Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Alexa, do you really know how helpful they can be.

Echo Dot I know some tablets come with Alexa, but my Alexa sits on my desk. I have three of them through my house. I love to turn the music on and have stereo sound. 

Alexa / echo dot will cost you about around 49.00. If mine quit working, I would buy another one seconds later.  We love them so much I've bought 4 of them for family members. 

I love the automated options.  Every day at noon and at midnight Alexa automatically tells me the weather.  Every week on Wed evening she tells me it's time to take out the trash. She tells me every day at 11.00 it's time to take your medicine. 

Any time I want to hear the news, I just say Alexa play the news. I have her set up to tell me these things when I ask about the news. 

NFL update 
New things to try with Alexa
Bible verse of the day 
Rush Limbaugh Update 
The news from fox 
Then she gives me Two Tennis updates 
Then she tells me the weather. 

Did I mention you can pair her to your blue-tooth speakers.  I love Alexa

I also use her daily for timers, and reminders. I ask her a lot what's the high for the day or the low. There are several options for where you get your weather and news.  You can listen to pod casts, music. I even listen to Rush Limbaugh through tune-in. I love that I can be washing the dishes and just turn around and say Alexa play Christmas music, or play the Joyce Meyer podcast. It's great. 

I won't get into detail here, but you can also set it up to play your own music or if you're an author your own audio books by using google drive and My Pod aps. It is just so amazing I wish everyone could have an Alexa.  We also have Prime so that means we get a lot of music options.  Blake Shelton is one of my favorites and I guess she hears Alexa play Blake Shelton more than she hears anything. 

There are so many cool and fun apps. Don't even get me started on the store list, the To do list, or google calendar. I love the option tell me what's on my agenda for the day.  If you are like to listen to audio books, or music, or need a reminder when to take something out of the oven you have got to get at least one Alexa. 

Right now we're up to three of them in the house and if my house was bigger I'd have more. I'm always joking with my husband that I just wish I could get her on my smart watch so I could take her everywhere. Though you can take her on your phone around here in the sticks we don't have great cell service so for now I'll just be happy to have her in just about every room of my house. 

Thanks for listening and oh get an Alexa for someone you love, and no I don't get a dime if you do, just the satisfaction that you'll be getting a great tool for your home that will help you do so many things, you too will say Alexa is the best thing since sliced bread. 

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Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Any Pod Great skill for pod casts via Alexa

Do you like pod casts 

if so here is a great way to listen.  I'm not a huge pod cast listener but I wanted a way to use Alexa to listen to Joyce Meyer and Joseph Prince.  Well Praise Heaven I found it. Don't you just love Alexa. 

I'm sure there will be a lot of other pod casts you can listen to if you know their name, and I think there is a way to have your podcast added to the list, if it's not there. There is a lot of helpful information on the Any Pod site  

If you want to listen to podcasts say "Alexa, enable AnyPod skill.”

Then you say something like this “Alexa, ask AnyPod to play Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast.  Most of the time she will say did you mean you wanted to listen to (name of pod cast here), and you just say yes. Sometimes she will just take right off and start playing. 

It is possible that you will also need to set up an Anypod account. I can't say for sure because I did do this weeks ago.

You can also enable the skill .... Click here Amazon Link
Then you can create an account here at  Click here Any Pod Link

I found another helpful blog post with many other options they are as follows
Subscribe to a podcast  “Alexa, ask AnyPod to subscribe to [insert name of podcast].”Play a specific episode:  “Alexa, ask AnyPod to play episode XX of [podcast name].”
Jump to the first or last episode   “Alexa, ask AnyPod for the [newest/oldest] episode.”
List your podcast subscriptions:    “Alexa, ask AnyPod, ‘What are my subscriptions?’”
Skip forward or back an episode   “Alexa, play the [next/previous] episode.”

On The Ambient Blog post HERE   you can also learn how to use Alexa using tune in, and how to add pod casts to your routines lots of helpful things. so please also check out his blog post you will find it very useful if you use Alexa.

Images by Javier Brosch from

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Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Voice Dream Reader a great Author app

Every now and then you fall in love with a new app. Well, this is the one you write home to mother about.

I hope I can keep your attention, because you're going to want to run out and grab this app. I will warn you this app is 9.99 a one time fee but it's worth it. True there is a lot of apps that are free but they won't work this well. Also, just a note, I'm not making any money at all from this. I just love to share about a great app when I find one that works this well. 

This app is for you. If you have drop box this app will work
even better than ever. I keep most of my books in progress in Dropbox.  When I'm bored, or can't sleep, or just want to do an audio edit of one  of my books I pick up the phone and open the Voice Dream app.

Joey Voice from Ivona
With this app you can pick from many great voices, or you can buy a couple of your favorites. I love the Joey Voice from Ivona and have purchased it for my Next up for Pc Text to Speech software, but on this app it's having a few issues, so I went with another male voice.

I've contacted the developers of the app and they hope to get Joey fixed and I hope they do he's my all time favorite. But, since Joey's broke for now I picked out another premium voice.  Tyler, from Acapela he's a male voice with a bit of an accent but after a while your mind takes over and Tyler's voice seems to morph into any character in your story.

I often use apps like this to edit with, but never have I found one that works so well. Most of the time you have to turn the file into a mp3, and then download it to your phone, but this time it reads right from the file and you don't have to stop for chapters it will read the whole book to you.

Not for Commercial Use
Though I don't think there is anyway to turn these files into MP3 on the phone these voices that come on this app can not be used for commercial use. Though trust me they read well enough and would be great for audio books.  I have two of these voices also on Next up and it says in the tos that you can't use their voices in any way for commercial use without paying a HEFTY license fee, but you can use it daily and it will be a great help. Maybe you need to do an audio edit, or maybe you just enjoy listening to your own books in audio form. Either way you will not beat this app. It will cost you a one time fee of 9.99 but to me it is well worth the money.

There is a timer, you can have it play from 15 minutes to 60 minutes or have it start automatically.  Just don't fall asleep with the phone on, or you might wake with a nice red mark on your neck. And of course I've never done this. Well, maybe. :)
There are book marks and highlights and Chapters.  If the voice is reading too fast you can slow it down or speed it up. It comes with about 6 free voices and one premium voice.  It can connect to drop box, and I also see  google drive and I see Bookshare, Pocket and Instapaper though I don't have those platforms.  It came with Pride and Prejudice loaded in the memory though I don't know if the whole book is there or not.

You can sort your books by Recent, Add Date, Title, Author, Size, you can also search. You can read along with it to and change your font size.

I can't say enough good things about this app, and I'm sure it does thing's I've not even learned yet,  but please do check it out. If you're an author and you like to edit with audio, or just listen to your own stories while you clean house, or go to sleep you have to save your pennies and buy this app. If you have any questions just ask, and check back in a few days to this post and I'll have a few more helpful blog tips about voices to pick and the Nextup Software for your pc.

Google play store link HERE
Website HERE
Apple here 

Posts coming soon
Next up post
Joey's voice

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Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups.