Audio Books and Amazon Echo

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Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#1  Postby Macdoc » May 18, 2017 2:36 am

We got in very early on Amazon's Echo for the $99 deal and it was not well developed.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Echo-Blue ... B00X4WHP5E

The guys used it from time to time but I did not have a chance to explore.

NOW however ...it lets me listen to my music library and my audio books library ...shared with my son and all accessed by voice commands.

I theory I can even purchase via voice command,

In the audio books I can get off the bike where I'm listening via my iPhone and come in and ask Alexa and it picks up where I left off.....

https://www.cnet.com/news/whats-alexa-u ... -ces-2017/

There are some useful and fun Skills
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/amazon-echo-skills
and I like to able to ask for a playlist selection from my Amazon Music ( I use forest sounds to sleep ) and all I have to do is ask instead of hunting down the stream on the laptop.
It will find a Folk radio station and stream it for me.
The sound is quite decent for personal listening and can now stream to Bluetooth Speakers....might get one of the HK BT units.

Image

If I go to make a coffee I can up the volume or reduce it by voice and put the music or book on hold and it's instant.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#2  Postby NamelessFaceless » May 18, 2017 2:20 pm

We got one back in the early days too and I really love her. I've just started using her to read to me as well. I was doing a big spring cleaning project over the weekend and she read to me the entire time.

About a month or two ago there was a promotion for a free $5 credit if you asked her to purchase an Amazon gift card. Sweet.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#3  Postby Macdoc » May 19, 2017 4:06 pm

Are you on BookBub??
https://www.bookbub.com/home?mid=1-14089-12888539

It now allows me to buy an Audible version of the Kindle books pretty inexpensively

Image

from Audible this book would cost $15 US just for the narrated version

Doing it this way the book cost $1.99 US on the daily deal and then the narration is $4.49

neat part is that you can be reading it on Kindle and then switch to listening in Audible and it synchs perfectly in either direction….even spookier when I ask Alexa for the book and she starts reading it to me just where I stopped reading it….. :what:
talk about immersive
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#4  Postby crank » May 20, 2017 2:44 pm

Do you know how lax the security guarantees are? Like their cloud storage, amazon has access to anything it cares to look at, or listen too. It's too creepy for me, although our phones open us all up to such monitoring. Amazon doesn't even bother with at least pretending to give you privacy.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#5  Postby Macdoc » May 20, 2017 5:21 pm

um since Amazon is providing the media ...what do I care? :roll:
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#6  Postby NamelessFaceless » May 24, 2017 2:31 pm

Macdoc wrote:Are you on BookBub??
https://www.bookbub.com/home?mid=1-14089-12888539

It now allows me to buy an Audible version of the Kindle books pretty inexpensively

Image

from Audible this book would cost $15 US just for the narrated version

Doing it this way the book cost $1.99 US on the daily deal and then the narration is $4.49

neat part is that you can be reading it on Kindle and then switch to listening in Audible and it synchs perfectly in either direction….even spookier when I ask Alexa for the book and she starts reading it to me just where I stopped reading it….. :what:
talk about immersive


I haven't tried that, no, but Amazon's Whispersync program does pretty much the same thing. If you buy the Kindle version and an Audible version is available, you can often add it for just a few dollars more. They don't have it that way for every title, but I've bought some that way. And they have deals, where some of them are even free.

And now with Prime Reading, they have even more titles that you can borrow and read and/or listen to for free.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#7  Postby Macdoc » Dec 20, 2017 4:33 pm

This will marry up with voice quite nicely

http://digg.com/2017/magic-leap-one-headset-product

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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#8  Postby Macdoc » Jan 08, 2018 12:48 am

as I was saying

What's on center stage at the CES tech show? Your voice
January 7, 2018 by Anick Jesdanun

As the annual CES gadget show kicks off in Las Vegas this week, manufacturers are expected to unveil even more voice-controlled devices—speakers and beyond—as Amazon and Google make their digital assistants available on a wider array of products. If these prove popular, you'll soon be able to order around much more of your house, including kitchen appliances, washing machines and other devices.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-center-st ... e.html#jCp


having fun with Alexa - guess I better sort SIRI now. :cheers:

and now combining with augmented reality ...

