Imagine for a moment the following situation: you’re in the middle of reading a book on your Kindle, but have to stop to fetch someone from the airport. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your book read to you by a professional narrator en route?
Amazon is flexing its prodigious digital muscles to bring two of its literary properties – the Kindle eBook Store and Audible, the marketplace for all things audiobook related – together to create Amazon Whispersync for Voice.
Anyone who has used the Kindle apps across multiple devices will be able to express the joy that Amazon’s Whispersync technology brings by keeping your progress in all of your books synchronised no matter whether you choose to continue on your tablet, smartphone or Kindle ereader. Amazon is using the same technology in Whispersync for Voice, but is instead allowing you to continue ‘reading’ by listening to the audiobook version of your story and keeping your progress synchronised so that you can just pick up the book when you’re ready to carry on reading again.
There are over 45 000 books currently available that have Whispersync for Voice enabled, with more undoubtedly set to grow over time as more of the 150 000+ audiobooks on Audible are linked to their ebook counterparts. You can even check the database of books you have purchased from Amazon against the list of audiobook enabled titles to see if you can upgrade any of your current list. Upgrading a book costs anywhere from $0.99 (approx. R10.50) all the way up to $3.99 (approx. R43) which can turn a book into a rather expensive proposition once you’ve paid for both sets of content.
For users certain of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets (the Fire HD, Fire HDX and Fire HDX 8.9″) as well as those using the Android version of the Kindle app you can also choose to read along with the audiobook in what Amazon calls ‘Immersion Reading’.