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Old 05-06-2009, 06:55 PM   #1
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Will Kindle DX read aloud PDFs?

I've scanned the Kindle DX documentation and can not understand whether or not the new Kindle DX text to speech feature would work with a PDF. Does anyone have any details on this feature?
Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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Probably not.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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Doesn't the Kindle 2 read aloud all supported formats? I would think the Kindle DX would do the same
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:37 PM   #4
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I guess I'll have to wait and see.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC View Post
I guess I'll have to wait and see.
You can contact Kindle support and ask them.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #6
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Excellent point. I'll do so and report back.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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There's nothing in the manual to indicate that Text-to-Speech would *not* work on a text PDF, so there's no reason to believe it wouldn't.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:38 AM   #8
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The Kindle DX Product Link in Alex's front page news reveals that:
Quote:
Read-to-Me Feature

Kindle DX can read to you. With its Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle DX can read books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can speed up or slow down the reading speeds or choose a male or female voice. In the middle of a great book or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.
But, of course, you know this will mean, no support...
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
There's nothing in the manual to indicate that Text-to-Speech would *not* work on a text PDF, so there's no reason to believe it wouldn't.
Much of the manual seems to be a cut and paste from the Kindle 2 manual, with some mis-statements about PDF support.

A reason for thinking that text to speech might not work for PDFs is that getting the text in the right order for speech is essentially the "reflow" problem (although images and most formatting can be ignored). We already know that reflow can work much of the time, and is included in Adobe Digital Editions that Amazon has licensed for the DX. This might be good enough, given that read aloud is "experimental", but my guess is that Amazon has not implemented even this special case of reflow for PDFs.

Having said how hard, in general, PDFs are to read aloud, I need to add that Adobe Reader (for Desktops) has a read aloud option but with four reading modes based on the type of PDF.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Much of the manual seems to be a cut and paste from the Kindle 2 manual, with some mis-statements about PDF support.
What are the mis-statements in the manual about PDF support, and how do you know they are mis-statements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
A reason for thinking that text to speech might not work for PDFs is that getting the text in the right order for speech is essentially the "reflow" problem (although images and most formatting can be ignored).
That fact that text-to-speech may not always follow the flow "correctly" (I don't expect multicolumn support) doesn't mean it won't work. I see your point, but they go out of their way to note the numerous things that don't work in PDFs, so I don't know why they would neglect to mention this one. (Although the inability to hilight and annotate PDF is almost hidden.)
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
What are the mis-statements in the manual about PDF support, and how do you know they are mis-statements?
Page 15:
Quote:
Do you like to take notes and make comments while reading? You can add notes to any of the content on Kindle.
Page 14:
Quote:
you have the option to search for that item in
all of your books, newspapers, blogs, personal documents, and annotations.
Both are contradicted for PDFs elsewhere in the guide.

Last edited by wallcraft; 05-07-2009 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:28 AM   #12
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Definitely not, coz PDFs text-to-speech recognition needs a very processor, whereas it's not there in Kindle DX
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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I just called Amazon support. I got passed around until I found an engineer. The quick answer, as I suspected, is "no" their text to speech feature will not work with a PDF. It makes me less tempted to by the DX. <g>

Last edited by JoeC; 05-10-2009 at 02:18 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #14
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One work around is to convert the PDF to MOBI. Unfortunately, Amazon won't do the conversion for you if you have a KDX (as they will for the K1 and K2) - but Windows MobiPocket Reader does a similar job and there are other tools that can do this.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #15
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Excellent thought wallcraft. Thanks.
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