Amazon/Audible’s Whispersync for Voice a Bibliophile’s Fantasy

All right, did I just call Whispersync for voice a bibliophile’s fantasy in this blog post’s title, and that only so I wouldn’t have to type that hoary cliche “a dream come true?’ Yes, a bit gushy, but it’s true. Here’s the deal. I bought a Kindle edition book by Peter Bergman on Amazon last week  (18 Minutes, a time management book that doesn’t try and teach you how to get “everything done” but to pick the right, key things to get done, and it’s a bit corny but also, I confess quite inspirational as a “life management” read). At some point during the purchase I was prompted to try Whispersync for Voice. And I was hooked by the idea, which met a need that I didn’t quite understand I’d had, and the great execution of it by Amazon which made purchasing and using the service dead simple.

It works like this: You buy the Kindle edition of the book. Then you click through to Audible.com and for about $4 more you can buy the audio version of the book. (You can make the purchase using your Amazon account’s stored credit card info.) And then you read. And say you’re reading at the breakfast table and then have to hit the road, you switch to the Audible app on your phone. And you start listening to the professional narration of the book (not a text to speech program), right from where you left off reading.  You get home that night, pick the book – er, Kindle, or iPad – up again to start reading and it’s synced forward to where you stopped listening.

I’m one of those people with very little free time, and a passion for books that these days I exercise less than I’d like to. I love to read, and I also love audio books, especially when driving, doing the dishes, running, etc. I grew up next door to my great grandmother, who read to me constantly as a child. Love to hear someone tell me a story. Thing is, a lot of times when listening to an audio book, especially technical or business, I wish I had the text so I could refer back, make a note, quote from it, etc. Problem solved.

I rarely rave about products on my blog. But this is one of those very cool products that I never realized I wanted but have clearly been subconsciously dreaming about since I first started churning through those Narnia books and Hardy Boys stories, way, way, back when.

If you’re not sold on it, give it a shot with one of the free titles (Tale of Two Cities, Moby Dick, Dracula, Vanity Fair, etc.); nothing to lose.