February 22, 2006 9:05 AM   Subscribe

I want to convert text to MP3!

I'd like to convert hazardous weather outlooks and area forecasts discussions issued by the National Weather Service to MP3s and upload them to my weather website for all to download. I need a free text to MP3 converter. Bonus points for a program that will let me substitute words for the pesky abbreviations.
posted by @homer to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
What OS are you using?

If you use apple you can give Orator a shot.

If you are using Windows check out Text to Speech Maker
posted by tbrowne76 at 9:11 AM on February 22, 2006

Use Notepad to convert abbreviations then use any one of these programs to convert text to voice.
posted by JJ86 at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2006

Oooops. I'm using good old windows.
posted by @homer at 9:23 AM on February 22, 2006

Try Textaloud it works great for me. Create MP3 or WMA files. Opens Word, PDF and HTML directly in the app.
posted by johnd101 at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2006

OS X has an Automator action to do this. Not so helpful for you, I know, but if you have access to a Mac it's the easiest solution I can think of.
posted by tweebiscuit at 10:08 AM on February 22, 2006

If you wanted to avoid doing all the work yourself, there are actually podcast feeds that do the text-to-speech for you. For instance, here's one for Chicago:

(In fact, if you look at Odeo's tag page, the number one tag is weather, because the site is swamped with these automatically-generated feeds.)
posted by llamateur at 11:02 AM on February 22, 2006

I was hoping to do the work for myself. Both for the fun factor and so I can include other products if the AFD and HWO work out.
posted by @homer at 12:37 PM on February 22, 2006

The latest version of Office has autoreplace features and text to speech capabilities. It would just be a matter of directing the output to an encoder.
posted by Mitheral at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2006

You can do this for free with winamp. There are a couple text-to-speech plugins that use microsoft sam, so you play a song that is a text file mr. microsoft sam will read it. to convert to an mp3 set the output (prefrences, plugins, output) to a plugin that will make mp3's (disk writer, file writer, mp3 output) you usually have to do a little hacking (downloading plugins and possibly lame) to get a decent mp3 output, but I think it will do 56k for free without any hacks. Otherwise dump it to a wav and convert it with audacity. Make sure to turn the output back to waveout after your done or everything you try and play in winamp it will try and rip to a new file. (plugins can be found on
posted by psychobum at 4:54 PM on February 22, 2006

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