Text2Go 4 Released – Now converts eBooks to Audiobooks

November 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Posted in eBook, text to speech, Text2Go | 1 Comment

Text2Go - Now supports ebook to audiobook conversionText2Go 4.0.2 has been released today. The major new feature is ebook to audiobook conversion. Text2Go reads ebooks in the open ebook format know as ePub (.epub), html (.htm or .html) and plain text files (.txt). The ePub format is preferred. If you have an iPod, Text2Go will create an audiobook complete with chapter marks. If you have another MP3 player, Text2Go will create one MP3 file per chapter and name them so they will appear in the correct order.

There is a tutorial on the Text2Go website that guides you through the process.

Changes since the beta include

  • A faster text to speech process, resulting in quicker ebook to audiobook conversion.
  • Support for DAISY text-only DTBooks.
  • Improved ‘Split by Section’ command. It now recognises more variations of chapter headings.
  • Support for ebooks containing drop-caps represented as an images.
  • Correctly reports progress for ebooks with over 100 chapters.
  • Now asks the user if they wish to share pronunciation corrections the first time they create a correction. Previously this was on by default.

You can download it directly here. Existing Text2Go users – make sure you uninstall your current version first.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to everyone who participated in the beta test and provided feedback. You input was invaluable.

 

Shocking Statistics Published During Work Wise UK’s Commute Smart Week

November 11, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Commuting, text to speech, Text2Go | 1 Comment

UK Workers spend nearly 22 million hours commuting every day, equivalent to £266 million worth of working time 

Frustration in trafficEach worker spends on average 52.6 minutes commuting to and from work each day, with workers in London having the longest commute of 74.2 minutes per day. The research was undertaken by the union congress and published to coincide with the start of Work Wise UK’s Commute Smart Week.

One way to alleviate this problem according to TUC General Secretary Brendon Barber is for employers to offer flexible working arrangements.

 “Remote working and flexible shifts can reduce commute times, save on office space and reduce energy costs – saving companies money and helping staff enjoy a better work life balance.”

This is a great suggestion for some jobs but for many, such as those in the service and retail industries, employees must keep regular hours and work from the premises. It’s still possible for an employee in this situation to vary their hours but it requires extending their day at either the start or end. For example, an employee could commute into work early and go to a gym located near their place of employment.

Another strategy is to turn your commuting time into productive time. At least this way the time spend behind the wheel is not a complete waste of time. This exact scenario was the inspiration behind Text2Go. I was spending over 90 minutes in the car every day and wanted to put this time to better use. As a software developer I needed to spend a lot of time learning new technologies. My solution was to create an application to turn articles, and news available on the web into speech and transfer it to my iPod. Now I could switch off the inane breakfast and drive radio shows and listen to information I found interesting and relevant to my profession.

Recently ebooks have been gaining in popularity. There is now a huge collection of top quality novels available on the web. Every genre is available and in fact due to the low cost of publishing on the web, you’re much more likely to find a genre specific to your tastes (now you can purchase those teen zombie romances  you love so much without being embarrassed at checkout time). Many ebooks are free and almost all are significantly cheaper than a paperback, often available for a couple of dollars – the price of a cup of coffee. Text2Go 4.0 has just been released and supports direct conversion of ebooks in the standard ePub format to audiobooks. Chapters from the original ebook are preserved in the audiobook, making navigation during playback easy.

There is an unlimited amount of information on the web, catering to all interests and professions. Now is the time to turn some of that wasted commuting time into productive or at least entertaining time. If you do this, I promise you, your commuting time will seem much shorter and you’ll arrive at your destination a lot less stressed and perhaps just a little more well informed.

For more tips on commuting see

15 Ways to Maintain Your Zen Calm on the Road

8 Ways to iPod your car – from ultra-cheap to ultra-sophisticated

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