December 2010 Issue  Volume 11  Number 8

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I thank Darren Burton for the excellent review of the Kindle 3. A few comments:

I think it is important to mention the prosody of the text-to-speech (TTS) presentation. A good reading system should use the roadmarks of reading (e.g., paragraphs, headings, lists) to present a better reading experience.

If the paragraphs run together, it makes reading more difficult. The last time I checked, there was no preprocessing before it sent the text to the TTS engine. Yes, the TTS engines do prosody for periods, commas, question marks, etc., but for structural elements, it is the job of the reading system to use varying-length pauses to indicate transitions: one length pause between paragraphs and a longer pause before and after headings; same with bullets and other block constructs.

So, I see this as a downfall and a recommendation for the future.

Best,

George Kerscher
Secretary General, DAISY Consortium

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