Convert text to speech–and MP3 files!

Thanks go to the folks at the for a great find! I have been asked if I know of a program that would convert text files, or better yet PDF files, to speech. Unfortunately, my answer was always “no.”

Until today.

While perusing the latest musings of the iPhone Fanboys/girls, I came across this post. It provided the link that I had been waiting for! At you can download “TextAloud,” a windows program that will not only read text files to you, but can also save them as either wav files or mp3 files. Just think–you can now take your articles with you and listen to them while doing those other routine parts of life that take so much time away.

I have already downloaded the demo version, and tested it out. I find it to be a rather quick conversion (but not instantaneous–hey, this is tough work!) and there are several options that allow the user to configure the playback in a way that fits how they would want to listen. For instance, you can configure the time for the program to pause between sentences, and paragraphs. You can select from two voices (male and female) in the demo version, and once purchased, have the option for other (apparently “better”) voices.

So how do I envision using this?

  • Listen to academic articles during my long drives
  • Provide audio versions of my own articles for students, available as podcasts
  • convert quotes from documents for reference during my podcasts so listeners don’t have to listen to my voice

So, dear readers, how do you think YOU might use this?


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