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Old 03-07-2012, 04:30 AM   #1
joehunt
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Is it possible to convert an audiobook into an ebook?

I've been asked to help someone convert an audiobook he purchased into text for eventual conversion to an ebook (a digital version of the book is not available).

Is this even possible? If so, how would I do it?

Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by joehunt View Post
I've been asked to help someone convert an audiobook he purchased into text for eventual conversion to an ebook (a digital version of the book is not available).

Is this even possible? If so, how would I do it?

Thanks for any assistance.
Theoretically it could be done with speech recognition software.
It seems to be easier to buy the book and scan it though.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:36 AM   #3
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I suppose you could use a program like "Dragon Dictate" to do it. Such programs work very well for normal speech; it would depend, I guess, whether the audiobook had much in the way of background music - some do.

This really doesn't strike me as a terribly sensible thing to try to do. If you must have an eBook and the book isn't available as an eBook, it would be 1000x easier (and better) to OCR the paper book.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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This really doesn't strike me as a terribly sensible thing to try to do. If you must have an eBook and the book isn't available as an eBook, it would be 1000x easier (and better) to OCR the paper book.
Thank you! I didn't even consider this option and will recommend to my friend to do it this way.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:08 AM   #5
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Or hire a good touch typist to type it up for you?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #6
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it would be 1000x easier (and better) to OCR the paper book.

Or 1000000x easier just to listen to the audio book?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:43 AM   #7
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Or 1000000x easier just to listen to the audio book?
Ear books are better than eye books
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #8
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LOL! My friend has a specific need for digital text. I told him to buy the book and scan it and he is now moaning that the book is 740 pages long and scanning each page will take him *forever*.

He was hoping to just have the audiobook "read" into a word document and magically have the text appear Any ideas?
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
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LOL! My friend has a specific need for digital text. I told him to buy the book and scan it and he is now moaning that the book is 740 pages long and scanning each page will take him *forever*.

He was hoping to just have the audiobook "read" into a word document and magically have the text appear Any ideas?
I've already said - he could use a program like "Dragon Dictate" or "Naturally Speaking" but:

1. They are not cheap. They cost MUCH more than the audiobook cost.
2. Speech recognition is nowhere near as reliable as OCR.
3. There are companies who will scan a book for you at a pretty modest cost. See, for example, http://1dollarscan.com

Last edited by HarryT; 03-07-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:09 AM   #10
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LOL! My friend has a specific need for digital text. I told him to buy the book and scan it and he is now moaning that the book is 740 pages long and scanning each page will take him *forever*.

He was hoping to just have the audiobook "read" into a word document and magically have the text appear Any ideas?
What might be that special need?
Dragon Dictate was mentioned. The software needs training to be accurate(you have do dictate a given teaxt into the PC first).
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Ear books are better than eye books
Unless I am driving I always fall asleep in the middle and have to start over.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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I've used the most recent edition of Dragon, and it is really not good at all for pre-recorded voices. (It works much better for direct speaking, for various reasons.)

One thing to remember: voice recognition will not insert punctuation for you. Punctuation is usually very important in a book, so you're going to have a LONG post-processing job ahead of you.

And even at a 99% recognition rate, that means 1 in 100 words will be wrong. And whoever is editing will have a really fun job fixing that.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #13
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I've used the most recent edition of Dragon, and it is really not good at all for pre-recorded voices. (It works much better for direct speaking, for various reasons.)
The biggest obstacle, I would imagine, is that it can't be "trained". Training (speaking a predefined text into the program) dramatically improves its accuracy.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #14
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The biggest obstacle, I would imagine, is that it can't be "trained". Training (speaking a predefined text into the program) dramatically improves its accuracy.
In my case it did not -- the training actually worsened the already bad performance. I supplied my speaking profile and recorded voice to Nuance, and they confirmed there was nothing wrong with my voice or my files.

I'm currently the front page Amazon review on the Professional version, which I ended up sending back. The comments have largely supported the problems across both genders. (Originally, one theory was that the software just wasn't tested for women-speakers.)

I really wanted the software to work, and I went through the training very rigorously, so that was disappointing.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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That's interesting - thanks for the feedback.
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