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Hi Cindy,

I see that you're new.  Welcome!  

Okay, to answer your question:

Yes, it's common.  Other Kindleboard members could probably give you a much better answer than me, but I believe that the Writer's Guild (if that's what you call them), were protesting against the Kindle's text-to-speech feature.  Because of that, Amazon has given publishing companies the option to either keep or remove the text-to-speech feature, so it appears, unfortunately, that the publishing company chose to remove that feature for your sample book.  Nevertheless, I believe there are more books with text-to-speech than no text-to-speech.

Hope this answered your question.
:)
 

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Cindy

Look under the kindle price and it should tell you it it was enabled.


Text To Speech Not enabled ( and a check)

Tessa

P.S. what book did you order?
 

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Tessa and ElLector explained the situation, but I want to put in my 2 cents as well. This is one of those things that really blows my mind; I'm surprised any publishers/authors made a fuss over this. I can't imagine why anyone would want to limit accessibility for their products.
 

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L.Canton said:
Tessa and ElLector explained the situation, but I want to put in my 2 cents as well. This is one of those things that really blows my mind; I'm surprised any publishers/authors made a fuss over this. I can't imagine why anyone would want to limit accessibility for their products.
Because they also sell an audiobook version; if they left TTS enabled, then they lose that profit.
 

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Not for the people who want true audiobooks, with the author or an actor reading. The very robotic voice of the Kindle will not replace that. Probably though, with the quick advance of this technology, in a short time there will be very lifelike voices. The authors guild wanted to stop it before it was a real problem. Guess I am arguing both sides of this.
 

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intinst said:
Not for the people who want true audiobooks, with the author or an actor reading. The very robotic voice of the Kindle will not replace that. Probably though, with the quick advance of this technology, in a short time there will be very lifelike voices. The authors guild wanted to stop it before it was a real problem. Guess I am arguing both sides of this.
Very close to already there:

http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html
 

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I just want an acapela hack!  As for the enabled thing.  They only show "Text to Speech not enabled" on the books for which they disabled it, and yes this is listed directly under the price.  If it hasn't been disables there's nothing there since it's a feature all books are supposed to have unless otherwise stated.
 

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You know what? At this point all I really care about is getting acapela for the kindle iphone app. It's way more convenient to use TSS on a small device like that anyway.
 

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intinst said:
Not for the people who want true audiobooks, with the author or an actor reading. The very robotic voice of the Kindle will not replace that. Probably though, with the quick advance of this technology, in a short time there will be very lifelike voices. The authors guild wanted to stop it before it was a real problem. Guess I am arguing both sides of this.
As an Audible subscriber, I'm frustrated by the current limitations of audiobooks: 1) there's no way to navigate by content, for example, to go to the point where a particular word or name was spoken 2) some voices, for whatever reason, are just annoying to my ear, and there's no way to change it 3) sometimes I just want to read the text.

Much as I enjoy a good 'performance', I would like the ability to dynamically change a voice to something I prefer, & to alter reading cadence, while being able to retain the advantages of having full access to the text in question. Voice synthesis solves these problems, and eventually could allow readers to create their own 'performances' (i.e. by defining the voice properties and assignments) and share them with others. So I very much look forward to developments in the area of TTS (acapela sounds great!). Kindle's TTS is ok for occasional use, but needs to improve.

Another way to approach this would be to 'text enhance' audiobooks (i.e. the text could be embedded in the audio file in such a way that it could be synced to the audio). Players with any sort of display could scroll text across it in synchronization with the speech, and could be equipped with text search. But that would still leave us with annoying performances.

As for the author's guild, they can lead, follow, or get out of the way! It is the getting in the way that is in nobody's interest.

For example: why not provide two ebook editions: one with TTS enabled, one with TTS disabled. Charge $1 more for TTS (this assumes they actually make an audiobook edition available - otherwise they are just schmucks).
 
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