Friday, January 25, 2013

Kindle News: GUNS - Stephen King's new Single, an Amazon exclusive. Amazon buys IVONA TextToSpeech company.

Stephen King's new Amazon Single, Exclusive to Amazon, at $0.99

"GUNS" is a "personal essay." Stephen King explains:

  “I think the issue of an America awash in guns is one every citizen has to think about,” said King. “If this helps provoke constructive debate, I’ve done my job.

  Once I finished writing ‘Guns’ I wanted it published quickly, and Kindle Singles provided an excellent fit.”

Well, that's certainly timely.

Amazon acquires IVONA
I'll just include the press release.  Amazon already uses IVONA technology in the Kindle Fire HD.  It'll be interesting to see where Amazon takes this.
' SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 24, 2013-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)—, Inc. today announced that it has acquired leading text-to-speech technology company IVONA Software. IVONA delivers world-class technologies that power the “Text-to-Speech,” “Voice Guide” and “Explore by Touch” features on Kindle Fire tablets. Additionally, IVONA delivers text-to-speech products and services for thousands of developers, businesses and customers around the world.

“IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”

“For more than ten years, the IVONA team has been focused on creating innovative text-to-speech technologies,” said Lukasz Osowski, CEO and co-founder of IVONA. “We are all thrilled that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional voice and language support for our customers.”

IVONA offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages and more in development. '

Note to Google RSS-feed Readers
I updated an earlier blog article on Les Miserables (books, music, movie, videos) and am letting you know here since Google Reader doesn't move updated articles up.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
NOTES on newer Kindles.
Updated Kindle Fire 2 Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $299/$369
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $499/$599
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299 Discontinued
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - ~£89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK
Canada - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $199

OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China
Japan - Amazon Japan

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Has Amazon actually delivered Voice Guide and Explore by Touch on Fire yet? They announced this a couple of months ago but I don't think the update has come out yet.

    1. Tom, not that I know of, beyond text-to-speech, which works very well on at least the HD models.
      It could be that they've made the voice-guide and touch-explore features available on KFHD for app developers or that they plan to implement them in days. Probably more likely the former...

  2. Ivona still sounds pretty robotic to me, I prefer iSpeech.

    1. IsaacP, If nothing else, I sure hope that Amazon would teach Ivona and her offspring how to STOP on periods and before the start of a new chapter or section.


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