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Kindle 8.9 - Need Audio for Borrowed Book

1502 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Morf
    Because of macular degeneration, I need to employ Kindle's audio feature.  Under Settings, I have turned 'Text-To-Speech' ON.  But the e-book being viewed does not switch into audio mode.  I have a book, "Against All Enemies" by Clancy, borrowed from MidYork Free Library system.  The download and load was done via usb cable.  After reading for 10 minutes, my eyes tear up with double vision.  As I advance in age (now 85), this vision problem only worsens.  I need the audio.
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After you enable TTS under Settings, you need to click the 'Play' icon at the bottom left corner of the screen. If you don't see the icon tap the screen once so you see the menu at the top and the reading display bar at the bottom of the screen.

I think the TTS voice is much better on my Fire (non-HD) than on my Kindle Keyboard. I use it all the time.

Edit: There are some titles I've found that don't allow TTS. :( Hope this isn't one of them. I don't think TTS is available outside the US.

readingril's comments are all valid, and obviously this is the place to start. TTS can indeed be blocked by the publisher, and it is available outside the US. Library loans aren't available outside the US. [Just noticed you're in NY, so the "outside the US" stuff doesn't matter]

It's not clear if this is the only book you've tried, if so then try another book - borrow something else from the library, or "buy" one of the free books from Amazon - just make sure in the Product Details it says "Text to Speech Enabled". This will help you to check that TTS is working properly and whether it is a problem with the book or a general problem.

If you can't get TTS to work with any book, then let us know and we'll help to step you through the process.

If it's this book only, does your library offer Audio book loans? Obviously an audio book is more trouble to manage, being much larger MP3 files, but conversely it is read by a real person, not a computer, and I find much more enjoyable to read (I listen to audiobooks in the car all the time).

It might be worth contacting the library, and explain your position and ask them why TTS is disabled - they may be able to obtain another version for you.

You could also try to see if you can get hold of the book from another source. TTS may be disabled on the library copy, but may work on another version.
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Just checked that title on Amazon and TTS should be enabled for the kindle book. That should include a library book if it was borrowed as a 'kindle format' book. Because, actually, when you do that, you go to Amazon to get the book. So it should be the same file.

I assume you are aware of what features your kindle has, but not all of them support TTS. The newest, Paperwhite, for instance, doesn't. Nor does the basic $69 kindle. The Touch should as does the Keyboard and the older DX as well.

Alternatively, you may want to borrow the audible version of the title.
I don't know which model George has, but if he was able to find "Turn On Text-to-Speech" in the men within the book, his Kindle supports Text-to-Speech.  My Kindle Touch has it, my PW and my basic Kindle do not.  So I'm pretty sure George's device supports it. I'm not sure if that shows up if the actual book doesn't support it, I haven't found one on my Kindle Touch that doesn't support it yet.

When I invoke TTS on a book, it starts playing immediately, I don't have to tap the Play button unless I've already paused it once.  But, if you can see the "play" button in the lower left hand corner of the screen, George, you should tap it.

Can you see the "Show Options" and the Play/Pause and the progress bar at the bottom of the screen after you turn TTS on?

I'm taking the title to mean that George has a Kindle Fire 8.9.

I'm a bit vague about how these work because they haven't reached this side of the pond yet!  ;D
Morf said:
I'm taking the title to mean that George has a Kindle Fire 8.9.

I'm a bit vague about how these work because they haven't reached this side of the pond yet! ;D
Ah! I completely missed that. . .hang on. . . .

So. . . on the 8.9 Fire, tap the center of the page to get the top menu. Tap settings (Aa) and then more options. There you can turn TtS On. Then, at the bottom of the page, will be a a location bar with a triangluar 'play' icon button to the left. Tap it and TtS works. Tap again (it switches to the two bar 'pause' icon) and it stops.

It's a 'universal' setting, so will stay on, even for other books, unless you turn it off.

You may ALSO have the option to listen to a professionally narrated version. I think you get like a sample of that and if you want to hear more, you pay for it. It's part of the integration of audible and kindle books. Not sure if it works with library books; seems like it should.

This should work even if you got the book from the library, as long as it is a kindle version of the book. But it is possible, on the Fire, to use a non Kindle app to get library books. In that case, TtS will NOT work, though you may be able to find apps that mimic the functionality.

edited to add: also, make sure you have your sound turned up. ::)
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Morf said:
I'm taking the title to mean that George has a Kindle Fire 8.9.

I'm a bit vague about how these work because they haven't reached this side of the pond yet! ;D
Duh. I'm blaming it on my cold. Yeah, that's it....


What Ann said...

George, can you see the play/pause bar at the bottom of the screen?
George replied to me in a PM, to say that he's contacted the library and they can't really help, and also to say that it would be nice if there was an app that could render a book into an audio book.


Taking your second comment first, the Kindle Text To Speech is pretty good - the problem you're having primarily due to the security (Digital Rights Management or DRM) that is applied to bought and library ebooks to make sure they are not pirated. The publishers have the ability to control exactly what you can do with a particular book, and it sounds like they've limited your options with this one.

Have you confirmed that TTS is working for other books, eg by getting a free book from Amazon? If not, I would do this as a check.

The other option you could pursue is to look at borrowing MP3 audio book versions of the books you want. I've had a quick look at MidYork library's website, and although I couldn't get far (it doesn't like the idea of somebody from the UK trying to borrow things!  ;D) it looks like if you search for a format of "audio recording" these will be downloadable MP3's.

They haven't got "Against all Enemies" in this format but they do have several other Tom Clancy books.
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