I have probably told you this once or twice, but one reason I don’t listen to audiobooks is the authors I like to read often use made up names that are almost unrecognizable when spoken aloud.
This is a common problem in fantasy and science fiction, and when listening to audiobooks it has often left me scratching my head and wondering what did I just hear.
Audible is working on a solution to my problem, and they plan to release it later this summer. The new feature is called Audible Captions, and it is basically what the title says: text captions for your audiobook.
Inspired by Audible’s work with students in Newark, New Jersey, Audible Captions are computer-generated text that replicates the spoken words of an audiobook.
Audible has developed a process that builds on the voice recognition work done for Amazon Alexa to convert what the narrator says into text. The voice you hear will continue to be that of the narrator, but now you can read along. You’ll have your choice of font sizes, and you can follow the narration line-by-line, word-by-word, or through progressive type (the text will appear as if someone is typing – like one of those bad hacking scenes in a movie).
“We know from years and years of work, that parents and educators, in particular, understand that an audio experience of well-composed words is really important in developing learners,” said Audible founder and CEO Don Katz, adding that the company never accepted “the rote inception of what reading is,” dating to its origins in the mid-1990s.
Audible Captions will be available on hundreds of thousands of audiobooks at launch,