Author Topic: A Kindle question  (Read 1564 times)

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Offline RCMR

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A Kindle question
« on: November 01, 2011, 11:10:12 pm »
My wife suffered an accident a while back that left her with a brain injury.  As a result of this injury she has great difficulty reading, which is a shame because she was an avid reader and finds life boring without her books.

We thought a Kindle might be an option because it has the text to speech (TTS) function so we wandered down to Dick Smith Electronics here in NZ (who have a monopoly on supply) to get some "hands/ears-on".

Unfortunately, the sales droid there didn't have a clue about how to operate the "demo unit" and it appeared as if the TTS option was grayed out and not available.

Eventually, with the aid of another customer, the TTS was enabled but due to the stereo on the other side of the store, which was blaring away so loudly the entire time we were in the store, we couldn't really hear the voice output and no headphones were offered to us.

By pressing my ear hard against the Kindle, I could hear the voice which was disappointingly monotone but I noted that the pace was too fast for my wife to keep up with.

So my questions to you Kindle owners are:

1. Is the TTS any good?
2. Can the speed of the TTS be adjusted (slowed) by the user?

A pre-emptive thanks from my wife on this one.

Offline amspire

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Re: A Kindle question
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 12:27:44 am »
If you go to

you will see a number of videos demonstrating the text to speech.

Just be aware that some publishers are not happy with the Kindle for generating a spoken version of their book without permission, so Amazon allows any publisher to have the text to speech disabled for their book. I think Amazon is just hoping that these publishers will eventually just give up complaining.

The thing I am wondering is if she really wants to listen to books rather then read, do you really want a Kindle?

Audio books from Audible are often of great quality, and once you get used to "reading" a book by listening to an audio version, it is very enjoyable.  If you go to the Audible books, then there are probably much better devices then the Kindle.  I use my HTC Desire phone for audio books and it works great and I can also use it for reading Kindle text books. The built-in speaker is fine for books. I would think that most of the newer smart phones are just as good, but some of them have really bad battery life. I don't recommend the Apple iTouch mainly because they have made it near impossible to replace the batteries. Worse then iPhones and iPads which is saying something.

Tablets like the iPad or the cheaper Android tablets are excellent for audio books, and also make great Kindle text readers.  The iPad usually gets much better battery life then the cheap Android tablets. They just don't get the fabulous battery life that the Kindle gets as a text reader.



Offline RCMR

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Re: A Kindle question
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 02:49:17 am »
We want the Kindle because we're hoping that by being able to follow the written word as it's spoken out loud it will help her regain some of her reading skills.

She does this already with movies on DVD -- she has the subtitles on so she reads the words as the dialog is spoken... so far that's been pretty good and has improved her reading abilities by a noticeable amount.

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