How To: Make Free Audiobooks

Discussion in 'Computers' started by pegwinn, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. pegwinn

    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

    Apr 17, 2004
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    Note: I originally published this on my blog. I also thought I crossposted this to the USMB blog section. Guess Not. FWIIW I hope it is useful info. Thanks for reading.

    I mentioned once that Mr. Gadget was one of my heroes. Between him and McGiver we could rule the world. So todays topic is on Reading in the Information age.

    I love to read. I once read a phone book just to see how long I could go before boredom set in. My record is twenty-one pages. :) And today is the very best time to be a reader. Think about how many books, articles, news reports, and blogs exist. It's a readers paradise.

    My problem is that you cannot take the multitude of free eBooks or online articles on the road with you. The computer is great, but sitting glued to a screen for hours trying to read a two hundred page PDF is tough on the eyes and the rest of the body. The computer is the bad apple of the electronic paradise.

    The biggest problem for ebook reading is the amount of different standards, formats, and devices. For starters you can get eBook readers that range in price from dirt cheap to "they want how much?!?!" And there are about a half dozen formats to consider. Here is a site that compares them and might lend itself to a decision.

    Another conundrum is folks that drive. Audio books have been around forever. The prices are a bit higher than a print book. And, the selection is limited. So, if your job requires you to drive, fly, or move around a lot, sitting with a paperback or ereader may not be best.

    Twice a week I drive about six hundred miles round trip. Here is my workaround. I take articles and books and convert them to audiobooks. I look at the Internet as the public library. If it's out there it is likely free. I know folks are making money on the big ticket stuff. But the lil thangs is what we are going after here.

    IF your book is a pdf file, then the process is easy.

    First download mp3mymp3 from here and go ahead and install it.

    Open the program and make sure the source is "stereo mix". Click setting and make sure you change the max recording length to 999 minutes.

    Open your pdf and select view ] activate read out loud. Then go back and select "read to end of document".

    Click record on mymp3.

    I am still playing with it. I think that if the PDF isn't the active window something goes wrong. But, I do have a three hour mp3 of a 200 page pdf. The voice quality is better than the computer voice on Star Trek (Original Series), but not quite natural. For free, I can get used to it.

    Here is another blog that goes into detail on this very process. It is complete with screenshots as well. It also mentions using Opera. I've never used Opera and so cannot comment on it.

    The other app I use is SayPad. Basically you paste plain text into it, and let the wizard run. It will make multiple mp3's.

    Finally I use WavePad to edit the audio files for length and if needed splitting or appending. Like the above it is free with an option to purchase a professional version.

    So, road trips are easier now.

    * SayPad works best with plain text files.
    * Do Not Infringe on Copyrighted Work

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