Turn your blog into a podcast with text-to-speech synthesis

Jorge Marín

Jorge Marín

Photographer by hobby, Release Automation Engineer @ Bitnami during the day, open-source advocate at nights.

Share this article

Amazon Polly is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool that turns text into human-like speech.

It allows anyone with an AWS account to turn plain text into audio files with human-like speech, with low latency response time and in a scalable way.

WordPress is a free and open source content management system that supports the creation and modification of digital content and can be used as a blogging platform.

Turning your written posts into a podcast can help you reach a wider audience by using a different communication format and helps increase the accessibility level of your blog.

If you want to start writing blog posts on the Internet and turn them into podcasts, the easiest way to do this is to launch a WordPress instance on the cloud and connect it to the Amazon Polly service using the Amazon Polly WordPress plugin.

You can find an up-to-date WordPress image packaged by Bitnami and WordPress Multisite image packaged by Bitnami on the AWS Marketplace, which now include the preinstalled Amazon Polly WordPress plugin. Other solutions such as WordPress for Production or WordPress Multitier will also include the plugin soon.

In this post you will learn what Amazon Polly is, how to use it, and how to integrate it in your WordPress blog to create podcasts with ease.

Amazon Polly and WordPress: boost your posts to the next level

The Amazon Polly service supports more than 20 languages. It allows you to create applications that talk and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products. It’s main features are the following:

  • Human-like speech
  • Fast response for real time applications
  • Scalability

The Amazon team has written an Amazon Polly plugin for WordPress that will seamlessly turn your written blog posts into naturally spoken audio files thanks to machine learning and AWS infrastructure.

This integration can help you drive more users to your blog using new communication channels.

Do you want to see it in action? It can turn these sentences:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42.

Into these audio files:

To get started with Amazon Polly, simply log into the Amazon Polly console and try the service with your own text. Now, let's see how easy is to connect Amazon Polly with WordPress.

Connecting Amazon Polly with WordPress

NOTE: The steps below assume that you have a WordPress instance running on the AWS console and the Amazon Polly WordPress plugin installed and enabled.

The first step consists on getting the AWS Access Key and an AWS Secret Key to allow the plugin to interact with Amazon Web Services. Follow the steps provided in the "How to install the Amazon Polly plugin in WordPress" section of the Bitnami WordPress in AWS documentation page.

Now, it is time to test the new feature. Go and create your first speech-enabled blog post. Just write a normal post and enable Amazon Polly in the publishing page.

Sample post

Cost estimation

Published post

Congratulations you’ve just posted the first episode of your automatic blog-based podcast!

Broadcasting to the World One Post at a Time

Now that your written posts are automatically posted as audio files, it is time to create a podcast feed so that people can add your blog as a source of material to listen to, get updates about new posts, save for listening later, and more.

Podcasting is seamlessly supported as of WordPress 1.5. Add a link to an audio file in a post and WordPress will automatically add the necessary enclosure tag to your RSS2 feed to make it usable as a podcast.

To create a subscription, or to syndicate your podcast, you can add your RSS feed link on the site, to your iTunes, and other syndication accounts. It will be available at http://your_domain.com/feed or, if you're using an Atom feed, http://your_domain.com/feed?feed=atom.

For iTunes users, consider using the link Amazon Pollycast feature creates at the Amazon Polly WordPress plugin configuration page:

Amazon Pollycast

This is the final result in the iTunes podcast library: iTunes Podcast

Try WordPress and Amazon Polly integration for free.

Launch Bitnami WordPress in AWS