Yesterday’s launch of Blio, a new eReading software designed by inventor Ray Kurzweil and KNFB Reading Technology designed for a better reading experience that includes a text-to-speech feature, went off with some problems.
Publisher’s Weekly reports: “On the first day of its free downloads, even savvy tech users complained of difficulty installing the software. Others complained of wildly varying prices and a lack of for-pay titles to buy as well as a poor functioning text to speech feature that was much hyped in Blio’s many demos. And to top it all off, Hadrian Gardeur, founder of free e-book site Feedbooks.com, complained on Twitter that Blio was offering downloads of the Feedbook catalog without their permission (‘Hey Blio, next time that you add our OPDS catalog to a commercial product, send us an e-mail first.’)”
In the PW story, Peter Chapman, an executive at KNFB Reading Technology, is quoted as saying they were in the process of signing a deal with Feedbooks.com, but just hadn’t given Feedbooks the exact launch date. But The Digital Reader followed up and found out that Gardeur did not know. From the Digital Reader blog: “…they were not asked, they were told by Mike Angelo that Feedbooks would be included. When Hadrien protested, he was ignored….This is actually worse, if you ask me. It’s one thing if you forget to ask, but asking and ignoring the ‘no’, well, in terms of business ethics I think it falls just short of piracy.”