Amazon’s has proprietary software for almost every use case. An example is the text to speech market, which has at least 2 options.
In this article, you’ll learn how to use text to speech on Amazon using its 2 solutions: Polly and Alexa.
What is Amazon Polly?
Amazon Polly is the company’s lifelike speech generator. As with Google’s technology, there are 2 main levels:
- Standard TTS, which uses AI and deep learning to synthesize realistic voices in a range of languages
- Neural TTS, which uses further machine learning techniques to improve tone and reading quality.
One example of the Neural text to speech improvement is its newscaster voice. As the name suggests, it reads text in the style of a newscaster. This includes tone, flow, and emphasis.
Which Languages does Amazon Polly support?
Polly supports 22 languages. Within these are different accents and dictionaries. For example, English includes:
- American English
- Canadian English
- British English
- Indian English
- South African English
- New Zealand English
- Welsh English
Although the list isn’t as large as some other Transkriptor alternatives, it covers all of the most popular worldwide languages.
What is the Pricing of Amazon polly?
Polly’s pricing is very similar to Google’s. The pay as you go service includes 1 million characters a month for $4, or $16 for the neural voices. You can pay for less, and prices can be as little as $0.01 per job.
How to Use Text to Speech with Amazon Polly?
Figuring out how to use text to speech on Amazon Polly isn’t difficult. The steps are as follows:
- Set up an AWS account if you don’t already have one.
- Log in to the Amazon Polly page.
- Paste your text into the text input box. You can do this as plain text or Synthesis Markup Language, which allows you to control aspects such as pitch, volume, and speech rate.
- Polly will generate an audio stream of the text.
- Next, choose the voice you want to read your text. It must be in the same language as the text (Polly doesn’t work as a translation service).
- Choose your output format and download the file.
Where Can Amazon Polly Be Used?
Once you know how to use text to speech on Amazon, it’s worth thinking about where you might use the audio files. Some examples include:
You can use Polly to read out lectures and teaching documents, or for other learning applications. For example, the foreign language app Duolingo uses Amazon Polly for its text-to-speech. Considering this is a situation where pronunciation is vital, it should highlight the quality of Polly’s text to speech service.
Text to speech is helpful for content creation. For example, you could use it to convert a blog post into a podcast or to create a voiceover for a YouTube video. It could also help with accessibility for visually impaired people by reading out website content.
Contact centers have long used artificial voices for their telephone menus. The benefit of using a lifelike text to speech service is that people prefer to listen to realistic voices. Plus, the setup cost would be fairly low because there isn’t that much text in a telephone menu system.
How to Use Text to Speech with Amazon Alexa
Alexa is Amazon’s voice command service. It’s built into a range of devices, including smart speakers, TVs, smartphones, and more. There are a few options for how to use text to speech on Amazon Alexa, although none are as advanced as Polly.
How to Set Up Amazon Alexa Routines?
One option for how to use text to speech on Amazon Alexa is to set up routines. When these trigger, Alexa will read out the text you’ve assigned. For example, you could get it to say certain things for your morning or nighttime routine. The steps are as follows:
- Open the Alex app, tap More, and select Routines.
- Select Enter Routine Name and type it in.
- Tap When This Happens and then Voice.
- Type the command you want to start the routine. For example, “Good morning, Alexa”.
- Tap Add Action and Alexa Say.
- Tap Customized and type what you want it to say.
- Tap Save.
For example, when you say “Good morning, Alexa”, it might reply, “Good morning, David”.
How to Use Amazon Alexa Through an App?
Another option is to download a third-party service. Here’s how to use text to speech on Amazon Alexa through an app.
- Open the Alexa app and tap More.
- Select Skills & Games and search.
- Type Text to Voice and tap Launch.
- Select your Alexa device in the following menu.
- On a computer or smartphone, visit the text-to-voice website.
- Say, “Alexa, ask TTV for my PIN”. It’ll read you a 4-digit code, which you type into the website.
- On the next page, type what you want Alexa to say.
- Tap Save.
- Finally, say, ‘Alexa, ask TTV to speak”. Doing so will cause Alexa to read out what you typed.
Drawbacks of Text to Speech on Alexa
The drawbacks of using Alexa for text to speech are:
- It’ll only say what you’ve previously typed.
- Although it’ll read snippets of web pages when you ask a question, it won’t read anything in-depth.
- You don’t have much flexibility over the voice it speaks in.
- It’s not explicitly designed as a text to speech service in the same way as Polly.
FAQs on How to Use Text to Speech on Amazon
Amazon text to speech isn’t free, but it is low-cost. It does offer a free trial, but then its paid service starts from $0.01.
You can set up text to speech by opening Quick Actions and then Settings on your Fire tablet. In the Settings menu, select Keyboard & Language and then Text to Speech.