Apple is taking the next step in audiobook technology this week by launching what it calls “digital narration technology” in Apple Books. The new feature combines the power of AI, human linguists, and speech synthesis to provide audio narration of select eBooks in its library.
AI narration is now available to authors who want to make their work available in an audio format but don’t have the time and resources to hire a human narrator and produce a conventional audiobook. eBook authors in the fiction and romance genres can now select from two AI narrators named “Madison,” and “Jackson.” Non-fiction and self-development writers can choose between digital voices called “Helena,” and “Mitchel.” Apple intends to make additional voices available for other genres in the future.
Authors who choose to have their eBooks narrated by AI will retain their audiobook rights for other platforms, but the AI narration will only be available through Apple Books. The company states that it will take one to two months to process an audio eBook narration and conduct quality checks.
The company also states that it remains committed to “celebrating and showcasing the magic of human narration,” and will “continue to grow the human-narrated audiobook catalog.”