Kindle Now Does Audiobooks (again)

I started the blog that became in 2009. The first kindle came out in 2007. I bought the original kindle about 6 months after it initially came out. And then sold my original kindle and bought the second kindle. And then the third (Kindle Keyboard). And then the Paperwhite (but I used the Kindle Touch enough to know I didn’t like it and intentionally skipped that one.)

The initial kindle did not have speakers. Those came with the second generation. That second generation kindle had a digital voice that would read to you. The third generation had audible integration and you could have narrated books read to you. Then the Paperwhite removed the speakers and anyone that was listening to audiobooks was probably doing it on your smart phone.

Since 2012, no new Kindle has had speakers or capacity to listen to audiobooks (except the Fire Tablets, which are not dedicated ebook readers.) In 2016 an audio adapter was introduced which via dongle you could have Text to Speech. But with the most recent Kindle Oasis release Amazon has unlocked the bluetooth that has been in the original Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Basic which allow you to connect a bluetooth speaker or headphones to your kindle and listen to audiobooks again.

The basic function on my updated Kindle Oasis (1st generation) is similar to the function five years ago on the Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation Kindle.) It does not read along, but just has play, stop, forward or back and basic chapter navigation. I can alternate between reading the print and listening to the audiobook, but I cannot read along as you can on the iPhone or a tablet.

The Bluetooth speakers worked fine, but the kindle does not read to you without purchasing the audiobook. The read to me feature (digital voice narration) is not enabled. To do that you still have to use an Amazon Fire tablet or an Amazon Echo speaker device.

I am glad that the option now exists for me to use audiobooks on my Kindle Oasis. But it is not a reason to upgrade and it is not really any different than it was five years ago (although it is more stable and it has not crashed like it frequently used to on the Kindle Keyboard.)

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