Amazon listening?

Last year Amazon spent a lot of time throwing its weight around, trying to squash and curtail the activities of smaller publishers and booksellers on its site. But just last week, they have shown that they are capable of listening and working with consumers… when they see a threat to there own product line anyway.

The new Kindle has a text-to-speech feature which allows a reader to become listener as an automaton voice recites the text, which didn’t seem like a big deal to me. But agents and lawyers saw it differently, claiming it infringes on their ability to sell rights to the book for the audio-book format. At first, Amazon said ‘no’. But evidently they have had a chnage of heart and will give publishers the chance to opt-in/out to this feature. Which is really how things should be done, across the board these days. It’s 2009 and there is no reason why a content owner shouldn’t be given a choice of how their content will be made available.

I’m not much of a fan of the K2. It seems to be the device they should have put out there as the first one. And maybe they agree? The rumor mill is already cranking out “Kindle 3 by the end of the year” stories and some look to have merit. Which if they are truw, will put the Kindle in a place to remain competitive.