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Kindle's Text-to-Speech (TTS)

Amazon's Covert Secret alternative to Audio Books

By Gina CallawayPublished 7 years ago 3 min read


Listening to audiobooks is becoming more popular than ever. What a great way to ease a long commute, combat road rage in rush hour traffic, help household chores breeze by or pass the time on a flight. Listening to books while accomplishing other tasks at the same time even boosts productivity. I'll play an audio book while I'm preparing a family meal or folding laundry. Sure helps these mundane chores feel less harrowing. My primary source for most audio books is my local library. I usually listen to them with the Blue Fire Reader application or the Overdrive Media application on my iPhone. What's even slicker is listeners can download audio books from local libraries and borrow them for up to 21 days.

The only drawback to this method is the person reading the story may influence how the story is read, especially with tone of the voices he/she chooses to use. Sometimes, the audio book reader can project preconceived emotions into the characters, just with simple fluctuations in voice control. Other times, I find the reader interjects emphasis on certain words or phrases which maybe I wouldn't have if reading the book myself. Inflections can change the context of the story. These things make listening less entertaining for me. If you too experience some of these issues, don't despair, there is another option available. Have you heard of Kindle's Text-to-Speech (TTS)?


A viable option for this is Amazon Kindle's Text-to-Speech. Its an under utilized function on all kindle fire tablets. I'm finding more and more books are being published with this feature enabled. The Text-to-Speech function allows the user to select a female or male voice. Both sound similar to the computer voice frequently used on GPS modules or computer assistants like Apple's "Siri" or Amazon's "Alexa". It took me a little while to get used to the voice with its unique pronunciation and accent on some words. Oddly enough, the more I listened the more I didn't notice these affects.

What I really like about the Kindle's Text-to-Speech option is I feel like it closely emulates me reading the book to myself. The computer doesn't put emphasis on any of the words or have different voices for different characters. After I listen to the book for a while, the computer voice blends into the background. I get lost in the story much easier than I do when I hear an audio book. I certainly feel I'm no longer being influenced at all by the voice. Another advantage is the cost. Audio books are not cheap. Kindle's Text-to-Speech function is enabled on most all digital content released today. It doesn't cost any extra. There are many daily deals on amazon digital books for less than $3.99, compare that to most audio book prices and you will be blown away.

The best way to listen to the Kindle's Text-to-Speech function is with a headset but listening through the kindle's built in speakers is also available. The drawback is its portability. I usually put the kindle in a small backpack when I'm doing my chores. Its lightweight and doesn't hinder my ability to function.

This is one of the MANY reasons I would recommend buying a Kindle over ANY other e-book reader!!!

So, what do you think? Have you ever used the Text-to-Speech option? If so, did you like it or detest it? What are your thoughts about audio books? Does the reader's voice ever influence your feelings about characters? Can you get lost in the story better with audio books or Kindle's TTS?

What do you ultimately prefer: Text-to-Speech or Audio Books?

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