Microsoft plans to include a talking book option in its MS Reader that will enable consumers to listen to as well as read titles in electronic form.
The software giant confirmed at this week's Consumer Electronics Show that it is working with Audible, a developer of digital spoken audio for PCs and mobile devices, to add a talking option in MS Reader. The deal will make Audible's 20,000 hours of audio available for download to users of MS Reader.
"MS Reader will not only give users access to thousands of hours of content from the audible.com store, it will also be exciting multifunctional software that can tap vast text libraries," said Donald Katz, chairman and founder of Audible. "This innovation represents the ultimate in digital spoken audio and text flexibility."
Audible.com features daily selected audio content from The Wall Street Journal, as well as daily digests from The New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist Audio Digest, Forbes and Harvard Management Update.
The site also features a vast collection of audio books from such best selling authors as including Stephen King, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Jon Krakauer and Scott Adams, as well as selected on demand radio programmes.
Microsoft claims that MS Reader software for PCs and handheld devices delivers an on screen computer reading experience that, for the first time, approaches the quality of reading text on paper.
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