Listening to Articles in Pocket with Text-to-Speech

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When you press the headphones button, Pocket will read the article back to you as if you were streaming a song on a music app. You can also listen to articles while you’re offline using your device’s text to speech capabilities.

Using listen on iOS

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In the main carousel menu, click the headphones icon to start listening. You can browse through eligible articles from here.

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Starting Listen in Article View on Android

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Open an article and tap the headphones button. The listen menu will appear, and the article will begin playing immediately.

Note: It is currently not possible to read and listen at the same time.

Controlling Playback

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Using the controls

In the listen screen, you can select additional playback options, including:

  • Change voice speed
  • Play/Pause
  • Skip to the next article (when paused)
  • Skip ahead/back 15 seconds (when listening)
  • Archive the Article you’re listening to

To stop listening and get back to Pocket, swipe down on the listen screen until it disappears.

Additional Options for Listen

Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner to open the listen settings menu. In this menu, you can customize the following settings:

  • Voice and Language - Select the language and voice that will be used when listening offline.

Listening While You’re Offline

Depending on your connection, Pocket will either use high quality streaming voices or lower quality text-to-speech voices. When you’re online, the high-quality voices will be used, and when you’re offline or drop your connection, Pocket will automatically switch to the other text to speech. Then, if your device comes back online, Pocket will resume using the high-quality voices for the next article.

If you have a limited amount of cellular data available, you can disable the high-quality streaming voices and save on bandwidth. To do so tap the gear icon to open Voice Options, and enable Always Use Offline Voices.

Additional settings for listen

Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner to open the listen settings menu. In this menu, you can customize the following settings:

  • Language and Voice Options - On Android, you can download and install additional Text-to-Speech Engines (See below.)
  • Auto Play - If enabled, Pocket will automatically play the next article in your playlist. Turn this off to Listen to articles one at a time.
  • Automatic Archiving - If enabled, articles that you listen to completely will be Archived automatically.

Listening when your device is offline

By default, you’ll hear a pre-selected voice for offline reading. To choose a different voice for offline listening, you can take the following steps:

  1. Tap the headphones button to open the listen menu
  2. Tap the gear icon to access additional voice options
  3. Tap Voice
  4. Tap your preferred voice option to select it.

Listening to Pocket on Your Computer

Firefox (Mac and PC)

If you’re using the Firefox browser, you can listen to articles using the text-to-speech feature in Firefox Reader View. Click here to learn how to listen to articles in Firefox using Firefox Reader View.

Pocket for Mac and Pocket for Web (Mac only)

Your Mac has built-in text-to-speech functionality. Here’s how to listen to an article in Pocket for Mac or Pocket for Web:

  1. Open an Article
  2. Highlight (or select) the text you want to hear
  3. Right-click (or Command+click) the highlighted text, and navigate to Speech > Start Speaking. You can also go to the Edit > Speech > Start Speaking.
  4. To stop speaking at any time go to the Edit > Speech > Stop Speaking

Common Questions

Why am I unable to listen to certain articles?

There are a few reasons why you may not be able to listen to an article. This includes the following:

  • We don’t identify the saved link as an article. The page may not be an article, such as a recipe, index page, or another type of webpage.
  • The article may be behind a paywall. If a website has a paywall that limits access to subscribers, listening will unfortunately not be possible at this time.

Which languages are supported by the listen feature in Pocket?

Pocket supports voice options that are available via the built-in voice settings on Android devices.

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