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TMCNet:  Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!

[February 22, 2012]

Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!

Originally posted on VoIP & Gadgets Blog, here: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/android/text-to-speech-tts-on-kindle-fire.asp.

kindle-fire-cool-reader-read-aloud-tts.jpgText-to-speech (TTS) for the Kindle Fire is a long sought after feature. Having TTS on your Kindle Fire enables you to listen to your e-books using text-to-speech without having to buy expensive audiobooks. Some people may be vision impaired and want TTS to supplement or replace their manual reading of the text. Sure TTS isn't perfect, but it works pretty well.

Now if only the Kindle Fire supported TTS like other versions of the Kindle, then life would be grand. For whatever reason, Amazon disabled text-to-speech for the Kindle Fire. Sure, you can probably root your Android-based device and find some third-party text-to-speech readers, but not everyone wants to root (jailbreak) their Kindle Fire. Well, good news readers! I've found a way of enabling text-to-speech reading of e-books (including DRM protected eBooks) on the Kindle Fire without rooting it!

First, let me show you the TTS in action with this video I uploaded to YouTube:


Now here's the How-To Tutorial to get TTS running on the Kindle Fire...

Overview of software & steps needed:

  • Calibre e-book management software [Linux, Mac Windows versions available] for converting your eBooks and stripping DRM protection so the Cool Reader app can read the eBook.
    • Note: There is an excellent article on how to remove DRM using calibre in conjunction with some plugins. The article links to the needed plugins (tools_4.8.zip) to allow you to remove DRM from your purchased eBooks. It supports removing encryption for various eBook formats and includes Calibre plugins for Mobipocket (.prc/.mobi), Kindle Mobipocket (.azw), Kindle Topaz (.tpz/.azw1), Kindle Print Replica (.azw4), Adobe ePub (.epub), Adobe PDF (.pdf), B&N ePub (.epub), B&N/Fictionwise eReader (.pdb). Download the DRM removal plugins here (current file is called 'tools_4.8.zip'). I'll explain how to use it later.
  • Cool Reader eBook app for Android for performing the actual TTS. You can get it from the Android Market app store. Unfortunately, the Kindle doesn't have direct access to the Android Market so I manually downloaded the latest Cool Reader app from Sourceforce. Download this Cool Reader .apk Android app directly from your Kindle Fire. [You can view this article on your Kindle and simply click the previous hyperlink to download it]

Continue reading Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!...

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