Read Me a Book
Read Me a Book is compatible with Snow Leopard (10.6) and higher.
Read Me a Book was developed to help users make audio clips from books so that they can listen to a book using iTunes. The book can be broken up into parts so that the audio clips are reasonably sized. The user can set the voice and speaking rate used by the audio clips. Read Me a Book is $10 shareware. A Demo Mode is provided to let the User save up to five Parts without registering.
When you launch Read Me a Book, you see the above window. Click on "Get a Book" in the menubar to go to one excellent source of book texts, choose a book and download the Plain Text file with us-ascii encoding and no compression. Copy just the book portion (do not include text above and below the book) and paste into a TextEdit file. Select "Plain Text" from the TextEdit Format menu and save as a UTF-8 text file with the file title being the book title and use ".txt" file suffix.
Above you see that "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" has been downloaded (eight parts), combined in a TextEdit file and saved as "Tom Sawyer". This book has 35 Chapters and the file size is approximately 380 KB. The User has clicked on the "Get File" button, navigated to the "Tom Sayer" file and the book now fills the large field.
Before saving book Parts, the User should click on the "Test Speaking Rate" button to hear a test phrase. Alternatively, the user can select text from the book and hold down the Shift key when clicking on the "Test Speaking Rate" button. The speaking rate can be changed using the "Speaking Rate" slider. The voice will be the system voice as set in System Preferences / Speech. If available, Alex is an excellent male voice to use. What you hear (voice and speaking rate) will be used to make the audio clips.
The next step is to click at the end of the Part you want to save and then click on the "Save Part" button.
Audio clips require a lot of storage. A plain text book file size of approximately 700 KB generates over 2 GB of aiff audio clips which would take over 13 hours to listen to in iTunes.
When you click on the "Save Part" button, you see the current size of the audio clip as it builds. This status updates frequently until the audio clip is complete.
Audio clips are saved in a folder on the Desktop titled "Audio Book Files".
Above you see that the User has save all 35 Chapters and now has 35 audio clips ready for importing into iTunes.
Above you see contents of the "Audio Book Files" folder on the Desktop. Each audio clip was made from one Chapter.
Read Me a Book is very CPU intensive. It is suggested that this application be used with Intel Macs using OS 10.5.6 or later and "Alex" be used as the system voice.
Click here to download Version 1.5.0 (2.1 MB) for Mac (OS 10.6 or later, zipped).