Amazon and Audible have announced a series of enhancements for their seminal Whispersync for Voice technology found on the entire line of Kindle tablets. The essence of this platform is to allow readers to buy both the audiobook and eBook and pick up where they left off. If you are reading an eBook at night and then fire up the audiobook during the morning commute, you will be able to start listening where you left off in the eBook. The big announcement today is the doubling of books/audiobooks compatible with Whispersync for Voice and a new Matchmaker feature.
Audible’s new Matchmaker feature will scan all of the titles in the Kindle user’s library that are Whispersync for Voice-enabled, and allow users to upgrade those books by adding narration with one click. A simplified checkout process for new purchases similarly requires just one click to add audio to a Whispersync for Voice-enabled Kindle title. Total available Whispersync for Voice titles now number over 30,000, with new titles being added every day, giving readers even more choice—and more control over how they experience their books.
“Whispersync for Voice customers continue to marvel at how this innovation has changed their lives,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “Some customers love the feature so much that they are now only buying books that are Whispersync for Voice-enabled. Whether commuting to work, driving to a soccer game, taking a road trip, exercising or making dinner, Whispersync for Voice allows people to continue enjoying books even when their eyes are busy, so a great story can continue throughout an active day. It truly is the future of reading.”
Over one million Whispersync for Voice-enabled titles have been downloaded since launch; 70% of the current New York Times bestseller list supports this feature. All Audible titles are professionally narrated; Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meg Ryan, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Connelly and Susan Sarandon are among the luminaries who have recently performed audiobooks for Audible.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.