[NIXED] Amazon Alexa Skill (Echo, Echo Dot etc.)

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iapetus2k2
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Post by iapetus2k2 » March 3rd, 2018, 11:54 am

I'm looking for some beta testers for an Alexa skill for reading LibriVox books. Anyone out there who's interested? Currently fairly basic functionality (read book by name) - looking for feedback on how it's working as well as suggestions for next features people would like to see. Hoping to get an initial public release out there soon.

philchenevert
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Post by philchenevert » March 3rd, 2018, 1:40 pm

iapetus2k2 wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 11:54 am
I'm looking for some beta testers for an Alexa skill for reading LibriVox books. Anyone out there who's interested? Currently fairly basic functionality (read book by name) - looking for feedback on how it's working as well as suggestions for next features people would like to see. Hoping to get an initial public release out there soon.
I am not sure what you are asking for iapetus. If you want actual books, we have a bunch in our catalog already that can be listened to. If you want something else, please clarify. It sounds like a good idea, I use my Alexa all the time but mainly for music, perhaps it is time to try some books?
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
You'd think hip-hop music would have more bunnies in it - but no. :hmm: .

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iapetus2k2
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Post by iapetus2k2 » March 3rd, 2018, 1:58 pm

This is a skill that allows you to listen to LibriVox books by asking Alexa. So:

Alexa, ask Fiction Weasel to read Five Children and It.
Alexa, ask Fiction Weasel to search for Frankenstein.
Alexa, ask Fiction Weasel to play Skylark of Space.

As far as I know there isn't one released yet, and I wanted one, so I wrote it. Now I'm looking for other people with Alexa devices to test it along with me, so I can fix any issues and make it publicly available so that everyone can use it and get easy access to LibriVox books on Alexa.

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Post by philchenevert » March 3rd, 2018, 3:48 pm

Does it work yet? Can we test it? Or is it still in development. None of those 3 work for me yet.
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
You'd think hip-hop music would have more bunnies in it - but no. :hmm: .

Need Help? Lots of Helpful Videos Here

iapetus2k2
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Post by iapetus2k2 » March 3rd, 2018, 4:17 pm

It's in development but at a point where it works (with a few limitations). Before I release it openly I need to test it with some real users rather than just me to make sure it's in a working state. If you PM me the email address associated with your Alexa account I can add you to the beta test list which I think (this is the first time I've taken a skill through beta testing) mails you instructions for how to enable it on your Alexa.

smike
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Post by smike » March 4th, 2018, 8:59 am

I would love to try that!
Claudia

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philjtoh
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Post by philjtoh » April 10th, 2018, 8:21 am

Hi Iapetus. I'm keen to get involved with your Librivox/Alexa initiative and in fact I have just got myself an Echo Dot to try it out. Since I have only just joined the forum it won't let me PM you to pass on my email address so please could you message me so I can reply (I think that is probably how it works). Alternatively I might take a chance and give my email publicly.
I have basically joined Librivox so I can help an elderly friend to get talking books and poetry working on his Alexa without paying a subscription for e.g. Audible. I've tried Librivox and the reading quality from volunteers is pretty high - far preferable to computer generated voices. Your project sounds an excellent step in the right direction.
Phil

iapetus2k2
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Post by iapetus2k2 » April 13th, 2018, 2:14 am

Unfortunately, Amazon have rejected the skill - they want all audio books to go via their audible app - so I've had to end the beta test and stop development on the app. It's a shame, because I think this is something that would actually be really useful - I initially implemented it because it was something I would use myself that wasn't available. I'm trying to appeal the decision, but I can't keep paying for the server resources it takes at the moment, so for now the skill is defunct. If I hear any more back from Amazon, I'll let you know.

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Post by Availle » April 13th, 2018, 5:20 am

Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that!

I wish you good luck with your appeal, although we both know that it probably won't go through - it's all about the big money... :?

However, you do seem like somebody with a lot of energy and creativity, I'm sure you'll again find something interesting to work on!
Cheers,
Ava.

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smike
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Post by smike » April 13th, 2018, 12:52 pm

What a shame. :( I hope they'll rethink their decision.
Claudia

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Post by VfkaBT » April 14th, 2018, 2:36 pm

iapetus2k2 wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 2:14 am
Unfortunately, Amazon have rejected the skill - they want all audio books to go via their audible app -
Because they're in it for the money, of course. When someone develops a freeware Alexa knock-off (perhaps someone in Brewster Kahle's posse at Internet Archive), then your idea might work.
My previous LV work: Bellona Times

digitaltoast
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Post by digitaltoast » September 2nd, 2018, 12:30 am

I came here to find out why no-one had developed an Alexa skill yet; I guessed this might be the reason!
iapetus2k2: How did the appeal go? Did you get in touch with the right people? Remember, cert are basically just robots.
You need to speak to advocates like Jeff Blankenberg, Paul Cutsinger etc. Get onto Office Hours. Join the Slack group.

Remember, you need to explain clearly that this is NOT audio that is available via any other source, and all books are out of copyright.
[url=http://librivox.org/newcatalog/people_public.php?peopleid=1685]Sections Completed[/url]

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Post by annise » September 2nd, 2018, 3:49 am

Google does have something which may be similar - viewtopic.php?f=23&t=69338&p=1442818&hilit=google+talk#p1442818 - this is not an endorsement but it is up and running, I don't talk to my mp3 player (except when the battery goes flat :D)

Anne

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