Amazon's AWS team and WP Engine, a WordPress platform provider, teamed up in a dual effort to create the new plugin that takes advantage of text-to-speech and machine learning technologies to deliver a world-class plugin for bloggers and podcasters.Amazon's new WordPress plugin, named Polly was first introduced at Amazon's re:Invent developer event back in November 2016 and uses state-of-the-art technologies for word recognition. For example, it knows that the word "live" could be pronounced differently when used in various contexts like "I live in Colorado" versus "Live from Los Angeles."
Polly has been around for some time now for use in text-to-speech purposes for news articles, blog posts, RSS feeds, and more, but this is the first time the technology is being used in the WordPress world.
The Polly speech engine released with 47 male and female voices with support in 24 different languages and is available in all regions in the AWS partition.
The great news for podcasters is that the plugin includes a feature called Pollycast, allowing you to control the iTunes parameters that are generated in the RSS feed including the category, image, contact email, and explicit content flag.
The Amazon Polly plugin is free to download and install in your WordPress environment, but using Polly is not. Pricing is based on the number of characters in each speech request. That may sound like it can add up pretty quickly, but don't forget that you can take advantage of Amazon's Free Tier, allowing you up to 5 million characters per month at no charge for the first year of using Polly.