By February 27, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Kindle 2 text-to-speech smackdown

Author, audiobook narrator, and actor extraordinaire Wil Wheaton takes on the whole kerfuffle (worthy of a NYT opinion from Roy Blount) on how the Kindle 2’s text-to-speech capability of any book downloaded on the eBook reader does/does not violate the book author’s rights. Wheaton created a ten-minute human vs. machine smackdown. Here’s what he says:

To find out, I picked a short passage from Sunken Treasure and read it. Then, I took the identical passage, and let my computer read it. I recorded the whole thing and put together something I call “Wil Wheaton versus Text 2 Speech” so you can hear for yourself.

I was planning to Skype with my son this weekend so that he could have his Kindle 2 read to me via webcam. But Wheaton has saved me from that exercise in tech-geek. Listen to the results and see what you make of   this 21st Century John Henry contest! Thanks to Cory Doctorow for the link on BoingBoing.

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

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