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Posts tagged text to speech

Voice Dream reader app can now play audiobooks
December 8, 2013 | 12:15 pm

Voice Dream reader appThe new version of the Voice Dream reader app, a superb iOS text-to-speech app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, can now play audiobooks, too. Even at $10, costlier than the typical app, Voice Dream is a Buy, capital B, at the Apple App Store. Voice Dream 2.9.2 can handle zipped MP3s as well as audiobooks in Daisy, thanks to help from a Swiss library organization, and navigation and general usability are excellent, just as in the regular text-to-speech mode for ePub files and others. Dozen of optional voices in common languages work with the app, and my favorite is the UK-accented “Peter” voice...

How to get the most out of library ebooks via the right gadget, text to speech, and otherwise
October 18, 2013 | 6:26 pm

FireVergeWant to hear text to speech from free library ebooks on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android machine and the usual OverDrive app can’t do “read-aloud” unless audiobooks count? Also, what if you haven’t even bought an e-reading gizmo for library use, but want to? Which model to go with? In those cases and others, the guidance here is for you. Most tips will work even with low-cost, no-name tablets. But let’s pay special attention to the new Kindle Fire HDXes. They are among the top choices if you care more about reading than about tech and can stomach...

Ouch! Text to speech is also AWOL from this year’s Amazon Paperwhite
September 3, 2013 | 4:18 pm

Amazon PaperwhiteDrat! The newest Kindle Paperwhite E Ink reader from Amazon is still missing text to speech—among the features Jeff Bezos touted when he unveiled the second Kindle in 2009. Doubt me? Just look at the Paperwhite users guide and see what’s AWOL. Click here for a better view, with a list of not-overlooked improvements in the newer Paperwhite model. It’s to start shipping Sept. 30. Like the first Paperwhite, the basic version will sell for $119 and up, and supposedly the newer PWs will offer “higher contrast” between text and background. I found last year’s Paperwhites to be still somewhat lacking in contrast despite a noticeable improvement over earlier models. On...

Review: Voice Dream Reader e-reading app
May 13, 2013 | 11:49 am

Voice DreamNote: An update of this post on LibraryCity.org focuses on education-related issues of read-aloud apps. A Catch-22 dogs those of us who most often read e-books visually but also want to hear them when we’re exercising or driving. The usual e-bookware doesn’t always come with or work with text to speech capabilities. Even if it does, we can’t control the aural part as closely as we’d prefer. I myself like the Moon+ Reader Pro Android app, and I’m in love with the added-on “Amy” voice, a British-accented delight from another developer, Ivona, now an arm of Amazon. But I can’t revisit already-viewed text quickly enough while I’m hearing audio by...

Setting up Moon+ Reader for Text-to-Speech Using Ivona
April 30, 2013 | 1:15 pm

Moon+ ReaderI was presenting at a seminar last week, and someone came up to me afterwards and said he'd bought my book and was enjoying it. His only complaint was that the Kindle for Android app didn't support text to speech, and he wished he could listen to my book while he was driving. "No problem," I told him. "Ivona and Moon+ Reader." My books are all DRM-free, so it was easy for him to download the file and open it in Moon+ Reader. If you want to try this trick at home with different books, you may need to first remove DRM. I've...

Bookshare introduces new products for disabled readers
February 11, 2013 | 10:00 am

BookshareBookshare has developed two new digital products to help those with disabilities. Bookshare’s Web Reader and Bookshelf were announced at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference, held January 30 through February 2 in Orlando, Fla. The products were created to help those with impairments such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities or low vision. The Web Reader will allow Bookshare members to open books, including NIMAC textbooks, in a browser without the need of any downloads or separate software. The Web Reader is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9 and above. Web Reader allows individuals to adjust font size, colors and display format....

Is Amazon’s Acquisition of Ivona good or bad for disabled e-library users?
January 24, 2013 | 3:45 pm

Well, guess which Seattle-based  megaconglomerate has just bought Ivona Software (Web site here, Wikipedia entry here)—perhaps the world’s best provider of text to speech to use with e-books and other texts? That’s right, Amazon. It’s already using an Ivona voice in the Kindle Fire, and Ivona tech is also powering “Voice Guide” and “Explore by Touch.” Too bad those features aren’t available on the Paperwhite so far. Deliberate intra-brand market segmentation? Stinks either way. At any rate, even now, you can see Jeff Bezos’ corporate branding on the Ivona site. It’s too early to know how this will shake out for library users with disabilities and for other...

Kindle Fire HDs apparently can’t change line spacing …
September 17, 2012 | 12:10 pm

Kindle Fire HD tablets apparently can’t change line spacing when you’re reading an e-book. Is this part of a consumer-hostile niching initiative by Amazon to high-pressure my fellow Kindle addicts into buying more than one gizmo? Yes, I suspect—if we consider similar disappointments, such as the omission of sound in the Paperwhite E Ink reader line. Separately, it appears that at least for now, Amazon won’t offer a text-to-speech upgrade for owners of the original Fire (above photo). Let’s speak up and change that! Big thanks to Andrea for nailing this one down, and I hope other LibraryCity community participants will also raise usability issues with Amazon in a civil...

How to encourage Amazon to bring TTS to the Paperwhite
September 16, 2012 | 10:30 pm

After I raised the issue of the Kindle Paperwhite being developed without a text-to-speech feature, a reader asked how she, too, could get in touch with Amazon to voice her displeasure. Incidentally, I had in mind not just blind people, but also joggers and other sighted folks who enjoy the “Read to me” feature. Beyond that, how about good text to speech and voiceover in Kindle apps? If you would also like to see TTS functionality for the Paperwhite, here's how you can convey your requests to Amazon: 1. Contact Amazon directly through a web form. Tell Bezos and his colleagues that you’d strongly prefer that all Paperwhites and other...

Follow That Story: Paperwhite’s suspiciously absent TTS
September 11, 2012 | 9:30 am

Last Friday, we brought you a wonderfully seditious opinion piece written by TeleRead founder David Rothman about the fact that Amazon's brand-new Kindle Paperwhite models were produced without text to speech (TTS) functionality. It's an important essay, so click here to give it a read if you haven't already. David tells us he's been in touch with the public relations department of the National Federation for the Blind, who are apparently attempting to get a conversation started with Amazon about this very contentious issue. The NFB's PR director, Chris Danielsen, published a release last Thursday that has since been nationally distributed....

Elsevier Enables its e-Books to Read Aloud, Increasing Access for People With Print Disabilities
December 8, 2010 | 9:04 am

images.jpegFrom the press release: Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, announced today that it has enabled the text-to-speech option on all of its ePub book titles. The text-to-speech function enables an e-book to read aloud. This will facilitate access by readers who would otherwise face a range of access challenges through blindness, dyslexia, or motor difficulties. With 10-15% of the global population struggling with some form of print disability, the accessibility of publications is essential to open up access for a broad array of people. Text-to-speech enables access by people with disabilities who might otherwise...

UK Publishers Association says turn on text-to-speech
October 7, 2010 | 3:09 pm

images.jpgFrom The Bookseller: The Publishers Association, The Society of Authors, The Association of Authors Agents and The Right to Read Alliance have released a joint 'recommendation to publishers' to encourage the use of the text-to-speak function on digital devices. The option is sometimes disabled in order to protect the rights of the audio-book publisher. The PA said the recommendation would go some way to offering people with print disabilities the same rights to access e-readers as those without disabilities, and should provide a more equal footing as sales of these devices take off in the UK. The joint statement "recommends that text...