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Old 06-13-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
eolake
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How to make audiobook from text or ebook?

I want to make or get made audiobooks from ebooks. or text, with Text-To-Speech.

I actually did it a few years ago, with a simply Mac app. The problem is that that the Mac voice is not the best one.
The best I’ve heard are those from IVONA, which Amazon owns. Amazon’s Kindle tablets have amazing quality in text-to-speech, sometimes I almost forget I’m not listening to a human.
(There may possibly be voices nearly as good from other sources of course.)

I could play ebooks with TTS from my Kindle Fire, but it’s too big to carry in a pocket. What I would love is TTS-made audiobooks which can be play from a little clip player like the iPod Shuffle, which I can clip on my collar.
(I already do that with some audiobooks bought from iTunes or made from MP3s, I use a short cable which does not get tangled in things when I’m out walking.)

A Mac app to do this would be ideal since I really only have a Mac, except for Win7 installed on an old iMac.

So if you have or can find a solution...
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:22 PM   #2
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Have you thought about using a smartphone? You can do text to speech really nicely on one.

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Old 06-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #3
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If you can't find a Mac app with a good "voice" then recording the audio from the Fire with your Mac. You'll need a range of cables/adapters to do it, but it can work.

With most modern Macs you need:
  • a stereo patch cord, 3.5mm male-to-male, that to connect to your fire
  • a stereo-to mono adapter (female stereo to male mono)
  • audio recording software (e.g. Garage Band, Audacity, ...)

The only big issues will then be getting the audio out to be low enough volume so that it doesn't overload the sensitive mic input cause distorted audio. Start with the Fire's volume at zero and raise it slowly while monitoring the recording from the Mac.

If your Mac has an earphone only jack instead of the earphone/mic combo jack or the old pair of discrete jacks then you would need a USB audio device and appropriate cords. Some of these devices are simple stereo headphone out and mono mic in and cost less than $10USD. Others are more substantial and offer higher quality audio in and out and input is stereo. These will be more in the $30-60 range, and up, and are often mixers in addition to being audio interfaces (DACs).
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:28 AM   #4
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Moved to the "Workshop" forum.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:34 AM   #5
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As Barry said, I have had good experiences using my Android smartphone with a reader app with good TTS. No need to create mp3s using this method. Ivona isn't available in the Google Playstore anymore (thanks a bunch, Amazon!) but my old version of Ivona Amy is still working OK on Android 7 at the moment.

However, if you prefer to take the record-to-mp3 option and you have a 'normal' Win7 PC then TextAloud from NextUp.com would let you do this. They can also sell you Ivona voices (individually or bundled) to work with TextAloud if you want to pay for them. What I'm less sure about is whether running Win7 on a Mac would run this combo OK. I have zero experience with anything Apple-related.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryem View Post
Have you thought about using a smartphone? You can do text to speech really nicely on one.

Barry
Thanks, Barry, hadn't thought of that. How'd you do that on an iPhone?
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by eolake View Post
Thanks, Barry, hadn't thought of that. How'd you do that on an iPhone?
Use Voice Over or Speak Screen.

https://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone/vision/

I use the Speak Screen option sometimes when using the Kindle app, or other ebook apps. You can even correct pronunciations of words or names.

Voice Over is for telling you everything that is on the screen.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thank you.
It's not a bad option, though I don't think the voice is as good as Ivona's. (It's better than what was before though.)
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:48 AM   #9
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On an iPhone or iPad, I'd recommend the app Voice Dream Reader. It works a treat and can read pretty much any DRM-free document or book. It can use all the Siri voices, and Ivona and Acapela voices too. Well worth the cost of the app.

Last edited by HarryT; 06-14-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:14 AM   #10
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You don't have to use the vanilla Siri voices. There are different voices to choose from, male or female, locale, accents, some are enhanced and are very good. Being able to correct pronunciations is great.

You need room on the device to download the voices.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:59 PM   #11
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On an iPhone or iPad, I'd recommend the app Voice Dream Reader. It works a treat and can read pretty much any DRM-free document or book. It can use all the Siri voices, and Ivona and Acapela voices too. Well worth the cost of the app.
Thanks.
The "DRM-free" bit is a bit of a fly in the ointment, but otherwise it sounds good.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:11 PM   #12
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On an iPhone or iPad, I'd recommend the app Voice Dream Reader. It works a treat and can read pretty much any DRM-free document or book. It can use all the Siri voices, and Ivona and Acapela voices too. Well worth the cost of the app.
It is not clear how VDR works. Do you have to copy and paste text into it? I don't suppose you can just load an ebook into it, even if it doesn't have DRM?

And I don't suppose it can work with other apps, due to the sand-boxing in iOS?
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dwig View Post
If you can't find a Mac app with a good "voice" then recording the audio from the Fire with your Mac. You'll need a range of cables/adapters to do it, but it can work.

With most modern Macs you need:
  • a stereo patch cord, 3.5mm male-to-male, that to connect to your fire
  • a stereo-to mono adapter (female stereo to male mono)
  • audio recording software (e.g. Garage Band, Audacity, ...)

.

Thank you.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:35 AM   #14
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It is not clear how VDR works. Do you have to copy and paste text into it? I don't suppose you can just load an ebook into it, even if it doesn't have DRM?
That's exactly how it works. You load files into its library, and then tell it which one to read. Those files can be ePub books, text, Word docs, PDFs, etc.

Quote:
And I don't suppose it can work with other apps, due to the sand-boxing in iOS?
It uses the standard iOS "Open With..." and "Copy to..." mechanism, and can also get files from Dropbox, etc.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:51 AM   #15
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depending on what you plan to do with your " made" audiobook isn't this legally dubious

if Amazon want £x to add the audiobook to a kindle copy you bought, but you go DIY your own for free....

surely, legally, you should stay in the world of " on demand" TTS playback. Once you seek to make a permanent recording of that, then it's like the difference between streaming and downloading [ it's the latter that can see you in court ]

the usual disclaimers, I am not a lawyer, just a busybody, maybe the T&C allow you to make audio files for limited personal use, though I doubt it....

the thread starter sentence implies working from published material,
"want to make or get made audiobooks from ebooks. or text, with Text-To-Speech."
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