Authors Guild irked by text-to-speech on Kindle 2

NEW YORK (AP) -- The guild that represents authors is urging writers to be wary of a text-to-speech feature on Amazon.com Inc.'s updated Kindle electronic reading device.

In a memo sent to members Thursday, the guild says the Kindle 2's "Read to Me" feature "presents a significant challenge to the publishing industry."

The Kindle can read text in a somewhat stilted electronic voice. But the Authors Guild says the quality figures to "improve rapidly." And the guild worries that could undermine the market for audio books.

It is telling authors and publishers to consider asking Amazon to disable the audio function on e-books it licenses.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said the company has the proper license for the text-to-speech function, which comes from Nuance Communications Inc.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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