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Old 05-11-2016, 01:23 AM   #1
Doitsu
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Kindle USB Audio Adapter

Amazon has recently released a Kindle Paperwhite Blind and Visually Impaired Readers Bundle that adds TTS output to a Kindle Paperwhite.

IIRC, someone mentioned that Firmware 5.7.4 devices come with a full set of TTS voices. I wondering whether it would be possible to use a cheap USB audio dongle and a 5V battery or a powered USB hub to TTS-enable a regular Kindle Paperwhite?

I'd appreciate it if someone with the necessary hardware and firmware skills could investigate this.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:05 AM   #2
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I think we can try to connect a device like this
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:02 AM   #3
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Knowing Amazon, it could be something proprietary coming from the USB port and nothing else will work.

Last edited by JSWolf; 05-11-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Knowing Amazon, it could be something propitiatory coming from the USB port and nothing else will work.
I think you mean "proprietary", Jon . "Propitiatory" means something completely different. It would pretty much have to be proprietary, I think. I don't believe there's any standard for "audio over USB", is there?

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Old 05-11-2016, 05:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
Amazon has recently released a Kindle Paperwhite Blind and Visually Impaired Readers Bundle that adds TTS output to a Kindle Paperwhite.

IIRC, someone mentioned that Firmware 5.7.4 devices come with a full set of TTS voices. I wondering whether it would be possible to use a cheap USB audio dongle and a 5V battery or a powered USB hub to TTS-enable a regular Kindle Paperwhite?

I'd appreciate it if someone with the necessary hardware and firmware skills could investigate this.
The Amazon adapter costs $20, which seems pretty reasonable. Is there such a thing as a standard "audio dongle" for converting USB signals into headphone output? I've never come across such a device, and a Google search gives no likely-looking hits.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:05 AM   #6
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The Amazon adapter costs $20, which seems pretty reasonable.
That's indeed relatively reasonable, but,AFAIK, the audio adapter isn't sold separately. OTOH, you can buy a cheap usb audio dongle for as little as $5.

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Is there such a thing as a standard "audio dongle" for converting USB signals into headphone output?
One example is this model.

However, this model and other similar models are unpowered and since the USB ports of eInk Kindles don't support USB OTG, an external 5V power source would most likely be needed.

And since Kindles are Linux machines, this would most likely also involve fiddling with configuration files to load the USB audio driver or Kernel module, which could only be done with jail-broken Kindles.

That's why I posted my question in this forum.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:26 AM   #7
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Yes, I am of course aware that there are USB sound cards available. My question was more along the lines of whether there was a standard for it. If not, such a device is unlikely to respond to whatever signals it is that the Kindle is sending out.

I know that Amazon aren't currently selling their dongle as a separate item, but the fact that they list a price for it strongly suggests that they'll do so in the future.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:58 AM   #8
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Somebody did get a number of USB devices working on an older kindle using a USB hub, as posted in mobileread forums, as I recall. When the soundless K4 came out, I purchased a 10-pack of cheap (less than $1) USB sound dongles for that purpose (an unfinished project).

When I complete my project to add sound to my kindle video player, I plan to fiddle with USB OTG (and other hack methods such as modulating the frontlight for optical sound communications).

Any USB sound device ought to work PROVIDED you have a matching kernel module for it, and I plan to write kernel modules at some point (RSN).

A teardown of the official amazon sound device should show what chipset it is based on, and anything with that (or a similar) chipset ought to work with no custom kernel module (i.e. device driver).

Last edited by geekmaster; 05-18-2016 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
However, this model and other similar models are unpowered and since the USB ports of eInk Kindles don't support USB OTG, an external 5V power source would most likely be needed.

And since Kindles are Linux machines, this would most likely also involve fiddling with configuration files to load the USB audio driver or Kernel module, which could only be done with jail-broken Kindles.
Power is easily applied with a USB hub. I should think a kindle designed to support amazon-supplied USB device SHOULD be pre-configured to support it without any hacks.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:22 AM   #10
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It would bei interesting to know whether a PW3 can be "VoiceView enabled". This may be a nice research project. Anyhow I may prefer my smartphone over the additional USB dongle for TTS.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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You do not need a USB dongle if you use a USB headset (provided it uses a compatible chipset).

Because kindles support USB OTG, it is just a software issue, and it is certainly possible to do "VoiceView enable" any of our kindles with USB OTG, provided that somebody is willing to figure out how to do that, and that they share their solution with us, and that amazon's lawyers do not stomp on a shared solution.

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Old 05-11-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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The OTG port ***should*** be working on all of the i.MX6 based Kindles.
**should**
I think it was still a bit iffy on the i.MX50 devices (K5 & PW-1).

As you pointed out - it **should** be only a matter of adding in support (like Amazon is doing for the PW-3 TTS option).

===

If lab126 can do it, so can we, they learned embedded systems development from us.

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Old 05-11-2016, 12:18 PM   #13
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It's a bit of a joke and hack, I think. There are better options for visually impaired people, including android or apple tablets that will do both audio books and TTS, with a better battery life to boot.

I strongly suspect this is in response to some nuisance lawsuits that have prevented the institutional contract sales of Kindle devices in the past, due to lack of accessibility options. Rather than the clients agreeing to supplementing Kindle roll out with accessible devices for those who need them, Amazon can provide a inexpensive accessibility add-on.

(Like this one, from a few years back: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...aired-settled/)
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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It's a bit of a joke and hack, I think.
Like Braille labels on aircraft instruments, eh?
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:53 PM   #15
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Can the adapter be bought separately? (Not that I'm enamored of having another thing to carry around / hanging from my reader).
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