make an audio book from any text source

I was reading a blog that I regularly visit yesterday and stumbled upon instructions for creating audio books from any type of text file. It was so awesome that I put it out on Twitter early today and have been requested to “fill in the blanks”.


First and foremost, credit goes to Rick Mansfield and his blog This Lamp. Unfortunately for you users of PC’s and the multiple variants of Windows, this will not help you, but if your a Mac user you will find all the instructions here.


The example that Rick describes is converting a christian resource book into an audio book. Yet this method works for anything that contains text – I have created audio books from pdf files, Word docs and Pages docs, the list is endless.


One last thing that Rick doesn’t mention is that when you have your new “Text to Speech” file in iTunes, you can then convert it into iTunes audio book format by running a script called Make Bookmarkable by Doug Adams and you can download the Apple Script here.


Rick in his post mentions how little time it takes to create an audio book from scratch. One of the ones that I created was The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson. The final product was an audio book that would take 10 hours and 54 minutes to listen through – total time to prepare and convert on my MacPro was about 8 minutes. 


It’s an absolutely awesome way to get audio books onto your iPod or iPhone. The possibilities are endless – I can see myself converting some of my daughter’s Uni text books next year so she can listen to them as she commutes to Uni, rather than having to carry them with her.


I hope you enjoy exploring these unlimited possibilities. If you’re a Windows user and you know of a way to do it on that platform, I’d love for you to share the secrets.


Happy audio book listening!

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