Text to mp3
February 23, 2016 11:29 PM   Subscribe

I have a long car ride coming up and a long academic document to read. Is there a good, low-cost, text to speech program that can process a large Word document and spit out an mp3 file that I could burn onto a disc and listen to on my ride?

I also have visions of listening to academic articles while I shower, cook, exercise, etc.

I am aware that this is a plot point in a Seinfeld episode.
posted by sockermom to Education (4 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have access to a Mac?
posted by foxfirefey at 12:27 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Do you have a smart phone? I use text to speech on moon+reader on my phone to listen to pdfs of academic articles in exactly the ways you describe. On a long car trip you could plug the phone into a plug on your cigarette lighter so it won't run out of battery.
posted by lollusc at 12:30 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I believe the Kindle app does text to speech, and I know the Pocket app does. I am not sure how to send a word file to Pocket but you can google that. You won't be able to burn it to a CD but you can listen to it from a smart phone.
posted by Brittanie at 3:57 AM on February 24, 2016

There are programs to do this but I feel compelled to mention that the synthetic voice from most text-to-speech programs is more than a bit jarring when listening to it for more than a few seconds.

For example, pick a paragraph from a news article and paste it in this converter. The cadence gets close but it sounds...off. After a while this gets distracting and forget about any complex words or place names which means you'll hear butchered information a lot of the time.

It's possible but very far from ideal.
posted by Socinus at 1:49 AM on February 25, 2016

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