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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Text to Speech for the Kindle Fire...when?


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Showing 1-25 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 7, 2012 9:42:00 PM PDT
Hello Amazon,

Please, please prepare a text to speech software update or app that will enable the Kindle Fire to read Kindle ebook content. For that matter, enable the ability for all your reader platforms. Thank you.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 9:54:54 PM PDT
MamaSylvia says:
Ah, another person who didn't see the "CUSTOMER" in "Customer Discussions" and thinks the Amazon PTB are hanging here with bated breath, waiting to hear what they should do with their products ...

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 9:58:58 PM PDT
erkbhlee - first, Amazon isn't here, this forum is just for us customers. Second, Amazon doesn't have the rights to provide text-to-speech for the apps, including the Fire. Only for the "real" Kindles, i.e. the eInk devices. It's unlikely they'll be able to get the rights anytime soon, since the publishers they have to get them from don't like Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012 10:02:07 PM PDT
I know MamaSylvia, A thread started to hopefully generate some discussion from other "customers" who would like text to speech. And you would hope that Amazon would brief through these forums to get hints from the feedback on their product. I would be surprised if they didn't. Good evening.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 10:06:42 PM PDT
Amazon has been hearing about the lack of Text to Speech on the Fire since the day it shipped. There have been hundreds of posting in the forums complaining about it, and if people can be believed, at least as many emails to kindle-feedback. It is completely pointless to start another discussion, especially in this forum which Amazon does NOT frequently review.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012 10:07:22 PM PDT
Thanks for the insight Bruce. You would think it would not be a big issue especially since PC's have many text to speech tools that are helpful for those visually impaired. I agree though, the base line is the greed of the publishers. Especially if they offer their books on audible.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012 10:08:41 PM PDT
Has Amazon made any official statement about the issue? That would put it to rest.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012 10:45:40 PM PDT
Artist says:
In my experience, Amazon never discusses options/features that they DON'T offer.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 11:32:39 PM PDT
MamaSylvia says:
Wow, can you imagine the size of that press release?

"Amazon announced today that the Kindle Fire would continue to not have the Text-to-Speech feature. Or a camera. Or an SD card slot. Or USB host capability. Or 3G/4G capability. Or ..."

And how often would you like this comment re-issued, erkbhlee? Once a month? Once a week? Daily? Since obviously the fact isn't enough for you that TTS has NEVER been listed or even hinted at as possible, much less planned, for the Fire by any Amazon official.

The possibility of any of the above will never be "put to rest" as long as there are people who would rather believe what they choose to believe than to accept facts.

And, of course, Amazon may succeed in adding TTS. But none of us CUSTOMERS are in the know, and if there *are* any higher-ups quietly reading, they haven't chosen to respond to any of the previous 8,914 threads asking this same question, so why on earth would you think they would respond to yours?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 4:19:34 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
What issue? It was never listed as a feature on the Fire. If this feature is important why not buy a device that has it?

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 7:39:21 AM PDT
MamaSylvia...did not mean to get you on a rant.

Sorry, did not see the previous 8914 threads about this subject. Actually, first time I ever started a thread. And if there is that many, there is a good chance that Amazon developers might take notice of such a "software" patch (you lumped text to speech in with a lot of hardware functions that of course the Fire doesn't have). That's how products get better. When consumers of the product give feedback on its functionality. And there is some validity to the request. the Fire is branded as a Kindle. And Kindle users get used to the core features of the Kindle. Text to speech from my knowledge was unique to the eReaders that were on the market. So for people who use it, it was a disappointment when they did not see it in the latest "Kindle" product.

Remember the initial release of Kindle? Amazon made some major OS improvements due to feedback they received from the consumers. The squeaky wheel gets oiled...but no worries, If this is the 8915 thread on the subject, I will not waste my time posting another. Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:09:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012 8:10:06 AM PDT
erkbhlee - It is not a technical issue. It's not waiting on developers to figure out a "software patch". It's not waiting for Amazon to suddenly realize that the many hundreds of people (possible many thousands) who have asked them for text to speech on the Fire might actually want text to speech on the Fire. it's a legal issue, and one that Amazon will not be resolving soon. Amazon does not have the rights to provide text to speech on the Fire.

If you want an announcement search for the news about publishers threatening to pull books from Amazon when they first put TTS on the Kindle. The publishers claimed, and prevailed, that speech output required a separate license from the copyright owner. Amazon, after some tough negotiations, reached the current agreement with them which allows them to use TTS only on those specific books that the publishers permit, and only on the Kindle device, not apps.

