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Just wondered if anyone used text to speech utilities to convert pdf files so they can be put on media players. I can do it on linux, but I did not seem to find what would do it on older mswindows platforms for free. I have a laptop, so I did not see getting an ereader. Music player is easier to carry around and your eyes are free to look around.

# pdf to text (ascii)
pdftotext infile.pdf outfile.txt
# text to wave
text2wave < outfile.txt > voicefile.wav
# test
aplay voicefile.wav
# cp to media player

Edited by inventoman
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Microsoft Agent has been around for YEARS and always been able to to text to speech. They even had an easy to use VBscripting example on their site at one time that you could rip the source code from and edit your own web pages to do text to speech within Internet Explorer.

Now, if you are on Vista and 7, a screen reader is already installed.

go to "Control Panel\Ease of Access\Ease of Access Center\Use the computer without a display"

it allows you to read what is on screen, so if you were to open a PDF or text document, it will read it to you.

What you can do is, open your sound recorder and record what the computer is saying from the PDF or text documents to an audio file, then put it on your media player.

edit: Almost forgot, I think Darren covered an RSS reader that also did text to mp3 for his morning news feeds to listen to on his phone. Not sure if it was in an episode, or just something he wrote about, but pretty sure there is a free windows program that works off the command prompt to do exactly what you ask. Not sure it can parse PDF's but I do remember it taking text files.

Edited by digip
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  • 2 weeks later...
i messed around with this not to long ago but i couldn't find a speech that didn't sound like a robot so i gave up.

I do not use mswindows any more, but was just curious in case someone asked me. We have been microsoft free for over 4 years it seems now. I still have all my old ms licenses including two for XP in case some patent mongering ding dongs want to extort money.

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