If you have a big Kindle collection, either on tablet or smartphone or e-reader, it just got better. Amazon has finally brought Whispersync For Voice, which lets you switch seamlessly from written text to human-narrated audiobook, to Australia.
Whispersync for Voice leans on the Amazon-owned Audible, which has a massive library of audiobooks and allows for monthly or bulk subscription purchases. Audible has a star-studded cast of narrators like Jeremy Irons and Jake Gyllenhaal on some of its books, and 25,000-odd titles currently available with matching ebooks in Australia so far. It only costs a dollar or two to add narration to your existing books, and the library of supported titles is growing quickly.
With the new service, you can be half-way through reading a Kindle title, and switch to the narrated audiobook (on any compatible title) to close your eyes and have the dulcet tones of a narrator take off where you stopped reading. It might sound a bit weird — I listen to audiobooks and read Kindle ebooks in entirely different settings — but apparently people in the US, where Whispersync for Voice has existed for a while, are big fans.
Importantly, the Whispersync for Voice service doesn’t work on regular Kindles; you’ll need the Kindle or Audible app on your iOS or Android tablet or smartphone. So if you’re thinking of upgrading some of your library to include discounted Whispersync audiobooks, make sure you read or listen on the right device beforehand.
Upgrading your existing ebooks to include Whispersync for Voice costs as little as 99 cents, and you can check whether your existing library is compatible by visiting www.amazon.com.au/matchmaker. (My 20-book-strong library didn’t have anything compatible, unfortunately.) Eight titles are free this month to show off the service, including Treaure Island and Dracula. [Amazon]