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Text-to-speech & Amazon Alexa

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If you are interested in getting the most out of Amazon Alexa and text-to-speech, learn more below.

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Text to speech & Amazon Alexa

Tons of people are familiar with the Alexa voice from their Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo dot. During the past few years, the Alexa’s functionality has drastically improved, and there are numerous Alexa skills from which to choose. How can you maximize the benefits of your Amazon Alexa? Let’s take a look at a few key points, especially as it applies to text-to-speech, or TTS.

What is Amazon Alexa?

While Amazon Alexa is not a TTS tool, it is a powerful tool capable of a wide variety of tasks. The application programming interface, or API, of the Alexa app has become more advanced in recent years. Now with new advancements for your smart home system, you can take advantage of exceptional speech recognition capabilities.

For example, you might want to use your Alexa product to play music—or you can use it to make to-do lists, grocery lists, and shopping lists. You can also use this tool to stream your favorite podcasts or even play your audiobooks. Thanks to machine learning from AWS for Echo devices, you can also ask about the weather, sports, and traffic. Alexa devices are capable of a wide variety of tasks, thanks to new algorithms from Amazon Web Services. You can have Alexa say a variety of helpful things to you thanks to the power of the voice assistant.

Amazon’s own TTS tool: Polly

While Amazon Alexa itself is not a TTS tool for Android, iPhone, or other Apple products, there is a TTS tool available from Amazon known as Amazon Polly. Amazon Polly is a popular text-to-speech tool you can use to turn written text into lifelike speech. If you want to turn text to voice, with deep learning, then you might want to use Amazon Polly to help you. You also get access to customizable features.

Benefits of Polly

If you decide to use Amazon Polly, there are a few significant benefits that a TTS enthusiast will enjoy. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Natural Sounding Voices — If you decide to go with Amazon Polly, you can take advantage of natural-sounding voices. It will sound like you are talking to another human being or listening to an audiobook. With this feature, you can clearly understand everything that is being read aloud to you.

  • Store and Redistribute Speech — If you want to listen to the audio file later, you can store it with Amazon Polly. Then, with WiFI access, you can listen to the file at a different time. An example of this feature being useful is if you wanted to store specific files because you are building an app.

  • Real-Time Streaming — You can also take advantage of real-time streaming. If you want to have a book read to you in real-time, this is a program that can help you. There is a large audiobook library from Amazon.

These are just a few of the top ways you can use Amazon Polly to help you in various areas.

Speechify TTS tool: A Polly alternative

If you are looking for a powerful alternative to Amazon Polly, there are plenty of options available. You might want to go with Speechify, one of the leading text-to-speech programs on the market today. The software development of Speechify is truly exceptional. It comes with a wide variety of features, even more than Amazon Polly. It’s especially helpful for people with disabilities, such as dyslexia, and includes many helpful productivity features. 

Benefits of Speechify

If you decide to use Speechify, you have multiple customization and functionality options. Speechify will not only work well with Amazon Alexa, but it will also work with a wide variety of other programs, operating systems, devices, and web browsers.

Some of the top benefits of Speechify include:

  • You are in control of the voice. You can customize the pitch, tone, volume, and more. Speechify’s voices are also available in dozens of languages with very natural-sounding voices.

  • If you would like to save time, you can increase the reading speed to up to 9x the normal speed. This makes it easier for you to get through your audiobooks or documents faster.

  • It can handle a wide variety of files, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, PDF files, and Google docs. No matter what text you want this program to read, it will read it to you.

  • You can have it automatically highlight the text as it is read aloud. That way, you can follow along as your text is converted into an audio file. This is great for people with visual or learning disabilities—or for people learning a new language.

  • You can use Speechify with large audiobook files. That way, you can enjoy your favorite stories from anywhere, without needing to buy an audiobook.

For all of these reasons and more, Speechify has become one of the top text-to-speech programs available. Now, you can use it to help you address your needs, as well.

How to get started with Speechify for Amazon Alexa

If you want to combine Speechify with Amazon Alexa, there are a few steps to follow. These steps are as follows:

  • First, export the Alexa Interaction Model. You can find it on the Alexa developer console. You should export it as a JSON file.

  • Then, upload your Alexa Interaction Model into the new application. It will be converted to a configuration that you can edit through Speechify.

  • Then, once you are done, all you need to do is deploy the program. In a few minutes, you should be able to try out the application and the program.

  • You may need to play around with the program a bit to get it to do what you want. With a bit of practice, you will find the integration is flawless. Thankfully, Speechify has many easy-to-follow tutorials!

With a few simple steps, you can increase the versatility of Amazon Alexa and combine it with Speechify.

Frequently asked questions

Some of the most common questions people ask about Speechify and Amazon Alexa include:

Can Alexa read out loud?

Alexa cannot necessarily read out loud, but it can take information from the internet and let you know what is going on. It can also play your podcast for you and read a few simple audiobooks.

How do I get Alexa to talk to me? 

If you want to get your Amazon Alexa to talk to you, you need to give it a voice command. For example, you can tell Alexa to give you the score from today’s football game. Or, you can ask Alexa to look up the latest weather or traffic report for you. 

Can you do text-to-speech on Alexa? 

Alexa is not necessarily a TTS program, but you can give it this capability if you are able to integrate it with Speechify. You need to combine the interaction model from Alexa with the dashboard from Speechify. Then, you can combine the capabilities of both programs to access TTS functionality. 

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