Text-to-speech on Amazon is easy to use, it sounds great, and it can significantly improve accessibility across various devices.
How to use text to speech on Amazon
Text-to-speech is one of many ways to improve accessibility on various devices by turning text on a webpage or document into speech you can hear out loud. If you are an Amazon user, you should know that there is a great way to get (TTS) text to speech on Amazon using a tool called Amazon Polly.
What is text-to-speech on Amazon, and how does it work?
Amazon Web Services offers numerous apps you can try out, and one of them is Amazon Polly—a text-to-speech tool. The app launched in 2016, and today it offers sixty different voices and twenty-nine languages.
Amazon Polly uses advanced deep learning and machine learning to synthesize natural-sounding voices, and the app is quite popular. If you ever used Duolingo, this app incorporates Amazon Polly to create realistic speech.
It is also possible for Amazon to create a voice just for you, but it might not be something everyday users would try out. The service is mostly designed for businesses, and it can be quite pricey.
Amazon Alexa, also known as just Alexa, is a virtual assistant many people use today. The technology behind this device is mostly based on a Polish voice synthesizer called Ivona. Amazon bought the Polish company and started perfecting the technology in 2013.
The idea behind Alexa is to assist you with everyday activities, and it can even control other smart devices around your home. One of the most recognizable features is that Alexa is capable of voice interaction, allowing you to talk to the device without any issues.
What is interesting is that Alexa combines both speech synthesis and speech recognition. You can also download an app that will allow you to use Alexa to read personal documents, and you can sync devices with it including Kindle, Kindle Fire tablet, browsers, and others.
Using text-to-speech for reading
Reading has always been a cherished pastime for many. The ability to immerse oneself in a story, to explore new ideas, and to gain knowledge is a truly remarkable experience. However, not everyone has the luxury of being able to read with ease.
For those who struggle with reading, whether due to visual impairments, learning disabilities, or simply a lack of time, technology has come to the rescue with a solution: Text-to-Speech.
Selecting text for speech conversion
Now that you have the basics covered, it’s time to put Text-to-Speech into action! Imagine having the ability to convert any text into spoken words. Whether it’s a Kindle e-reader eBook, an article, or even your own written work, Text-to-Speech technology has got you covered.
With devices like the Kindle Touch, Amazon’s Text-to-Speech feature can bring your Kindle books to life. No longer do you have to strain your eyes or struggle to find the time to read. Simply highlight the text you desire, and let the magic of Text-to-Speech do the rest.
Imagine the possibilities. You can now listen to your favorite novels in a female voice while commuting to work, or have articles read aloud to you while you cook dinner using Amazon voice.
The convenience and accessibility of Text-to-Speech, especially when paired with audiobooks and screen readers, opens up a whole new world of opportunities for those who love to read but face challenges in doing so.
Adjusting reading speed and voice
Reading speed and voice are crucial factors in your listening experience. With Text-to-Speech, you have full control! Gone are the days when you had to rely on the pace of a narrator or struggle to keep up with the speed of reading.
Now, you can experiment with different speeds to find your ideal rhythm. Whether you prefer a leisurely pace or a faster tempo, Text-to-Speech can adapt to your preferences.
But it’s not just about the speed. The voice itself plays a significant role in how enjoyable your listening experience is. With Text-to-Speech technology and telephony, you have a wide array of voices to choose from.
From soothing and melodic tones to authoritative and commanding voices, you can find the one that resonates with your ears and enhances your reading experience.
Imagine listening to a classic novel with the rich, deep voice of a seasoned actor, or exploring a scientific article with the crisp and clear voice of a professional narrator. The possibilities are endless, and the choice is yours.
So, sit back, relax, and let the words transport you to another world. With Text-to-Speech and the added benefit of audiobooks, reading becomes a multi-sensory experience that can be enjoyed by all. Embrace the power of technology and embark on a journey of knowledge, imagination, and discovery.
Pros and cons to TTS on Amazon
As with any other text-to-speech feature or screen reader you can find, there are advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of. This will help you better understand how the app works, and know what are its strengths.
Pros to TTS on Amazon
Amazon Polly offers not only English, but other languages and speech voices, and the quality is quite good. If you are an Amazon user, this can be an excellent chance for you to try out the software. At the same time, Amazon Polly works great with Alexa and other devices.
The app is easy to use, and it works great on all types of content. Furthermore, Polly works great for those who read slowly or struggle with reading due to things such as a learning disability or visual impairment. Instead of slowly going through the pages, you can turn on the app and listen to the latest news articles or other content.
It is also worth mentioning that Amazon Polly is great for integration with other apps, and if you want your app to offer the speech feature, this accessibility feature might be the solution to all of your problems.
Cons to TTS on Amazon
For many users, one of the main downsides will be the price. While there are numerous different subscription models, some can be quite pricey. Alexa is based on cloud computing technology, which means that you won’t be able to use it without an internet connection or Wi-Fi.
Moreover, many text-to-speech apps will struggle with words from time to time, and Polly is no different. This doesn’t mean that the app is bad, it just shows that there are other TTS options out there with higher speech output accuracy rates.
Finally, if you want to customize the app using the SSML, it might take you a while. The app is easy to use, and basic speech options are as simple as they can be. But if you want to change something on an advanced level, it won’t be as simple.
Speechify—An alternative to Amazon Polly
If you are looking for an alternative to Amazon Polly that will work on any device you have, the best answer is Speechify. The app works on Android, Apple’s iOS (iPhone and iPad), macOS, Windows, and web browsers like Chrome and Safari. In addition it pairs well on kindle readers.
Imagine reading your favorite e-book on your Kindle app, and when you need to take a break, simply switch to Text-to-Speech mode. Let the soothing voice guide you through the rest of the story, while you relax and close your eyes.
Or perhaps you’re driving and want to catch up on the latest bestseller. With Audible and Text-to-Speech integration, you can enjoy your favorite books hands-free, without missing a single word.
The main advantage of Speechify is that it is much simpler to use, and the high-quality voices will leave you speechless. The AI voices designed by this app are so realistic that they will sound like real actors did the voiceovers.
At the same time, Speechify allows you to sync the app with various devices, and you can continue where you left off by picking on a different device. The app also allows you to pick various languages and accents, and you can further customize voices to your liking. You can also use Speechify offline, which you cannot do with Amazon Polly.
So, if you are looking for an app that works perfectly well on any device and offers realistic voices, Speechify is the best available option.
What is Amazon Polly used for?
Amazon Polly is used to convert text to speech. It is a TTS tool, and it offers realistic voices. The most popular use case is on apps like Duolingo, where the user can hear the text written on the screen. Amazon Polly plays an important role for Alexa as well. However, there are even better TTS or screenreader apps out there like Speechify which offer the same capabilities and much more.
What is the difference between text-to-speech and voice recognition?
Voice recognition is used when users want to communicate with the device by speaking. It turns voice to text. You can use this feature to dictate instead of writing the message or text. Speaking to Amazon Alexa and the program understanding you is an example of voice recognition.
Text-to-speech does the opposite. It converts text into speech, and it allows you to input text on your device so the software can read aloud.
How do I use Amazon text-to-speech?
Within Amazon Web Services or AWS, you will get to select Amazon Polly. Using the software is quite simple and all you need to do is copy and paste the text into the dedicated box.
From there on, starting the app is as easy as clicking on the “listen to speech” button.