Kindle 2 Speech Options

Posted on March 8, 2009

One new feature of Amazon's Kindle 2 reader is the experimental "Text to Speech" option or otherwise known as Read-to-Me. This feature is very interesting but still far from perfect when compared to listening to a typical audio book.

K2 Text to Speech The Kindle 2 comes with two gender voices, a man and woman. The man's voice is selected as the default option and is the better of the two in my opinion. Both voices do sound a little synthesized but are acceptable to listen to. My other post has a sample audio clip so you can hear what the voice sounds like.

It would be interesting if there were more voices with different dialects similar to some GPS units. I know a lot of women who would like a nice British man's accent.

I was impressed how well it pronounced most words and how it paused longer at the start of a new sentence, paragraph and after even after a comma. I still felt the speed of the speech was a bit too fast. I would recommend setting the speech option to the slower setting.

To access the voice options, you must first start the Text-to-Speech in an open document. This feature can be started by pressing the "Menu" button or by holding down the Shift Key (up arrow) and press the Symbol Key (SYM).

You can change the voice options at any time during the Read to Me mode by pressing the Text key (Aa) and using the 5 way pointer to move through the options and to set them. Press either the Text key, Menu or Back button to close out the options screen.

Since Amazon still has this feature designated as experimental, I would assume that they will be making changes and enhancements in the future. In a future post I will discuss an idea where I think feature will be useful and possibly life changing for some.

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