Making my own read-along story books for my kids' tablet
November 8, 2017 3:02 AM   Subscribe

I have digitised bunch of read along books (now pdf) and audio (mp3) that I had and loved as a child. We're going overseas at the end of the year, and I'd love to get these files into my kid's tablet so she can listen and read along as we're on holidays, but geez it's hard!

My best solution so far has been essentially making a video, with a slow pan to accomodate the fixed aspect ratio. Embedding audio into an epub - while theoretically possible, has not been at all successful using calibre, or sigil, or a kindle textbook creator, or a couple of other programs.

Do you have any ideas of what I can use to do this for my kid, so she has a book she can read and audio she can listen to at the same time on an android tablet, I'm out of ideas!
posted by smoke to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I should add, I know I can just add the two files and get her to launch two different programs to engage with both simultaneously, but it's not very elegant and doesn't really facilitate skipping. I fear this may be the only practical option, however
posted by smoke at 4:00 AM on November 8, 2017

I would try PowerPoint. Here's what I'd do:

1. Get the PDF pages each into a slide. If you have Acrobat, you can export to a PowerPoint. If not, you could take screenshots of each page. There are probably many solutions in between as well.

Two options for the sound
2a. Insert the mp3 in he PowerPoint presentation and have it play across slides. Then, set the slide timings to match the mp3. I think you might be able to disable someone from clicking on the slides to advance.

2b. Cut up the mp3 and put each clip on each slide. This would be more flexible in terms of being able to flip back and forth between pages.

3. Install PowerPoint for Android.
posted by beyond_pink at 4:42 AM on November 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding beyond_pink. And for step 3, if you prefer, you can save the PowerPoint as a video instead.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:54 AM on November 8, 2017

I'm a professor and the technique I use to make videos of my lectures would work for you here. I use Camtasia to record myself as I flip through the PDF. The audio is my voice and the visual is whatever is on my screen. It outputs an mp4 file which you can skip around in, etc.

I don't know if you can get Camtasia through your work (which is what I did) or if there are similar cheap or free software versions around, but at worst, I think they have a free month-long trial period so you could just make all of your videos in a month.
posted by forza at 4:13 PM on November 8, 2017

« Older Freestanding TV cabinet with bloody-minded cats...   |   Why all the songs in ‘90s cartoons? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.