How to turn any RSS feed into an audiobook using Feedbooks and Text2Go

April 16, 2010 at 6:34 am | Posted in eBook, text to speech, Text2Go | 5 Comments

feedbooksFeedbooks is primarily an ebook publishing platform but it also has an incredibly useful feature that will turn any RSS feed into a downloadable ebook. Thankfully it supports the ePub ebook format which makes it a breeze to use Text2Go to turn this ebook into an audiobook which you can then listen to on your iPod or MP3 player.

Using Feedbooks and Text2Go you can convert any RSS feed into an audiobook with a couple of clicks. In summary all you need to do is

  1. Enter the URL of RSS feed you wish to convert into the Feedbooks News service.
  2. Copy the URL of the ePub ebook generated by Feedbooks
  3. Use the Open URL… command in Text2Go to download the ebook (If you’ve installed the Text2Go accelerator for Internet Explorer 8, you can combine steps 2 and 3 by simply right clicking on the ePub link in IE8 and selecting the Text2Go Convert to Audiobook accelerator command).
  4. Review and edit the eBook in Text2Go – you may want to remove old or uninteresting news items from the ebook before converting it to an audibook.
  5. Start the eBook to Audiobook conversion process in Text2Go.

Here is a detailed guide to converting recent posts from the blog ZenHabits into an audiobook.

1. Copy the ZenHabits RSS feed URL (e.g in IE, right-click and select copy shortcut).

Copy the Blog RSS feed URL

2. Enter the URL of the RSS feed you wish to convert into the Feedbooks News service.
Paste the RSS feed URL into Feedbooks

3. Copy the URL of the ePub ebook generated by Feedbooks

4. Use the Open URL… command in Text2Go to download the ebook.

Use the Text2Go Open URL command to download the ebook

 

3B. If you’ve installed the Text2Go accelerator for Internet Explorer 8, you can combine steps 3 and 4 by simply right clicking on the ePub link in IE8 and selecting the Text2Go Convert to Audiobook accelerator command.
Text2Go ebook to audiobook accelerator for IE8

5. Review and edit the eBook in Text2Go – you may want to remove old or uninteresting news items from the ebook before converting it to an audiobook.

View and edit the ebook in Text2Go

 

6. Convert to an audiobook and listen to it in iTunes or on your iPod or iPhone.

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New Zealand Desperately Needs a Kiwi Text to Speech Voice

April 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Posted in text to speech | 4 Comments

Who cares you may ask? NZ is a small country with a population of only 4.3 million. Can’t they just use one of the existing English voices such as American, British or heaven forbid, Australian?

No! It’s not about replicating the charming Kiwi accent. It’s because all the existing English voices do a laugable job of pronouncing Maori place names.

NZ loves its Maori place names. So much so that half the streets in NZ use Maori names.

The latest in car GPS navigation units offer turn by turn spoken directions. This is where it’s sort of important that street names are spoken accurately. Unfortunately they’re not.

Take this as a typical example as spoken by Amy, the latest computerized British voice from IVONA.

Turn right into Pupuke Rd.

As someone described it – it sounds like something you’d do after a very long night of drinking on the town.

Here is what it should sound like.

Turn right into Pupuke Rd.

Here is another example as spoken by Lee, an Australia text to speech voice from Nuance.

Turn left into Wairau Rd.

Here is what it should sound like.

Turn left into Wairau Rd.

It’s not a shortcoming of existing TTS voices that they can’t pronounce Maori place names. It’s simply that there are different pronunciation rules for Maori words.

A NZ voice needs to be developed that takes these rules into consideration and all the better if it uses a sweet Kiwi accent. That would be choice Bro!

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