Do you have any articles you would like to read, but just don’t have the time to do so? Perhaps a colleague shared a great article, but you just can’t seem to fit the reading time into your busy schedule. Well, have you ever considered converting the article into an audio file that you can listen to in your car, on your phone, or through your tablet? If you have a book you would like to listen to, you might want to check out Audible.
For those of you not familiar with Audible.com (now owned by Amazon), it is the number one seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Audible’s content includes over 150,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers and business information providers, amounting to over 1,500,000 hours of audio programming. So long story short, if there is a book you would like to read, but can’t find the time, you might want to try listening to that book on your drive to work. Audible has been pretty good over the years about giving a free trial, so you might want to ask. I started about 4 years ago and have been addicted ever since.
Now, if you are simply looking to turn text into speech, you might be surprised to know that your computer can do that for you. There are also a wide variety of websites and programs that would be happy to help you with that as well (just Google Text-to-Speech). As a Mac user, I like Charles Kelly’s or CK’s Text-to-Speech app which is a free download that easily converts text to MP3 files and places those files directly into your iTunes library. If you are looking for an app to use on the PC, you might try http://www.naturalreaders.com
If you would prefer to try a web based tool rather than downloading and installing a tool on your computer, you might want to try Yakitome a try. It is easy to use and you can currently convert files at no cost. Here is the link, or you can click on the image to the left. On the other hand, if you prefer having an avatar read to you like the sample video above, you could also check out odd cast.