Weblog for students in the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies "digital divides" course to post discussion questions and other tidbits. Click here to post.
HAHA! you beat me to this by ONE MINUTE! i must have been linking and typing it as you hit "submit."i agree though. would you rather hear professional voice actors read you a book or an updated for the 2000s speak & spell?
Why even include the robot voice? And worse, why sell it as an feature of the upgraded model? I guess it can read books that haven't been made into books on tape, but it seems like a tonal error in judgment, particularly if they're trying to target people who are wary of transitioning to an e-reader. It seems to confirm anxieties more than alleviate them.
On second thought, the text-to-speech feature could be helpful to the visually-impaired and blind. When I worked at the Arlington Public Library A/V desk, I was responsible for the Talking Books program, which is run by the Library of Congress. Many patrons would get very emotional about how important the books were to their lives, especially if they were almost finished with what they had been listening to. My grandpa is going blind, and I've seen how saddening it can be for people who struggle to find things to do after they can't see. So talking books, or books read by a robot could help. People would have the ability to store many books at once, to not have to wait anxiously for the "human-voiced" tapes to come in the mail. Plus, books wouldn't be confined to what's available in the collection. Also, one, no, two middle fingers to the Author's Guild. People will still want to hear audio books with human readers, and if the technology progresses then strike a deal with Amazon or whoever else. No one seems to want to learn from the mistakes of the music industry. Panic! Panic! File a lawsuit! Litigate those blind people, Author's Guild. Let 'em have it. It's not like they can see you.
How difficult would it be for a visually impaired person to operate the kindle? I've never used one before.As for the Author's Guild, they are totally panicking.
That's a good question. We should be able to find out soon. I ordered one at Christmas time and I was told it would take 3 months to arrive. I got an email this week saying that I'd be getting the upgraded version. It should arrive in a few weeks.