A Kindle App Audio Mystery

Why does "I Am Pilgrim" sort of Whispersync?

July 15, 2014

So this is what’s going on.

My Kindle book, I Am Pilgrim, is able to toggle back and forth between e-text and audio.  

What is the problem you may ask?  Isn’t that what Whispersync for Voice books are supposed to to?

Yes.  But I Am Pilgrim is not listed as Whispersync enabled.  

Furthermore, I Am Pilgrim is only able to toggle between e-text and audio within the iOS Kindle app.  Normally, a Whispersync book will keep synced across the Audible app and any Kindle.   I Am Pilgrim is not syncing with my Audible app.

I discovered this strange occurrence by accident, having separately purchased the Kindle and Audible versions (the book is 705 pages), and only later discovering that audio icon in the iOS Kindle app (a little headphone icon) was appearing.  

I’m writing this post as a quasi Internet experiment.

The question is can the Web World answer a question about Amazon’s technology better than Amazon’s customer service?

Will this post get shared and tweeted and passed around enough that someone at Amazon or Audible will respond with some real information?

Or will the Amazon / Audible cone of silence endure, impervious to the virus that is social media?

My efforts to figure this mystery out with Amazon Kindle technical support were not successful.  

The Amazon Kindle support people that I worked with were great.  We had 3 separate phone calls over 3 days.  They researched the issue, and were able to verify that the e-book was indeed behaving in this way.  But they were able to offer not reasons why this was happening, and no indications if other Kindle titles would exhibit similar behavior.

What was also interesting was that the Amazon Kindle support people do not seem to have a mechanism to work with the Audible technical people, even though Amazon owns Audible.  At least on the support side they two divisions, Kindle and Audible, are not integrated to a degree that they can collaborate on technical issues.  

This seems somewhat strange to me as the Kindle and Audible experiences are beginning to merge.  

So far, the Whispersync technology rollout has not been completely smooth, as it still necessary to buy the Kindle book first and then the Audible version (rather than the other way around) in order to get the discounted price on one of the digital versions.  

Nor has Audible or Amazon figured out how to deal with Platinum Audible subscribers, as sometimes the Whispersync audiobook version is more expensive than what an Audible credit costs.

So, can you help?

What is going on with I Am Pilgrim?

Will social media be able to solve a technical issue that stumped technical support?


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