Google Play Audiobooks

Posted Dec 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm in Threads > Apps

It might not seem like much, but Google Play Books just updated with built in TTS. It’s a bit robot-y for now, but as TTS improves, this could really turn into one of the most useful features for the app.

If every single text book can be a native TTS book, that’ll be awesome. I don’t know if you’ve seen the prices of audiobooks, but they’re up there.

I also think it’s the same voice they use for navigation, which itself was improved a few years back from the old Navigation voice.


  • jaxidian

    Honestly, I would LOVE the ability to purchase/rent/whatever audiobooks but I’m not sure I want TTS via purchased books because it would totally lose my interest when listening. I’m easily distracted and a monotonous voice reading a book simply wouldn’t work for me.

    If you don’t have my problem, this might be good for you! :-)

    • geiko

      Oh, it’s no doubt a problem now. But I’m sure TTS is only gonna get better from now on. I’d say in a year or two, there will be a lot of advances in that field. The more we talk with our computers, the faster the innovations will come.

  • jonstle

    I listen to a lot of audio books while traveling and I love this idea and will have to take a look. I am afraid that listening to an audio book read by TTS will being like watching a movie with the sound off. It will loose a lot due to the lack of inflection a good reader can put into a story.

    Maybe this means Google is also going to put a lot more effort into the quality of the TTS on android.

  • fenlon

    I am an audio book junkie. I initially played with the TTS on the Kindle. That lasted a few minutes before I could feel my inner robot trying to take over and mindless smash objects around me.

    It will not have any current best sellers, but this is a great source for free public domain books read by real people. A great way to catch up on the classics.
    Give it a look:

    As far as the best way to play them, I recommend Mort Audio Book Player. Simple, a bit clunky, but a great program.

  • Austin Tompkins

    Yeah, I’m with the others here, while this is a nice feature, and I was really excited for a second, but @jonstle is right, your don’t have the ecitement of a good narrative when everything turns monotone, all characters sound the same, etc. And with the lack of focus I have, I think 30 seconds in and I’d zone out. The stimulation of a dynamic human voice can’t be beat.

    • geiko

      I know. But I imagine in the future, it’ll be right there with the best of them. It’ll take some time though.