We recently purchased a Amazon Kindle 2. I must say I was interested when the first Kindle came out, but I like to read reviews and find out how people use things before I plunk down that kind of money. The reviews looked good, but the consensus seemed to be that version 2 would be better. So I waited and was rewarded for my patience. The Kindle is great. I love the screen, it is as easy to read as a book. Its not too heavy, and I love that now I can make any book a large font. For someone with bad eyes, this is great.
But one feature that really sold me on the Kindle 2 was the Text-to-Speech feature. I learn best if I read and hear. Since I learned this about myself, I used to read aloud to myself, until I could get audio books. Then later I would look for books on PDF and convert those to audio using free programs on my computer. I once converted a 600 page book to 12 CDs when studying for an exam. It was all worth it, not only did I pass the test, but I have retained more of the information than I ever would of had just reading.
But once again, greed stands in the way of usability. Like the movie, TV and music industries before it, the Writers Guild is more worried about getting royalties from audio books than people reading, learning and enjoying literature people have written. When will people understand that technology WILL change the way most people consume: whether it be video, music, or literature, people want it accessible and fairly priced. VHS, DVDs, the internet and now Netflix and iTunes show this. The movie industry first fought VHS because they saw it taking away from box office sales. They were afraid of DVDs because people would learn to copy them and make perfect copies. The music industry is still scared of digital music. They see CD prices falling steadily, because they can't come up with a way to sell to consumers and get the money they used to, so Apple stepped in with iTunes. Now the Writers Guild wants to fight people listening to a computer read a book.
Didn't anyone learn how to share when they were kids? I agree that everyone from writer, actor, to musician should be able to make a living off their work, but do we need to always fight change? This was discussed before briefly. I have to end this post now before I get too mad. Bah.
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