In October we published an article based on a comment by Jim – Kindle a godsend for cancer patient: Wants text-to-speech for those too weak to hold e-readers. Now, in response to that I have received the following email from Raymond which I think is important enough to print in full. Remember that the Kindle can play MP3s:
I saw your comment on Teleread about how you and your wife wish that your Kindle had Text-to-Speech enabled. Am so sorry to hear about both of your cancers and wish you both a speedy recovery and better quality of life.
Instead of waiting for Amazon to implement Text-to-Speech, do it yourself!
I use TextAloud, a fantastic program that lets you convert any text on your computer into speech. Now my computer can READ ALOUD all my ebooks, websites, and documents (like Word and PDF) to me! I can turn any of my ebooks into MP3 audiobooks. The exception to this is DRM-protected ebooks, but I have figured out a way around that. You need to strip their DRM protection first.
Get TextAloud here:
TextAloud also can convert text into MP3 files that you can put onto an iPod or MP3 player, so you can listen to books/documents in your bed/car/gym/train!
Since basic computer voices are horribly robotic, I installed 3 AT&T Natural Voices, which take up about 500 MB each, but give you more naturally sounding voices.
The best AT&T voices are Mike, Crystal, and Audrey (all 16 kHz). The best basic voice is Anna. Another good voice is Emily (by ScanSoft). Different companies sell voices that read aloud in up to 21 languages (Chinese, French, Spanish, German, etc)! Test the AT&T voices yourself on this “text-to-speech” demo site:
Please tell your ebook friends about TextAloud! No need to wait for the Text-to-Speech feature on the Kindle. Convert your ebooks on your PC and put them on an MP3 player.
I hope this helps!