Random House shuts down Kindle text-to-speech for their titles

And so it begins: Random House has switched off Kindle Text-to-speech by default, angering educators and advocates for the blind in the process. Forty titles have been shut down including books by Stephen King and Toni Morrison.

Interestingly, Random House can start this process even after you’ve purchased the book on the Kindle, essentially shutting off functionality on products you already “own.” As we’ve said before: text-to-speech is not an audiobook, the Authors Guild is wrong, and even Wil Wheaton thinks this whole thing is dumb.

Once Wesley Crusher is against you, you need to rethink your priorities.

The Kindle 2’s text-to-speech system uses a synthesized voice to read books over the audio jack. The quality is average at best and could not be compared to a professional recorded audiobook, the product the Authors Guild and Random House are trying to protect.