[Athen] Favorite Text to Audio Converter

Crabb, Nolan Crabb.15 at osu.edu
Thu Jun 18 07:04:20 PDT 2009

If you already have a copy of Kurzweil 1000, why not give that a shot?
I've used it to convert PDF, braille files, and of course scanned print
material into MP3 audio using the Neospeech voices-Kate and Paul. I
very much enjoy converting texts to audio and listening to the audio in
a Victor Stream, for example. I'll drop in level one bookmarks at every
chapter and create separate audio files for each chapter. Of course,
you can do that on a per-page basis if you need to get that granular.
Indeed, you can bookmark that book any way you want, and then create
separate audio files based on your bookmarking plan. It might be
impractical to do, but you could even bookmark each paragraph.
Normally, for the kind of personal reading I'm doing, I'm content to
bookmark chapters. The Neospeech Kate voice is a personal favorite of
mine, and I choose the high-quality audio setting to do my conversion.
It comes out sounding fine for voice work.

The personal philosophical question you have to answer is, do you speed
Kate up at the Kurzweil end or just let her run normally and then assume
the listener will adjust the speed on his or her playback device? I run
these at pretty rapid rates through Kurzweil 1000, then just run my
Stream at the normal speed. The advantage to that is slightly smaller

Now I must confess I've never tried this with anything mega-complicated
like some kind of hard-core math or engineering book. But doing this on
reasonably straightforward texts works really quite well, and there
really are no audio artifacts or weird sounds that happen as a result of
the conversion.

It's all a very subjective thing, but I enjoy the Neospeech voices more
than the AT&T ones-less audio fatigue for me, which means the ability to
listen longer and retain my interest in what I'm hearing better.



Nolan Crabb

Director of Assistive Technology

The Ohio State University

2054 Drake Center, 1849 Cannon Dr., Columbus, OH 43210

Ph. (614) 735-8688

E-mail: crabb.15 at osu.edu

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