Amazon Alexa making appearance in $1000 Vuzix augmented reality smart glasses
By Mike Wuerthele
Friday, January 05, 2018, 12:30 pm PT (03:30 pm ET)

Amazon won't be the first company to deploy its Alexa voice assistant in glasses, with Vuzix stepping up to the plate to do so in mid-2018.
Image





more
http://appleinsider.com/articles/18/01/ ... rt-glasses
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#9  Postby aban57 » Jan 08, 2018 12:00 pm

Didn't google try that a few years back, and failed ?
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#10  Postby aliihsanasl » Jan 08, 2018 6:09 pm

Text to Speech engines are my best friend although bought a lot of Bluetooth speakers still couldn't find which can answer my requests. Strangely each year a new feature is adding and I'm buying another one

just last month bought two of them

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usually people hate metallic/robotic sound of tts engines but as long as I understand clearly what she says there is no problem for me

Strangely pause button on these Bluetooth speakers neither pause the movie I watch on PS TV or the sentence tts reads but FF and rewind functions are working.

Some new Bluetooth speakers have clock, alarm, fm tediouradio and remote control but they need to end these lower models stocks first I believe.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#11  Postby Macdoc » Feb 28, 2018 8:23 am

Amazing sound

Image
https://www.the-ambient.com/reviews/app ... w-2018-334

sucky interface ...staff has one and the sound is flat out astonishing.

snip

Apple has absolutely gone to town with the audio tech, packing in seven beam-forming tweeters and a four-inch, upwards-facing, high-excursion woofer. However, it's Apple's A8 chip that is the star of the show. Its advanced algorithms not only dynamically and continuously analyse the music you play – tuning the low frequencies and automatically adapting the acoustics – but the A8 chip also powers the six-microphone-array setup that listens to reflections in the music, from your walls, furniture, books, ornaments and so on, in order to customise the sound output from the HomePod.

For example, if put your HomePod on a shelf, up against the wall, it will put all the big important sounds front and centre (vocals, lead instruments etc) and beam them out directly to the room; with all the ambient reverb and backup vocals sent against the wall for dispersion. If you stick the HomePod in the middle of the room, with plenty of space around it, it'll do 360-degree sound, with the music evenly split in every direction.

Everytime the HomePod is moved, or in fact turned off at the mains, it checks itself to see where it is and what direction it should be sending out sounds to. Mental, right?
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#12  Postby Macdoc » Mar 03, 2018 6:19 pm

Here is a good overview of Alexa based products but you can test run it on your computer as well without a device ....see below

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Amazon Alexa review: What is Alexa and what can Amazon Echo do?


https://www.pocket-lint.com/smart-home/ ... s-alexa-do


Here is Reverb which works on iOS, OS and other OSes

It also offers prospective Echo buyers an opportunity to test the service prior to making a purchase, and at the very least gives curious Mac users a chance to compare Alexa's and Siri's smarts side by side on their desktop.

Reverb for Amazon Alexa is a free download available for Mac from the Mac App Store [Direct Link] and for iPhone and iPad on the iOS App Store [Direct Link].


https://www.macrumors.com/2017/02/19/re ... a-mac-ios/

Abilities grow every day as do uses...I just asked to remind be about the potatoes in 10 min.
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#13  Postby Macdoc » Aug 05, 2018 6:59 am

Picked up the Echo Plus for Australia $115 on their Amazon Days sale. Half price for here.
It's $149 US

Image
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075RS7RGY/re ... nskepti-20

Nice upgrade tho looks similar to the orginal. They just added an EQ as well so I make the bass a lttle fuller for our open deck living area.

