As concerns about the potential impact of AI on employment continue to dominate the conversation, Apple has debuted a new feature on Apple Books that utilizes AI to provide audio narration for select titles.
According to the company’s website for authors, this feature will be especially beneficial for independent writers who may not have the resources to produce audio versions of their works.
Availability of AI-Generated Voices
At present, only a limited selection of titles are narrated using AI-generated voices from Apple. These titles will be identified with “Apple Books” listed as the narrator in the app.
Partner Publishing Companies
In an effort to make it easier for independent authors to create audio versions of their works, Apple has rolled out a new AI-powered audio narration feature for select titles on Apple Books.
However, authors who want to take advantage of this feature must currently sign up with partner publishing companies Draft2Digital or Ingram CoreSource.
Genre Availability and Voice Options
At present, Apple is accepting submissions in the romance and fiction genres, with support for literary, historical, and women’s fiction. The company is also planning to offer the feature for nonfiction and self-development genres.
Four voices are currently available in soprano and baritone categories
- Madison and Jackson (romance and fiction)
- Helena and Mitchell (self-development and non-fiction)
Apple has stated that these voices have been trained in specific genres but has not disclosed the specific training data used to fine-tune them.
Apple’s AI-Powered Audio Narration Streamlines Book Production
Apple’s new AI-powered audio narration feature on Apple Books aims to streamline the process of creating audio versions of books.
While many audiobook titles on the Apple Book store are narrated by the author or other voice actors, this feature allows authors to potentially forego traditional recording sessions.
Processing and Quality Checks
However, the company has stated that once an author submits a request, it takes one to two months to process the book and conduct quality checks. If there is not enough time for post-production checks, the title will be published as soon as processing is complete.
Consequences of Rushed Process Unclear
Apple has not provided any further details on the potential consequences of a rushed process or how the final product may be affected.
Platform Availability for AI-Powered Audiobooks Uncertain
As Apple rolls out its new AI-powered audio narration feature for select titles on Apple Books, it remains unclear whether authors will be able to port their audiobooks to other platforms. We have reached out to Apple for comment on this issue and will update this story if we receive a response.
Release Delay Due to Layoffs and Musk-Twitter Drama
According to a report from The Guardian, Apple had originally planned to release this feature in November, but it was delayed due to industry-wide layoffs and the Elon Musk-Twitter drama.
Apple Joins Growing Market for AI-Generated Audio Books
Apple’s newly launched AI-powered audio narration feature on Apple Books is joining a market that already includes a number of platforms, with the exception of Audible, that allow books to be narrated by AI-generated voices.
Increased Interest in Matrix-Backed Murf and Other Platforms Possible
The attention that Apple’s entry into the market for AI-generated audiobooks may bring could also increase interest in platforms such as Matrix-backed Murf, which enables creators to make AI-powered audiobooks.
Pricing for Apple’s Audio Book Conversion Process Unclear
At this time, there is no information available on how much Apple is charging publishers or authors for the process of converting a book into an audiobook.
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