Amazon Polly WordPress Plugin-Now Turn Your Blogs Into Audio!

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Amazon Polly

Last updated - May 10, 2018

Human speech is a powerful way to communicate. Even a simple hello can convey a lot of information to others based on the pitch and tone you speak. You can convey more information in less time. That is why speech is ideal for applications where a screen isn’t effective enough to convey your messages. This article guides you through all that you need to know about ‘Amazon Polly‘ and it’s newly released WordPress plugin.

What is Amazon Polly?

Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a cloud service by Amazon that can convert text into lifelike speech. It is intended to develop applications that increase engagement and accessibility. It supports multiple languages and lifelike voices so that you can build applications that work in different locations.

Amazon Polly speech engine is launched with 47 male and female voices and supports 30 languages. It was first introduced at Amazon’s re:Invent developer event in November 2016. Polly uses machine learning technologies to deliver a lifelike experience. For example, Polly knows how to pronounce words like “live” differently according to situations. In the phrase, ‘I live in New York’ and ‘live from New York’ are pronounced differently even though they are spelled the same.

Polly can be used in mobile applications such as newsreaders, games, eLearning platforms, accessibility applications for visually impaired people, and Internet Of Things(IoT). It is not certified to be used for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), HIPAA  (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), or FedRAMP.

What are the uses of Amazon Polly?

Some of the benefits of Amazon Polly includes:

  • High audio quality:  Polly uses top-notch Text-To-Speech technology to deliver a natural speech with high pronunciation accuracy (including abbreviations, acronym expansions, and date/time interpretations).
  • Supports many languages and voices: Polly speech engine is launched with 47 male and female voices and it supports 30 languages so that you can build applications that work in different locations.
  • Cloud-based solution: Text-to-speech is done in the cloud which helps in reducing local resource requirements such as CPU power, RAM, and disk space.This enables support of many of the languages and voices at the best quality. Also, speech improvements are instantly available to all end-users and do not require additional updates for your devices.
  • Low latency: Polly ensures fast responses which makes it suitable for low latency cases such as dialogue systems.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Amazon does not require a set-up cost or minimum fee. You only pay for what you use.You can start small and scale up as your application grows.

Amazon Polly WordPress Plugin

The Amazon Polly WordPress plugin can turn your blog post into spoken audio or podcasts. And Polly will do this in 47 male and female voices with a support of 30 languages. With the integration of Amazon Polly with WordPress, this technology will be available to more audience all around the world. And, this technology will enable a more effective way to interact and engage your customers in the websites or blogs.

Your audience may not be able to sit and read your blogs every time. This technology converts the text on your blogs or website into voice and will make it possible for your customers to hear it when they are driving, exercising or just not in a mood to read.

The plugin is developed in association with Amazon Web Services team and WP Engine. The Amazon Polly speech platform was first introduced at Amazon’s re:Invent developer event in November 2016.

How to get started?

You can do lots of things with Amazon Polly on the development end but for blogs, they have teamed up with WP Engine and they’ve created a word press plug-in called Amazon Polly. Now let’s dig in, let’s get started.

One of the things you’re going to need is actually to have an AWS account. You’ll need to have an account with the Amazon Web Services and to do that, is very easy. You have to sign in to your Amazon account. And once you sign in with your Amazon account. You’ll be taken to the console area.

After you sign in, go over to where your name is and click on my security credentials. Now if this is your first time, click on continue to security credentials and go into Access keys (access key ID and secret access key). You want to create a new access key if you don’t have one already created. Your secret access key and your access key ID those are the two pieces you’re going to need. Once you have those go over to the plugin and install it.

Settings page

Amazon PollyOnce you installed the plugin switch over to the settings. Put in your AWS access key, your AWS secret key. Now fill out the details like sample rate, voice name, player position, new post-default etc. You will also get an option to store Amazon audio on Amazon S3. By this, you can connect your audio files and have them stored and streamed from there.

