This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Advantages of Text to Speech


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I'm hoping for a new Kindle this Christmas. While I'm one of those traditional book lovers who enjoys the smell of a fresh printed book and holding it in my hand, the new text to speech feature on the Kindle is luring me. 


Over a year ago I began having eye problems due to a condition I developed in my eyes from wearing contacts for so many years and not getting enough oxygen to the cornea. To make matters worse I suffer from severe allergies and dry eyes. Too much time on the computer strains my eyes, and since I'm required to be on it for my day job, a text to speech feature on the Kindle would greatly benefit me when I want to read for pleasure. I'd be able to listen to books while driving to and from work and possibly read more books than currently. 

If you have a Kindle and you've used the text to speech feature, will you let me know how you like it? Does it pause between sentences or state the punctuation? Can you set the speed and voice to your personal preferences? I'd love to hear opinions!

7 comments:

I have a kindle and love it. The way a kindle is set up is not the same way of a computer. My eyes have never been strained by my kindle. I love the text to speach feature. I use it a lot. One of the things I wish the kindle had was an automatic shut off. If I forget to shut it off it will drain completely and take over a day to recharge before I can use it again. Maybe the newer kindles have that.

When I try to listen to audio books, I tend to wander mentally. I imagine I'd have the same problem with text to speech on the Kindle.

Let us know how you like it.

Pastor Randy, Thanks for letting me know how easy the Kindle is on your eyes. I was definitely wondering about that.

Janalyn,

I'll let you know how I like it when I finally get one and try it out for myself.

I have a Kindle. It has been wonderful for me to travel with. The text to speech feature is not as dependable as it used to be. Many authors are no longer offering the option on their books (probably because it cuts into their audio book sales), so that's something to consider. Other than that, it works fine!

Niki, I was reading about how some publishers and authors aren't offering the text to speech feature due to copyright infringements. I confess, I don't know why that would be the issue if the book is paid for and downloaded.

On the other hand, I want to be able to upload word or pdf documents so I can read work other authors send me for endorsements before it is actually released. The text to speech feature would be perfect for this so I can save my eyes for my day job and writing my own novels.

I don't have trouble yet with my eyes so as I did text to speech, I followed along to see how it did. I don't know if it does the same with all books, but the one I did try sounded jerk-y to me and didn't punctuate the sentences. It ran through from one sentence to the next with no pause (period) no uplift of tone of 'voice' (question mark), stuff like that. I was totally disappointed, so much so that I didn't try any other books. Should give it more of a try with it than just the one, huh? Will some day soon and give an update if it is better with other books.