If you love audio books as I do, but have a lot pdf ebooks that you wish you had audio versions of, then I have something that maybe be helpful.
It’s a website called ReadTheWords.com. It allows you to upload a PDF or MS Word file and it will automatically create a computer generated voice audio file you download and can listen to in minutes.
Yes, it’s a computerized voice you are listening to, and it does not sound like a natural human voice. But in many cases its better than nothing.
Personally, I need to stay on top of a lot of information, I download and read lots of articles, white papers and ebooks. And I’m busy, so its great for me to use this service to give myself the option of listening to material while driving or working out.
I have some tips that will make it easier use the Read the Words service.
The computerized voice reads everything, and I mean everything! It can drive you nuts to hear the page numbers, and whatever else the author put in the footer, read out loud page after page after page.
“Clean” you document by removing headers, footers, page numbers, etc. If the document is a pdf it might require editing pdf software like Adobe Acrobat Pro, or Foxit Phantom. There are dozens of product out there. Beware, a lot of what you can edit has to do with the way the author constructed the PDF file.
Experiment with the Read the Words voices, or as they refer to them, their “Readers”. They have female and male voices with different accents. Personally, I like Elizabeth who has a UK accent. She makes what I’m listening to sound more important.
Also experiment with the tempo of the reader. You can speed up or slow down the rate at which the words are being read. I have found that slowing down the reader 10 to 20% helps me comprehend the reader without slowing down the flow too much.
No matter what you do, the technology is far from perfect at this time. But like I said, for me its a great option to have when I need it.
I believe you can try the service for free, or use it for free in a limited capacity, and if you want to use it more you have to move up to a paid subscription. I’m on a paid subscription so I’m not sure if they still have the free service.
Check it out at ReadTheWords.com