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Old 08-28-2013, 07:48 AM   #31
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My mother has Macular degeneration. I bought her a Nook HD+ when they were on sale. You should have seen her eyes light up when she opened it and realized she could read books again. And she does not even have to have it set to the largest font. Also I do not think having adjustable fonts or other font styles is going to have any appreciable affect on the price of ereaders or tablets.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:14 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS View Post
Same goes for adjustable fonts - I like to read a 9 pt sans serif. I don't see why I should have to pay extra for my e-ink reading device to have selectable fonts just because some people want to choose a different font and font size. Why can't everybody be just like me - then the world would be just dandy.
IMHO, you're wrong there.

Adjustable fonts is a core feature of an e-reader; something that immediately impacts the reading experience. TTS is not necessary for reading. If you're using TTS, you're actually not reading. Therefore you're able to use any computing device for which audio and a TTS application that supports ebook formats is available.

As I said above, I'm of the opinion that there are much better devices for TTS than an e-reader, such as a smartphone. Smaller, more powerful, less fragile, probably more customization options such as setting preferred voices.

Last edited by Katsunami; 08-28-2013 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
IMHO, you're wrong there.

Adjustable fonts is a core feature of an e-reader; something that immediately impacts the reading experience. TTS is not necessary for reading. If you're using TTS, you're actually not reading. Therefore you're able to use any computing device for which audio and a TTS application that supports ebook formats is available.

As I said above, I'm of the opinion that there are much better devices for TTS than an e-reader, such as a smartphone. Smaller, more powerful, less fragile, probably more customization options such as setting preferred voices.
You are wrong about the suitability of smart phones. The drawback of the phones for those with vision problems is the damn screens are so small they can't read the print to use the menues. It's why my father didn't but a cell phone. There is no way he could have used it. He couldn't even see the keys much less the screen.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
With respect to those who say they will turn to audio books, I went that way for my father who could no longer read even magnified print. The selection in the National Library For the Blind (BARD) is very low, not even a small percentage of published books. It was very hard to find books he wanted to listen to there. Audible has more selection but audio books are more expensive than ebooks so that would limit the number bought. They also need a lot of storage space.

Text to speech while far from perfect does allow one to at least access a great many books that would otherwise be entirely unavailable. An imperfect (mispronounciations, ect) rendering of a book is better than nothing at all.

For those with good eyesight and/or a lot of money perhaps they would have little use for the imperfect text to speech and I understand why THEY would not value it. But there are others who are not so fortunate.
Does he have access to audiobooks from public libraries?
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:30 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
You are wrong about the suitability of smart phones. The drawback of the phones for those with vision problems is the damn screens are so small they can't read the print to use the menues. It's why my father didn't but a cell phone. There is no way he could have used it. He couldn't even see the keys much less the screen.
Don't iOS and Android have completely spoken menu's and app icons, when you touch them? I've actually read something like that, quite some time ago. You'd swipe your finger over the entire screen, and the phone would tell you what you were touching. To activate the option, you'd need to touch/click again.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #36
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I find text to speech quite useful. I can plug it into my car stereo and always have something to listen to. After I finish reading to my daughter, I put a book on TTS for her. (She'd have me read aloud to her until my voice gave out)

When I first used TTS, I found it pretty awful, entire sentences would just sound like gibberish. But then I got used to it, and it sounded much better. I had thought they had improved the quality, but my brain just became trained to listen to it. If I upgrade to a Paperwhite, I will still keep my Kindle Keyboard just for TTS.

TTS may not have been a huge selling point for the Kindle, but they had already put the money into it. Losing TTS is a side effect of removing audio capability from the e-ink Kindles. Removing TTS wasn't a money saver, but removing audio capability does save money. Amazon saw that people just weren't interested in using the e-ink Kindle for audiobooks.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Does he have access to audiobooks from public libraries?
I could get some audiobook at the library but their choice was even smaller than the National Library for the Blind.

By the way I highly recommend that service. I went down to the local branch with a letter from my father's eye doctor and they gave me a bookplayer right away. It was about the size of an old fashioned tape recorder. It has large raised keys in distictive shapes and the keys announce what they are when you press them. Once you are registered with the system you can simply download a zip file of the book or magazine and put the unzipped book on a usb stick and plug it into the device. I downloaded the Economist weekly for him plus various books. The only drawback is that it only plays books from that service, no Audible books. If you know anyone who can no longer read print I recommend getting them set up with an account and a player from them.

https://nlsbard.loc.gov/login//NLS
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:20 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Don't iOS and Android have completely spoken menu's and app icons, when you touch them? I've actually read something like that, quite some time ago. You'd swipe your finger over the entire screen, and the phone would tell you what you were touching. To activate the option, you'd need to touch/click again.
iOS does - it's called "Voiceover". I don't know if Android has any equivalent.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #39
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Android has a feature called TalkBack
  • TalkBack is an Accessibility Service that helps blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices more easily.
  • This application add spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to your device. It is a system application that was pre-installed on most device and is updated when the accessibility service is improved.
  • This app is only activated if you explicitly turn on Accessibility.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #40
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I'll chime in real quick, too. TTS is pretty valuable to me because I use it almost every weekday on my commute to work in my car. I have a Kindle keyboard and just run it into the AUX line on my car stereo so I can listen to my books and then continue actually reading where I left off when I get where I'm going
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:50 PM   #41
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Disallowing TTS by Authors and publishers is just the tip of the iceberg.

TTS is not a 'performance' (at least until it can do emotions as well as pronunciation). It is just another OUTPUT setting. Color, font size, font face... Voice.

I see this as just a further attempt to bolster sales of additional media. Like DRM, this is just another ploy to restrict a Purchaser from enjoying their media, when and wherever they please.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:31 PM   #42
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I don't personally use it, but I think it's great that it's an option. My Grandmother and my mother both had vision problems and this would have opened up many options to them. My grandmother was using a device that would OCR and read aloud printed material as well as a free audiobook program provided by the Library of Congress to the visually impaired. I tried to get my mother interested in eReaders and even with large fonts, the 6" screens were too small, so she might have been interested in TTS. I understand that the publishers are concerned about privacy, but it's a real shame that they limit this functionality.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #43
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I prefer AudioBookStand.com where I can buy my books in MP3 format. And I do buy for all the ones I know I will listen to many times. I use the electronic voices for those that aren't available in audio or that I'll just listen to once to see if I like it.

I tried LibraVox, but there again, they aren't the book I want to read/listen to.

(My eyesight is not bad per se, just lots of floaters that keep me from focusing )
Thanks for the link to AudioBookStand.com I like mp3 format and not .aa, too large of files.

Finally a fellow floater sufferer here I have had a very large annoying floater for 6 months now and I can't stand it watching TV or using a computer. When I read with my Paperwhite it is in a pitch black room and the floaters are less annoying. Driving is horrid too. I found some sunglasses that wrap around your sides so sun doesn't get in at all and that helps some.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:40 PM   #44
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IMHO, you're wrong there.
Wrong in what respect - in respect of having a different opinion from you?
Putting IMHO in front of a statement doesn't alter the nature of the statement - IMHO.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #45
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Unimportant here. Unless my sight goes to the point I couldn't read. Even then, I suspect I'd hate TTS. If I should ever have to use it, I'd use it on a tablet or phone. More likely I would go to audio books through the library.

Hoping it never comes to that. I hate listening to books. So far, my close vision as a senior citizen is fine.
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