Using Mac’s Text-to-Speech with Mac Kindle App

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , |

I like having Apple’s text-to-speech read websites to me while I scan other pages, or check email. I was wondering if I could do the same with my Kindle books.

I currently use the $79 Kindle, which doesn’t have a headphone jack (so no text-to-speech possible there). Also, a number of Kindle books do not have text to speech enabled, anyway.

So, I found myself wondering if there was any way to use Apple’s built-in text to speech to read Kindle books?

The answer was a surprisingly simple “Yes!” “Yes, but only for a while — see update below”

  1. Download the Kindle for Mac desktop app.
  2. Load up your favorite book (even if it has Kindle’s own text-to-speech disabled).
  3. Reduce the font to the smallest setting. This lets you select more text in the next step.
  4. Highlight all the text.
  5. Press the text-to-speech hotkey in you selected in System Preferences > Speech > Text to Speech.

Enjoy your favorite Apple text-to-speech voice read your book to you!

UPDATE: This works until you reach the copy limit for the ebook. The process described above acts as “copying.” Then, you get a warning, and then you can’t use the process anymore. Have I mentioned how much DRM sucks?


Best tech gift for under $100

Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , |

IMG 0682

With Christmas around the corner, we are all looking for presents for our techie friends and family. While I enjoyed playing with the Kindle Fire from Amazon, the best techie gift for this year is the $79 Amazon e-ink Kindle. This new entry into the Amazon Kindle family is a winner!

At $79, Amazon Kindle is cheap enough to purchase for anyone.

The Amazon Kindle is finally priced right to explore the world of E ink for those of us who have been holding back on this new world of reading.

While I always thought the Amazon Kindle was an interesting device, the original $300 price point was just too high. Slowly, the price came down. However, it was still too expensive to make the jump to a device I wasn’t sure I would regularly use. And I have read plenty of books on handheld electronic devices. I have read e-books since the Palm Pilot TX, and currently read on the iPhone. One of the best features of these devices is the backlit display. Being able to read in bed without turning on the light and disturbing your partner, is a great feature.

I have tried reading on the iPad, but it is just too big. The iPad is not comfortable or light enough for long reading sessions. There is no good way to hold it.  You can hold the $79 Amazon Kindle with just 2 fingers. Try to do that with the iPad. Frankly, the only time I read on the iPad is when reading books with illustrations to my kids.

The price dropped to $79 finally allowed me to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about.

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Kindle Fire Review

Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , , |

Kindle fire 1

I really wanted to like the 2011 Kindle Fire. It could have been contender! Instead it turns out to be a Palm Treo in world of smartphones. It has the might of Amazon behind in. It’s decent. It works. It is just a couple of years behind the times. Coming in to a mature market with a version one product is never an enviable position.

Here’s the video review of the Kindle Fire with the expanded review below:

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