I don’t have a long commute to work, but I still like to fully utilize my half hour a day by listening to Kindle books while drving. I found out about Kindle Audible books recently and I love it. I’m currently on their free 3-month trial with one free Audiobook every 30 days. Which is nice, but I soon have a new problem: 30 days is too long to wait for another free Audible book!
How to listen to any Kindle eBooks for free
With my current Amazon Kindle Unlimited Free Trial, I am enjoying a huge library of free Kindle eBooks. While it’s great to have free access to all these amazing books, it won’t be useful during commute time. Unless you want to keep your eyes focused on your mounted tiny phone screen, and wait to die. Nope that’s not my style. Or should it be yours.
How can I “listen” to these Kindle eBooks for free? There’s gotta be a solution for that!
I went to my good old friend Google and I found this lovely Youtube video.
I was greatly inspired by it – by using the TalkBack function in the Android phone(Iphones have a similar feature called VoiceOver which may also work), you can listen to your eBook for free! The video explains the steps to do it. This is a life saver when you don’t want to, or can’t keep your eyes on the screen, or when driving to or from work. Granted, the voice produced this way is robotic, so the quality won’t be as good as Kindle Audible which was recorded with real human reading, it still serves the purpose of transmitting the content to you. And hands free!
Use the best Text-to-speech Engine
For TalkBack feature to work, your phone must have a TTS(Text-to-speech) engine, which is pre-installed in many phone. For example, my Samsung Galaxy S4 aready had TTS engine when I bought it. In case your phone doesn’t have it, you can install it by downloading it from the app store.
When I first experiemnted with the TalkBack feature to read out my Kindle eBooks, the sound was very robotic. I actually didn’t really mind it too much in the beginning – after all, having a solution to read all my Kindle eBooks without “reading” them is already amazing enough. Then I accidentally stumbled upon the TTS settings in my phone. Under Accessibility menu, there is a submenu of Text-to-speech Options, which lists my available TTS engines. My phone actually has two TTS engines, default one being Samsung TTS(not surprising since it’s Samsung phone), and another one being Google TTS. Just to test the difference, I selected Google TTS and listened to the example. Wow, what a difference! Google TTS definitiely sounds much much more natural and less robotic. Immediately I switched to Google TTS. I’m glad I made this little discovery.
You can always try to download more TTS engines and choose your favorite but so far I’m quite happy with my Google TTS engine. [Read more…]