Australian Amazon is just new so the eco - system is not quite as developed.

Fair review of the new unit

https://www.techradar.com/au/reviews/amazon-echo-plus

I use the web app to control sound levels and see what is playing. Can skip and shuffle which is nice. There is a history so you can see what has been playing or return to it

Image

It has a variety of regional accents to choose for the voice tho not all skills are available as yet in regional.

How to change Amazon Alexa’s voice

Amazon Alexa is always there for you, answering your questions, notifying you when the prime rib is done roasting, and informing you of the weather. But perhaps you’re getting tired of hearing that same old voice coming from your Amazon Echo device and think it’s time for a change. Luckily for you, you can indeed change Alexa’s voice to that of another English-language regional accent. And while you can’t switch to a male voice or a different voice entirely, you can change Alexa’s language as well.


https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/how- ... xas-voice/

My Aus housemates don't get quite as smooth a response from Alexa as I do - I have her set for North America.
There are still a few chuckles and raised eye brows when the music selection requests go awry. Trying for Gustaf Holtz Planets symphony was ...ahem ...amusing. :roll:
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Re: Audio Books and Amazon Echo

#14  Postby Macdoc » Oct 27, 2018 10:19 am

The Alexa universe grows in leaps and bounds while the entire field is expanding with Google and Apple in the fray.

I love going to sleep to rainstorm sounds and now can loop thunderstorms as well as my usual Nature Sounds for Sleep playlist I use every night

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Nature-Sounds-fo ... nskepti-20

I generally like Amazon's music playlists tho their video selection is dodgy ....still for $12 a month is a deal given what we save in shipping costs with Amazon Prime.
I do wish Audible was a bit more integrated as the books are pricey but it's nice to seamlessly switch between devices and share them with family.

Annoyed my kid by setting voice calling on Alexa :whistle: ..I can add contacts manually or just say a number to call.

Amazon Alexa devices were lacking in sound quality compared to Google and especially the Apple HomePod which is astounding from a sound quality aspect, tho Siri is behind the curve on assistant use.
The addition of a decent sub-woofer to the Alexa series here in Canada is a treat. Alexa has added a voice actuated equalizer tho it's rudimentary...still it's helpful. The App still could be better....had a fight getting the sub integrated to the Echo

After a few raised eyebrows, an Echo Plus is permanent resident in our Australian household - complete with an Australian accent if desired....especially valued for easy access to classical music. Alexa play Peer Gynt while we are dong our jigsaws and the ability to pause, skip and change volume by voice all makes for a nice environment. :cheers:

Even stand alone without the sub ....Amazon has upped the sound quality from my first gen Echo....but it's not in the hunt for straight sound quality.
https://www.techradar.com/reviews/amazo ... lus-review

We have the Apple eco-verse and the Alexa in use in the house/biz and one staff is Google based
https://store.google.com/category/connected_home
at his home so we cover the bases.
I'm the Alexa fan while another staff is entirely Apple centric and we get the benefit of the Apple HomePod daily. The bass ( and over all sound quality ) from that device is just astonishing. But pricey.
https://www.techradar.com/reviews/apple-homepod-review

Since I get to control the HomePod when staff are gone ....gives me some hands on there. It's fun when technology is moving fast in an emerging field. :coffee:

addendum

I guess the house has all three contenders as I realize our tech doorbell is a Google device .

The doorbell you’ve been waiting for.
Never miss a thing with Nest Hello. It replaces your existing wired doorbell, sends alerts to your phone, streams HD video 24/7 and lets you answer the door from anywhere.¹

Knock, knock. Who's there? A better doorbell.
Nest Hello is smart enough to detect a person, then alert you even if they don’t ring. With Nest Aware, it can also let you know if it spots a stranger or someone you know.²

https://store.google.com/product/nest_hello_doorbell

I did enjoy startling clients by chatting from Australia as they showed up on the front step in Canada :smoke:
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