Because the Fire is based on an app, rather than being a dedicated device like, say, a Kindle Touch, they do not have the rights to put TTS on the Fire. It would be very easy to do, they just are not allowed to.

So forget about getting their attention - they know we want it. Forget about developers figuring out how to do it - it isn't technically difficult. The only thing that will matter is the publishers (all six of the big ones, anyway) agreeing to allow it - and they don't want to.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 12:49:02 PM PDT
Thanks again Bruce for your insight.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 12:56:26 PM PDT
In addition, the Authors' Guild is adamantly against TTS.

There is no TTS on the newer Nook Tablet, nor the iPad 2 or new iPad, either.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 11:15:35 PM PDT
AC Sue says:
>> Amazon does not have the rights to provide text to speech on the Fire. <<

>> There is no TTS on the newer Nook Tablet, nor the iPad 2 or new iPad, either. <<

I don't use TTS, but that surprised me. I'd always assumed that the publishers granted the rights on a book by book basis, not on a device basis.

I'm assuming that it's just the Kindle app (or Ibooks app) that doesn't have TTS, and that other installed apps could have TTS -- like a reader app for non-DRM'd books in some format or other?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 2:11:46 AM PDT
Yes, in fact Bufo Calvin has posted several times describing how he uses other apps to read aloud from non-Kindle books on the Fire.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 11:52:18 PM PDT
AC Sue says:
Thanks Bruce. Good to know.

Posted on May 10, 2012 3:08:30 PM PDT
Visa says:
I can't figure out why the Kindle can have the same type of controls on its text-to-speech software that everybody else does. Controlling speed of the reading and different readers. I'm single I have no children I have disposable income. I'm dyslexic I can't read these books without a good reader. The people with disabilities act of 1992 that was signed into law by George W. Bush senior. Should be invoked somehow to get these people to do what's right. Learning-disabled people deserve access to books. It's almost criminal.

Posted on May 10, 2012 3:13:01 PM PDT
I'm not quite sure why you think Amazon owes you text-to-speech. They didn't publish the book, they're not required to make them accessible. Nevertheless they provide several methods to do so, including the various Kindle models that do support text-to-speech, the Audible service, and the text-to-speech plug-in for Kindle for PC.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 3:33:48 PM PDT
The disabilities act applies to providing reasonable public access, not requiring private companies to provide special services for every possibly disability.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 3:48:19 PM PDT
I'm a good reader. Wanna trade some disposable income?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:04:01 PM PDT
Dawn says:
"The disabilities act applies to providing reasonable public access, not requiring private companies to provide special services for every possibly disability."
+1 !

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:07:31 PM PDT
 nospin  says:
Dyslexia is a covered condition under Bookshare.org

Have your doctors fill out the paperwork and check into the devices that work with it. There have been reports that people have gotten Darwin Reader app to work on the Fire but you can't get it through the Amazon app store.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:17:10 PM PDT
Bruce, unless contractually bound, only an narcissistic elitist would think that a company "owes" people anything in the competitive world of capitalism. It is that same competitive capitalism however, that pushes companies to stay on the cutting edge in service and innovation. In the realm of text to speech, they (Amazon) offered a product that is available in their pre Fire products. It is not comparable to Audible. It is unique. It allows for readers to read or listen or do both at the same time. With the ability to stop to research, book mark, etc. And as other post have attested on this thread, it is helpful beyond convenience for the dyslexic or visually impaired.

It has been said that publishers are at fault. That does not completely wash. The publishers already have the ability to say no to tts for their books (If I see a book I like where they have it turned off, it tells me they (the publisher) are not interested about the customer so I don't buy the ebook. Might as well buy a used copy of the book for a couple bucks) If it was a legal issue, we would see tts wiped out on all versions.

In conclusion, I love the Kindle product. My family owns six Kindles. two version 2's, one touch, and three Kindle Fires. Many people I know have the kindle Fire and voice the same question about tts. Why don't they get the tts app or software upgrade built for the Fire? Why take a step backward in Customer Service? I was in R & D for years. If a company does not take time to consider customers (or user) feedback when developing initial and software upgrades,they are bound for trouble. Even behemoths like Amazon can lose the edge on the market if they become too complacent or arrogant in their success.

If anyone knows if Amazon has an official statement about the tts question, please post the source link. thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:40:40 PM PDT
Artist says:
All Amazon books are available to read to you out loud through an accessibility plug in on a PC with the Kindle reader app. Just because you might PREFER to read along on your Kindle does not mean that Amazon is violating any disability laws. You need to use your Kindle dictionary to look up the definition of "criminal."

Your sense of entitlement is shocking.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  33
Initial post:  Apr 7, 2012
Latest post:  May 10, 2012

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