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Making Kindle Fire Speak: Kindle Fire ebook reader text to speech capability

with 19 comments

( How to make iBooks on Apple iPad read a full book to you – here )

My huge disappointment with the Kindle Fire was its inability to read aloud a book.  That is, text to speech.  This is a feature I use constantly on my Kindle e-ink  reader.  If you are like me, you can multi-task.  Do one thing and listen to a book in the background.  Or, for some books that require a bit of concentration, sit back and just listen attentively while Kindle e-ink  reader reads to you.

Let Kindle Fire Speak !!

There is a free Open Source Android book reader application that uses the internal TTS (Text to Speech) capability of the Kindle Fire to read a book

You can read the blog article here -
http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/android/text-to-speech-tts-on-kindle-fire.asp

and you can get the software here -
http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/project/crengine/CoolReader3/cr3-3.0.55/cr3.0.55-32-arm-mips.apk

Installation

The application, Cool Reader, is not delivered by the Amazon App Store.  You must install it manually – which took all of about 15 seconds.  I downloaded the application from the web browser on the Kindle. (Click the link above if you are reading this posting on the Kindle Fire).  The file is about 3MB.  After download I navigated to the Kindle downloads folder and then tapped on the installer package.  The installer started and asked to confirm the  install the application.  A few seconds later, Cool Reader was installed.

Please realize that getting apps in this way you are bypassing the Amazon App Store and any application vetting and security screening Amazon might do before applications are placed there for distribution.

The Take

My Kindle Fire suffered no ill effects from the manual installation of the Android application (so far, that I know of)

Cool Reader’s ability to pronounce words is not as crisp and clear as the Amazon Kindle e-ink e-book  readers… but it does work.

Enjoy your Kindle Fire’s new ability to read a book to you.

Read other articles on the Kindle fire on this site – http://frrl.wordpress.com/?s=kindle

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Written by frrl

March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

19 Responses

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  1. Mines not recognizing any of the books I have in my library and they were all free. Not bought from amazon.
    help. Please!

    Epimoments

    January 27, 2013 at 12:31 am

    • Have you sent them to the device? Has the device downloaded them? Both steps are necessary, the first is something that you do, the 2nd is just as simple as turning on your device in order for it to wirelessly download the books.

      Jonnie R Hellens

      January 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      • They’re already on the device Jonnie, I’m currently in vietnam and not near my computer but all were loaded before, I’ve been reading them but wanted to download the text to speech ap so I could hear them instead of trying toreading them in the sun, the coolreader shows up and I can open it, but it can’t find the books which were all transferred over to the kfire weeks ago along with some that have been there for months.

        Epimoments

        January 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    • I just reset my Kindle Fire and had to reinstall all my software – including CoolReader and books.
      If you can’t find your books you might want to try putting them in a place where Coolreader will look for sure.

      Attach your Kindle Fire to your PC via the USB cable.
      Open the KINDLE drive that shows up on your desktop.
      Look for a folder called “Books”
      Drag your books into that folder.

      Make sure you are dragging books that CoolReader knows how to read. That is, make sure they end in epub or mobi.

      Disconnect the Kindle Fire from the PC.
      Start CoolReader
      In CoolReader navigate to SD Card then to the Books folder
      In that folder you should see your books.
      Tap on a book and CoolReader should open it

      frrl

      January 31, 2013 at 5:29 am

  2. No, it does

    Martin Orenshteyn

    January 18, 2013 at 1:58 am

    • Alrighty then, so, what do you think is happening with my version then? Also the icon? Is out of focus in the carousel. Maybe I’d better re-download?

      Anonymous

      January 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    • Thanks for the response Martin, but I’m not seeing any books come up and I have plenty on my kindle. How do I load them to cool reader?

      Epimoments

      January 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

  3. Cool reader does not read Kindle books.

    frrl

    January 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

  4. Will Coolreader read PDF files?

    Rama

    January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

  5. Thank you. There was a problem with my Kindle Fire. After I performed the Factory Reset and downloaded the appropriate File Manager, I became able to download the Cool Reader and now I am enjoying having my eBooks read to me by my Kindle Fire!

    Unfortunately, the reading aloud is functioning in English only. I was trying to get TTS in Russian as well, I downloaded the SVOX Classic TTS apk, the Russian Female voice apk, and tried some other things, but my Kindle Fire is stubborn and doesn’t want to read aloud in Russian.

    May be there are some experts who made Kindle Fire read aloud in other languages but English?

    Martin Orenshteyn

    January 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm

  6. I followed all steps, but I cannot see the Cool Reader. I
    see the application in the Download folder of my Kindle Fire, when I connect it
    to the PC (in the Windows Explorer), but it does not show up In the Apps in the
    Device or in the Cloud. Please, help.

    Martin Orenshteyn

    January 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    • You don’t need to do anything with a PC.
      Double tap on the downloaded file in the downloads folder of the Kindle web browser and it will install itself. (the coolreader file with the extension .apk )
      Make sure you have given your device permissions to intall software
      (Device -> “Allow installation of applications”
      CoolReader will show up in the Apps tab of your Kindle Fire.

      frrl

      January 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      • Thank you so much for your response. This is exactly what I did. But CoolReader doesn’t show up in the Apps tab of my Kindle Fire. I see the application in the Download folder of my Kindle Fire, when I connect it to the PC (in the Windows Explorer), but it does not show up In the Apps on the Device or in the Cloud.
        May be something is wrong with my Kindle Fire, so I am charging it and will perform Factory Reset.

        Martin Orenshteyn

        January 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  7. Cool reader don’t work with all books, you still can’t read some books like school text books

    Anonymous

    October 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm

  8. I couldn’t get it to work either. I installed it, but it won’t find any books, even when I had it scan to directory. They must be kept in another directory? I can’t figure out how to even go to another directory.

    Jonnie R Hellens

    September 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    • Ok, here is what I think is happening… you are trying to read Kindle books that you bought that have digital rights management. I know a tiny bit about this… Each Kindle has a serial number. When you buy a book and download it Amazon will always ask you which Kindle device or reader you want to read it on. The download can only be read on that device.

      CoolReader knows nothing about digital rights management and how to get to the content of your book.

      That being said, the only way you are going to get CoolReader to read a book that you purchased from Amazon is to remove the DRM – and that is not legal. I am not saying that it can’t be done – it can. But I won’t put on this website the instructions on how to do it.

      So, CoolReader will read books as long as they are in one of the e-book formats that it understands AND not protected by any sort of Digital Rights Management – Amazon Kindle or otherwise.

      As far as finding books, use the menu option… then “open file”. You can go to any directory on your Kindle Fire to find books in standard formats

      frrl

      September 4, 2012 at 6:50 am

  9. I downloaded CoolReader but can’t get it to read my books. What am I doing wrong?

    kelly

    August 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    • Since I wrote this post I factory reset my kindle.
      Today, when I read your comment I redownloaded coolreader from the link in this post (check the sourceforge site for more currrent software). I downloaded what is posted here.
      Coolreader works.

      Make sure you do this … when you have the book open in coolreader…
      1) Hit the menu button
      2) Choose “more”
      3) Choose “read aloud”
      4) Hit the forward control to start coolreader reading the text.
      5) You can control volume and speed with the sliders.

      Coolreader will not start reading by itself. You have to give it a kick, using the instructions above.

      frrl

      August 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      • does cool reader read amazon bought books? Thanks.

        Anonymous

        August 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm


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