazon can and will too. Assuming there's a reason for them to do so.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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