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Old 12-11-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
frahse
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What an idea!! (or maybe I just didn't get the memo and this is old hat?)

This is the Christmas season and I was just sitting here going down my special people list and ordering up stuff from Amazon Prime when I noticed that Amazon had the Echo Dots (2nd Gen) on sale for $39.99 again. I kinda chuckled to myself, and said well that sale came back real quick (from Cyber Monday) but as I perused the specs again wondering whether my wife would like one,


... it hit me!!! ...



Might we ask Alexa to read our eBooks?
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:32 PM   #2
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Simple answer is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...deId=201975870

And the answer is Yes in the US but not outside yet as far as I can see.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:37 PM   #3
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Simple answer is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...deId=201975870

And the answer is Yes in the US but not outside yet as far as I can see.
Outside the US seems to be handled here:

http://beebom.com/how-to-set-up-and-...ho-outside-us/

Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:52 AM   #4
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Oh I have an echo dot setup and working as since that article amazon have released it internationally but they've not released all the US skills yet like that Kindle feature and Harmony integration
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:30 AM   #5
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Do you REALLY want those annoying voices reading to you? I can't believe it would be better than a trained actor!

I also can't imagine the mental disruption I would have encountering a line in a book like, "We were driving down Chatham road . . ." only hear alexa or Google say, "We sere driving down chat, Ham road . . .". I hate that when that happens in Google maps, it would drive me insane if I were in the middle of a good book!
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:38 AM   #6
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Personally I have no plans to use the feature, if anything I'd use audible books with the Dot, I much prefer to just read myself
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:07 AM   #7
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Yes there are reasons and opportunities to NOT have the Echo-Dot read to you. After all mankind has managed for many millennia without an Amazon assistant, but there are times when it could be convenient to have that capability.

a) For example, the next time I poke or abrade my cornea out in the brush or in the Gym. I have done that a few times for sure. Interestingly the last time, which was about a year ago, I found out the treatment had changed, and they no longer recommended that the eye lid be immobilized to aid tissue repair.
b) When you just wish to let your eyes rest.
c) While working around the house, inside or outside and choosing to learn something rather than just listening to some kind of "garage music."
d) I sometimes use compression software to speed up audio and video conference reports. Echo-Dot might be able to handle the speed control without me manipulating the computer by hand. -- that would be a help.

... and so on.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:01 PM   #8
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I just found out yesterday that if I say "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" she will.

Barry
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:14 PM   #9
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I just found out yesterday that if I say "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" she will.

Barry
She does it via TuneIn Radio. I've been using my Echo for BBC Radio 4 and 4e for a couple of years.

BTW, TuneIn has thousands of radio stations from around the world, so Alexa should be able to play any of them. Besides BBC Radio, I also use my Echo to play local Seattle radio stations and classical music stations from Norway, Seattle, Boston, Switzerland, etc.

TuneIn Radio is a fantastic built-in app and a definite plus for me.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:19 PM   #10
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I signed up for Tune-In when I got my Echo a couple of years ago but I haven't used it much. Now and then for NPR News but that's about all. This was a nice surprise.

Barry
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:48 AM   #11
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I just found out yesterday that if I say "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" she will.

Barry
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She does it via TuneIn Radio. I've been using my Echo for BBC Radio 4 and 4e for a couple of years.

---
Better and better!
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:03 PM   #12
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Do you REALLY want those annoying voices reading to you? I can't believe it would be better than a trained actor!
Actually, you get used to it pretty fast. In addition, there are many, many books for which there are no audiobooks. The text-to-speech voice has improved considerably since the Kindle Keyboard. One of the very reasons why I got a Kindle basic is because I can use the text-to-speech feature on a bluetooth speaker.

There are a lot of people with poor vision as well as non-native speakers of English who use the text-to-speech option (same voice with the Echo as with the Kindle basic and Fire). Not to mention a lot of folks that listen while doing something else - they would never buy an audiobook because well... why? They have the book already.

Last edited by Tarana; 12-23-2016 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:22 PM   #13
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Actually, you get used to it pretty fast. In addition, there are many, many books for which there are no audiobooks. The text-to-speech voice has improved considerably since the Kindle Keyboard. One of the very reasons why I got a Kindle basic is because I can use the text-to-speech feature on a bluetooth speaker.

There are a lot of people with poor vision as well as non-native speakers of English who use the text-to-speech option (same voice with the Echo as with the Kindle basic and Fire). Not to mention a lot of folks that listen while doing something else - they would never buy an audiobook because well... why? They have the book already.
I agree with all that.
I like to use drive time for learning. I make a tape of pertinent points or numbers, when studying a process or a needed language and play it back while driving or even flying (resting my eyes). Now days it can be a digital recording. Granted Alexa may or may not be utilized all the time, but the process is similar and the voice only needs to be understood whether it is an actor's, or a machine voice or my own.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:22 AM   #14
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I just found out yesterday that if I say "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" she will.

Barry
If I had programmed Alexa, the reply would be: "What's the magic word?"
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Old 12-25-2016, 04:54 PM   #15
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My wife gave me an echo-dot for Christmas.

What do you know? How did she know?



Maybe it was the "white board message!"

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