The next option available is the Amazon Pollycast. So you can actually create a podcast from the Polly audio files that are created. Now the funny thing here is that it is going to sound like a robotic voice. Now, I’m sure they’re going to be improving on that technology. I don’t think anyone would really enjoy listening to a robotic voice.

After you set up these settings, the plugin will make calls to Amazon Polly each time after saving or updating one of your posts. This is where you pay for the service.

Pricing

Installing Amazon Polly WordPress plugin is free. This doesn’t mean that the services are free. You have to pay based on your usage. The pricing given below is taken from the Amazon Polly official site as of the published date of this article.

Free Tier

The AWS free tier offers 5 million characters per month for the speech at no extra cost, for the publisher’s first year of using the speech engine starting from the first request for speech.

Polly Pricing

Pay-as-you-go $4.00 per 1 million characters for speech requests (when outside the free tier). Pay-as-you-go $4.00 per 1 million characters for Speech Marks requests (when outside the free tier).

Pricing Examples

Example Text Length Speech Duration Cost
1,000 requests, 1,000 characters per request 1 million characters ~23 hours, 8 min $4.00
10,000 requests, 100 characters per request 1 million characters ~23 hours, 8 min $4.00
2016 Amazon Shareholders Letter 1.3k characters, single page ~1 min. 40 sec $0.005
Average email message ~3.1k characters ~4 min $0.02
Typical news article ~6.5k characters, three pages ~9 min $0.03
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens ~165k characters, 64 pages ~3 hours 50 min $0.66
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain ~600k characters, 224 pages ~13 hours 50 min $2.40
Animated video:
–    Average length of a single narration text: 100 characters
–    Number of narration texts per animated production: 25
2.5k characters per animation ~3.5 min $0.01
Conversational application:
–    Average spoken response length: 100 characters
–    Requests per user per month: 300
30k characters per user per month ~42 min $0.12
Animated avatar:
–    Average length of single phrase from avatar: 100 characters
–    Number of phrases produced by avatar: 25
–    Need for Speech Marks to synchronize lips
2.5k characters of synthesized speech

2.5k characters of Speech Marks data

~3.5 min $0.02
Storytelling with highlighted text for children:
–    Length of text for the story: 10k characters
–    Need for Speech Marks to synchronize highlighted text
10k characters of synthesized speech

10k characters of Speech Marks data

~13 min $0.08

Will the plugin help in improving your website traffic?

Amazon Polly

The plugin can surely help you in interacting and engaging more of your customers on the websites or blogs. But there are many other effective ways to improve your website traffic. Everyone is competing to improve their website traffic, it’s time to move on to some new strategies. Let us wait and see how far this plugin will help you in improving your website traffic. To read more efficient ways to boost your store traffic click here.

More related plugins

Apart from Amazon Polly, you can also try these Text-to-speech WordPress plugins:

  • PLAY – Convert Articles to Podcasts: PLAY converts your blog articles into audio podcasts so your users can listen to them. PLAY provides tools to engage and grow your audience.

  • GSpeech – Text to speech solution for WordPressGSpeech is a text to speech solution for WordPress. It uses Google power to provide you the best quality of automatic text to speech service.
  • Text To Speech WidgetText To Speech Widget converts any text into speech in selected language and voice. It supports 63 voices in different languages. It converts text to speech.

  • Odiogo Listen ButtonThis plugin displays a ‘listen’ button underneath the title of each post. When you click the button, the post’s text will shift a few lines down and a control bar displays from which you can play/pause the MP3 file.

Closing comments

Integrating Amazon Polly WordPress plugin into your website can surely help those customers ‘who don’t enjoy reading the whole big blogs’ or ‘who wants to hear the blogs while they are busy with activities like driving, exercising’ etc. Thus helping you in improving your website traffic to an extent.

How are you going to make use of this plugin? Let us know in the comment section below. For more related articles, go to LearnWoo.com.