Amazon announced today that it has launched some upgrades to its Whispersync for Voice technology to make it easier for people reading Kindle books to switch between reading and listening to the Audible audiobook version on a smartphone or tablet.
For one, they've doubled the number of titles that support the technology. They've also launched a couple of new features.
Audible has a new "Matchmaker" feature, which will find titles in the Kindle user's library that are Whispersync for Voice-enabled, and let users upgrade the books to have narration available with one click. They've also made some changes to the checkout process so the technology can be added to purchases with a click.
There are now over 30,000 titles that are ready to take advantage of Whispersync for Voice. More are being added every day, according to Amazon.
Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz said, “Whispersync for Voice customers continue to marvel at how this innovation has changed their lives. 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.”
"Whispersync for Voice was invented by Amazon and Audible as a way to insert the myriad intellectual and emotional benefits of books into all available moments of a busy life," says Amazon, who acquired Audible back in 2008. "To switch back and forth between reading and listening, all you need is a smartphone or tablet. Next time you buy a Kindle book, simply follow the Whispersync for Voice prompt on the purchase page to add the narration and activate the pairing (when available), and your ebook and audiobook will be automatically synchronized. When you stop reading the ebook on your Kindle, you can switch to listening to the corresponding audiobook on your smartphone once you select the title in your library—and the audio will begin wherever you left off in the text."
The company points to a recent poll from SodaHead.com, which found that 83% said they wish they had more time to read.