With a multitude of options available today, readers are getting increasingly selective about the choice of eBook readers. They expect updated content and look for accessibility as one of the key requirements when making their pick of e-readers. Text to speech (TTS) is an exciting technology that helps publishers address these challenges simply and cost-effectively.
Text-to-speech or TTS is primarily an assistive technology that helps to read digital text aloud. Available on your eBook reader, computer, or phone, the text-to-speech functionality is mainly used to convert arbitrary input text into natural-sounding and intelligible speech. Text-to-speech can either be used as a convenience feature or simply an accessibility feature that helps people who need extra assistance hear the text printed on-screen.
Overall, text to speech conversion is quite a useful feature used in various applications such as eBook readers, web browsers, mobile phones, PCs, laptops, and more.
In this blog, we explore the need for the text to speech feature in e-readers specifically and how KITABOO helps in facilitating this functionality in eBook readers.
Why is there a need for text-to-speech features in eBook readers?
Text to speech or read-aloud functionality is when your eBook can read aloud to you. Unlike the recording of a human reader or an audiobook, this is primarily done using a computer voice. In eBook readers, this feature is mainly provided for readers with accessibility requirements. The read-aloud functionality is not used or enabled by all publishers, or they might only allow the feature for certain eBook formats.
Most of the high-end e-readers offer text-to-speech as a built-in feature. This functionality enables the user to listen to web content, eBooks, digital magazines on the e-reader, and provides controls to adjust the speed of speech, and select a male or female voice.
Among some of the key reasons why eBook readers need a text-to-speech feature include-
Extend the reach of content manifolds
Text to speech technology in an e-reader gives access to your content to a much larger population. Among these include people with learning difficulties, reduced vision, and simply those learning a new language. Apart from this, TTS technology is also useful to anyone else looking for simpler and faster ways to access digital content.
As an increasing number of readers spend time on digital content on e-readers and mobile devices, the demand for connected technologies continues to rise. Text to speech functionality in an eBook reader can offer great convenience to readers by turning any digital content into a powerful multimedia experience. They can listen to the eBook on the go, allowing readers to read their eBooks anytime and anywhere they want.
The benefit of optimized development and maintenance
TTS is a robust technology that supports most eBook readers present in the market and is available both in cloud and on-premises. Further, the technology is easily scalable as per specific business needs and helps you save both development and maintenance efforts.
Having eBooks with read-aloud is a super convenient feature, especially now that text-to-speech technology and voices are much better than earlier, with more natural sounding human voices than the monotone robotic ones.
How KITABOO facilitates text-to-speech in eBook readers
KITABOO is one of the most popular and award-winning cloud-based online eBook publishing software that offers a seamless way to digitize books. The platform allows you to create, publish and securely distribute all your digital content.
One of the key features of KITABOO is its ability to facilitate text-to-speech features in eBook readers. In this section, we outline the detailed process of how you can use the platform to enable the TTS functionality.
Here is the stepwise process to do the same-
- Open the KITABOO platform and launch the enrichment tool page.
- Go to the audio sync option.
- Once done, provide the order number for which you want to create the audio file.
- The next step is to click on the ‘Add’ option, provide the label (such as read aloud), and click on the ‘text to speech’ option shown on the platform.
- As soon as you click on this option, it will take you to audio options and ask you whether you want a male voice or a female voice for speech. At this point, you can also select the speech rate as medium, fast, slow or extra slow.
- You also get the option to select the language at this stage. KITABOO supports a wide range of language options, including English, Italian, French, German, and many more, which you can choose from.
- Once you are done with all your selections, including voice preference, speech rate, and language, you simply need to click the ‘convert’ option.
- Your audio file will now be created. You can play the file and check for accuracy.
- At KITABOO, we use Amazon Polly to create text to speech. Once you are done with the previous steps, just click on the launch ‘audio sync option,’ and you will be able to see if all the words are properly highlighted or not.
- While the chances of alignment and accuracy are 99%, if you still feel that speech is not aligned to text, you can make manual adjustments to correct it.
- Once completed, just click on ‘save,’ followed by clicking on ‘done.’
This completes the process of adding text to speech feature on the KITABOO platform.
Though an eBook reader gives you access to a wide variety of books and periodicals, you might not have enough time to read them all. The text-to-speech functionality in e-readers helps address this issue and offers you more convenience to access the content as and when you need it.
In this blog, we have covered the need to have this robust feature in e-readers and how KITABOO facilitates TTS functionality in the eBook reader of your choice in a few simple steps.
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