Many people ask me if they can listen to these books on their IPOD or MP3 player. Software TextAloud
makes that possible.
TextAloud, in addition to converting text to voice on your PC (like ReadPlease), makes it easy to convert a text file to an MP3 file that you can then load onto your IPOD or burn onto a CD, which should work in any CD player.
TextAloud 2.0 currently sells for $29. (You can also download a free trial version that is good for a limited time). Then you are going to want to pay extra for high quality voices. That
Nextup.com page let's you listen to the demos. I recommend the AT&T Natural Voices (Mike and Crystal) for $25.
The files for the AT&T Natural voices are huge — more than half a gigbyte -- so you'll need a high speed connection to download them. (As an alternative, you can pay extra to get the files on CD). And
you'll need a minimum of 256 Megs of RAM to run those voices properly.
With TextAloud 2.0 and the Mike and Crystal AT&T Natural Voices, in just 3 minutes I converted Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” essay (56 K) into a 10 meg MP3 file. I also converted in just 30 minutes an
entire book (Emerson’s Essays First Series, 400 K) into a 73 meg MP3. I burned those MP3s onto a CD, and they sounded good on an MP3 player.
Fortunately, TextAloud has a feature that makes it easy to split a large (book-size) file into a series of chapter-size files, before conversion; because book-size files can be very awkward to deal with in MP3
players. (You aren’t going to want to listen to an entire book in one session).
In other words, with this software installed, you can turn any book file from any of our book collection CDs or DVDs into an MP3 file, that you can listen to on your IPOD or other MP3 player.
Keep in mind that AT&T has very restrictive licensing terms that may prevent you from doing the natural things you would want to do with the MP3 files you make. "Audio files created by these voices
cannot be distributed to others under the standard consumer licenses." In other words, you can’t share or post audio files you make from public domain books. If the MP3 files you make are for your own
use, fine. But if you want to share them with your class, or your school, or your company, or your school district, or post them on the Web, you'll have to buy an institutional license, for more money.