Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alexa, you crack me up!

I've had the Amazon Echo (Alexa) as my personal slave for quite some time now, but I haven't come close to making her use all her skills.  She sits in the living room, right near the kitchen, so I can ask her to add items to my grocery list, to-do list, or calendar when needed.  I probably use her music-playing abilities more than anything:  "Alexa, play Willie Nelson"; "Alexa, shuffle some lullabyes"; "Alexa, play classical music"; and so forth.  When I'm in bed, ready to go to sleep, I'll ask her little clone, the Amazon Tap, to play my White Noise list, which consists of rain, thunder, and/or ocean waves.  Last night I had her turned up too loud and the thunder woke Cliff up in the middle of the night, so that wasn't such a good thing.   Considering his semi-deafness, I must have REALLY had her volume at a high level!  Let's just say he wasn't happy, and threatened to move to the guest bedroom. 

I read quite a bit, mostly library books I've checked out on the Kindle.  I don't like to pay for books, although once in a blue moon I'll purchase one.  I even have a few Audible books I've bought in the past, which read themselves.  Trouble is, when I use the Audible app to read books, I tend to drift off and go to sleep.  I've found I have to do my own reading if I'm going to keep my mind on a story line.  

Audible books are read by actors, so they are clear and easy to listen to.  

However, I learned somewhere along the way that Alexa will read regular Kindle books as well.  This morning, out of curiosity, I decided to see how well she performed that task, and asked her to read my current book, "Gathering Prey" by John Sandford.  

First of all, considering Alexa's robot-like voice... if you've never heard Alexa, imagine Siri... she did a pretty good job.  I was surprised.  She took right up reading my book where I left off yesterday.  She does sound like a robot, but I guess it's doable, for instance if my hands were busy in the kitchen.  Trouble is, John Sandford's characters sometimes use naughty words, and hearing Alexa say those words just cracked me up!  

I guess I'll continue reading most books on my own.  It's hard to concentrate on a story line when the bad guys' language comes out so funny.

1 comment:


Audible and Alexa sound intriguing.