Say "Polly want a cracker" one more time. I dare you.

Testing Amazon Polly

Initial testing of AWS text-to-speech service.
Tired eyes? Listen to it instead.
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a plugin that adds voice to your posts. Let’s give Polly a try.

Out of the box results:

Thumbs down emoji
I hope image caption will be read. 

The first try was not successful. Troubleshooting needed.

I did see that it’s asking to connect to S3 bucket. I need to research that further. S3 might involve some charges.


In the end, I didn’t have to do anything. Maybe it needed a few minutes to start working? 

Further updates coming once I test it more.

First thoughts: appearance. Can I change where it’s displayed and how it looks?

Update 2

And… Polly stopped working again. I’ve tried a few things but now I’m stuck. I hope someone over at WordPress can help me (started a thread on the plugin’s page).

Update 3

I’ve made progress in figuring out why Polly stopped working. I’ll make a separate post about that.

So here’s the results of the testing:

  1. Title and excerpt are read (chosen in plugin settings).
  2. Image alt text and image caption are read.
  3. “Enable breaths” setting works very well. It’s a nice natural sounding speech.
  4. I’m using Joanna. I like her but I’ll play around with others too to see what my fave is.
  5. It’s interesting how short the recordings are. Usually up to 5-6 minutes for a full-length article.

Next up, testing if there’s a difference between Media Support setting or not (maybe that will prevent the issue I experienced?)

Update 4

Unchecking Media Support in plugin settings doesn’t impact audio previously in the media library.

With it unchecked, Polly was created properly.

After an update, no issues still. This settles it. It is a BUG!!! If you enable Media Support, you cannot update posts which had Polly created for already! Updating posts does not impair Polly when not visible in the Media Library. The Polly file is updated with each post update.

I posted the bug description on the plugin forum.

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