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View Poll Results: How important is to have a Text-to-Speech feature in your ereader?
Yes, I think it's a must for all modern readers, even if it makes them a little more expensive 8 20.51%
Well, I may use it from time to time 15 38.46%
No, it's a waste of money 16 41.03%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #1
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A Poll About Text-to-Speech Feature

How important is having a Text-to-Speech feature in your reader? Specially if it does not come for free...)
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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For what it is worth, I think that:
The main problem with on-the-fly TTS is it has to be very, *very* good before it can be of any use. Anything less becomes an annoyance and quickly wears out its welcome even among those who ike the idea.
I've tried TTS with MS Reader, Kindle, and other computer apps and just about the only setup that I've found tolerable for more than a few minutes is the AT&T Natural Voices Audrey on MS Reader. Kindle and the other systems suffer from overly artificial inflexions and fail to pronounce too many words too often; it disrupts the narrative flow.

I don't think it is a total waste but I do think it is more trouble than its worth. For now.

Given the current state of hardware/software, I think a utility that converts ebooks to audiofiles on a PC and then combines the audio and text for synchronized playback might be more effective than on-the-fly TTS. Given that ePub allows for embedded multimedia, that might be a better solution.
Or not.
<Shrug.>
I would rather see more effort go to improved typographics, more/better legacy format support (lit?, prc, pdb), better parsing of document formats (rtf, doc, txt) in areas like centered text, chapter detection, etc.
In other words, more of what makes the PB360 better than the other existing 5" readers.

Oh, yeah: a few commercial dictionaries would be welcome. Don't have to be free, just available as an option to hunting over the net for PD stuff to convert. Not all Pocketbook buyers are going to want to go on a scavenger hunt for dictionaries; it would be a shame for such robust dictionary support to go to waste for lack of readily available western dictionaries.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-29-2010 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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Kindle did it right. The benefit was largely negated by the Authors Guild. "By Jove, people who buy our books will use them only the way we approve, and that does not include listening to them!"

Very shortsighted attitude.

Robert
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:31 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be interested in paying extra for TTS but if it is included on the device, it is something that might get used now and then.

I do like listening to audiobooks - some are read in a boring manner but others like Eragon are fantastically narrated with the reader doing different voices and putting in a lot of emotion. Audiobooks are generally better to listen to.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:29 AM   #5
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I would use it time-to-time, but what would be really interesting is a dictionaryspeech e.g to learn the spelling of language.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rmm200 View Post
Kindle did it right. The benefit was largely negated by the Authors Guild. "By Jove, people who buy our books will use them only the way we approve, and that does not include listening to them!"
Would you really sit down and listen to a book read by the Kindle's TTS? I couldn't bear to do so, myself.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm200 View Post
Kindle did it right. The benefit was largely negated by the Authors Guild. "By Jove, people who buy our books will use them only the way we approve, and that does not include listening to them!"

Very shortsighted attitude.

Robert
Yup...I have to admit, I was hugely surprised at the quality of the TTS on the K2. It's far from perfect but it's very well done and will only improve over time. Remember this, there are some folks who are auditory learners so for them to hear the words as they read along will help them retain the content. And sometimes it is just nice to listen to it being read while doing the dishes...of course I also have an Audible account that I enjoy a LOT.

Something else as a study aid, and I am thinking down the line here, but once profs make their notes available to students and they can convert them into docs which can be read by TTS, then as a student if rewriting their notes, they can also listen to the key points from the prof/teacher's notes. And even the student's own notes if we can ever get HWR on ereaders.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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It was one of the reasons I bought a Kindle. I am not a big music person so I use this feature often at the gym and while commuting. If I have the choice i.e. I am in a situation where I can straight-up read, I will do it. But if I am walking, at the gym etc I find the Kindle TTS perfectly serviceable. I did try the Astak TTS and it was terrible, I would never use it. It's why I bought the Kindle.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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If the quality is decent it's an important feature to me. I used to commute to Toronto on the Go Train and then have a 15 minute walk to work. When I was really into a book I would have loved to be able to switch to TTS and listen during the walk.
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