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Old 04-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
deddajay
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Text To Speech Query

Hello

I don't have a Pocketbook, in fact until earlier this evening they had completely passed me by as I have a Sony Reader.

However, I friend mentioned she had one so I investigated and found that some models use TTS. As my husband is totally blind he has to rely on speech in order to read and if the Pocketbook can actually read books to him it would be something I would be interested in buying.

Could someone please let me know how good TTS is, which model is best for TTS and if it can be set as the default for reading all books or if it has to be set on a per book basis. Also, are the navigation screens also speech enabled so that he can find the books and the settings he needs? In fact, the complete lowdown on TTS would be great

Thanking you in advance.

Cheers
Deddajay
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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TTS is quite good and natural with some minor problems that perhaps all such programs have (e.g. it reads "hyphen" as a word not as some pause, it pauses correctly after a point, but also after the points in words like Mr. and Mrs.). Maybe you can invite your friend to have a real life test?
You have to start it with every book anew (first open the book, then start TTS) and navigation is not speech enabled.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
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Hi, i have a pocketbook 602, i can give you my feedback about tts.

Text to speech is better than good about read and ponctuation, but it rest a mechanical voice for emotion and speed of text. (anyway in french! But it's realy Impressive). It's not easy for run it and in my opinion difficult for a blind man. But if you lunch it, he will can stopped and resume when he want. The pocketbook 602 have Incorporate speaker or you can plug Earphone. You can hear for a longtime, i think about one or two books with one charge of battery, i don't try to listen a full book, I fall sleep before the end ;o) but this object have a longtime battery.

Sorry for my bad english i'm french, i ear regularly my book, i hope You have help in your research.

Nico
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
deddajay
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Thank you for your comments. It's certainly worth keeping an eye on this to see how TTS progresses. If they add voice to navigation it will certainly be an option to buy in the future.

Unfortunately I can't try my friend's Pocketbook as she lives in Italy and I'm in the UK. She is also blind but manages to use it with another specialised piece of "scanning" equipment, which is not only very expensive but now obsolete. She runs the handheld scanner over the screen to read, which then transfers the information to a braille reader which she reads with her other hand. Seems very long winded but she finds it acceptable. As my husband doesn't read Braille it's not an option for him.

Thanks again for the replies.

Cheers
Deddajay
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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There are thousands of audio books that work on ereaders. Many are free.
That way you get rid of the robot voice. Just a thought.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman2523 View Post
There are thousands of audio books that work on ereaders. Many are free.
That way you get rid of the robot voice. Just a thought.
If you talk about libravoice: the speakers are quite often simply terrible ...
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deddajay View Post
Hello

I don't have a Pocketbook, in fact until earlier this evening they had completely passed me by as I have a Sony Reader.

However, I friend mentioned she had one so I investigated and found that some models use TTS. As my husband is totally blind he has to rely on speech in order to read and if the Pocketbook can actually read books to him it would be something I would be interested in buying.

Could someone please let me know how good TTS is, which model is best for TTS and if it can be set as the default for reading all books or if it has to be set on a per book basis. Also, are the navigation screens also speech enabled so that he can find the books and the settings he needs? In fact, the complete lowdown on TTS would be great

Thanking you in advance.

Cheers
Deddajay
Have you considered the Apple iPad? It can be used by totally blind users right "out of the box" and has won many awards from organizations which support the blind for its excellent accessibility.

The problem with TTS on devices like the Pocketbook and the Kindle is that yes, they will read to you, but you still need to be sighted in order to actually open the book, turn TTS on, etc. The iPad doesn't have that issue.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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Have you considered the Apple iPad? It can be used by totally blind users right "out of the box" and has won many awards from organizations which support the blind for its excellent accessibility.

The problem with TTS on devices like the Pocketbook and the Kindle is that yes, they will read to you, but you still need to be sighted in order to actually open the book, turn TTS on, etc. The iPad doesn't have that issue.
I think TTS is mainly used in combination with reading/learning.
Seems to me that an audiobook is way superior for blind people, because there are plenty of excellent speakers.
Why does an MP3-player not do the trick? For the price of an IPad you can buy several audiobooks and there are some resources for blind people where you get audiobokks for free.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
deddajay
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Thanks for the further suggestions re audio books and Ipads. The reason for looking at ebooks and TTS is that a) they are cheaper than audiobooks, b) there is considerably more choice in topic. My husband's choice of reading tends towards things like the history of the Cathars and ancient sea battles, not something you often find in readily available audiobooks - or at least not in affordable form as his interests tend to be priced at academic levels.

I will look into the Ipad, but the cost is off putting and I'm not sure how he would manage with a touch screen, but this may be the answer. Thanks for the suggestion as I hadn't thought about an Ipad being an option.

Cheers
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deddajay View Post
I will look into the Ipad, but the cost is off putting and I'm not sure how he would manage with a touch screen, but this may be the answer. Thanks for the suggestion as I hadn't thought about an Ipad being an option.
The way the iPad works for the blind is that it has a system called "VoiceOver". If you turn this on, then as you brush your fingers over the screen you get a spoken description of each item. When you find the item you want, you double tap it to activate it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:27 AM   #11
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b) there is considerably more choice in topic. My husband's choice of reading tends towards things like the history of the Cathars and ancient sea battles, not something you often find in readily available audiobooks - or at least not in affordable form as his interests tend to be priced at academic levels.
You are obviously right that there are more ebook titles available than audiobooks.
In what way this extends to the field of academic history remains to be seen, because only a fraction of academic books is available as ebook - often sanned as pdfs, so no fun with reading these text loud.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deddajay View Post
Thanks for the further suggestions re audio books and Ipads. The reason for looking at ebooks and TTS is that a) they are cheaper than audiobooks, b) there is considerably more choice in topic. My husband's choice of reading tends towards things like the history of the Cathars and ancient sea battles, not something you often find in readily available audiobooks - or at least not in affordable form as his interests tend to be priced at academic levels.
If you want to stick to an eareader, about the Pocketbook the thing which may help is assigning functions to the various buttons. You cannot activate directly the TTS function, but you can assing a function to the favourites, say, then press the ok button to call the context menu, then one click rigth and one up, press and the TTS starts.

But this would not make him independent in his reading should anything go wrong, and the Ipad function Harry is talking about sounds like something that would really make him independent in his reading - perhaps there is a similar app for android tablets, so you could go for something cheaper than the ipad.

I have also found this link: it mentions "Qread", which launched last month, as a new ereader for the blind. If you follow here:
http://q-continuum.net/qread/download
you actually get to a software, not an ebook reader, and there is very litte info to put it mildly - but there is an email contact, so you may want to ask them on which platforms it could be installed, adn above all whether it would also make operation of the reader by voice command possible (though I doubt it): but my guess it that they may also be able to help with more info Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:57 AM   #13
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There's a nice review of VoiceOver on the iPad, and how it works with iBooks, here.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:34 AM   #14
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Hi all,

this is a really interesting thread about TTS.

I just bought my Sony T1 and still try to understand all possibilities. Concerning TTS I did not find any information in the documentation, nor in the menu.

How can I use TTS on my Sony T1?

Thanks for help on this.
Cheers,
bj.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #15
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bj999, you've asked your question in the Pocketbook subsection where mostly owners of a Pocketbook device read. So if you won't get an answer here it would be best if you repeat your question in the Sony subsection.
(And as a general rule: if it is not in the documentation nor in the menu then I would think the Sony T1 is not capable of TTS).
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