Convert Text to MP3 Files. These Great Online Services are Both Free.

Ever downloaded a hefty text file, such as a free e-book or a product manual, and then come to the sad conclusion that you probably won't ever have time to read it?

If so, here's a great idea.  Why not convert the text to an MP3 file, and listen to it on your MP3 player when you're out and about!

The idea of doing this was actually brought to mind recently when I received a recommendation for a Windows program called Panopreter, which you can read about at www.panopreter.com. This program costs $29.95 for the Pro version, but there's a Basic version available free of charge.  However, I can't really recommend it, as the Basic version seems to lack the ability to save the converted text as an MP3 file.  Also, the extremely large "Start Download" button on the web site is not what it seems - it's actually an advert for a program that will download some printer driver update software.  I don't like sites which deliberately mislead, so no recommendation for Panopreter I'm afraid.

Thankfully, there are still a couple of ways to create MP3 files from text.  And best of all, they're both free and they're both web-based so there's no software to install.

The first site is Voz Me (www.vozme.com).  This really is very simple to use, and requires no sign-up or registration.  Type or paste some text into the box on the front page, choose whether you want a male or female voice, then click the Create MP3 button.  That's all there is to it.  The conversion takes just seconds, at which point the file starts playing.  There's also a download link, to save your MP3 file.

The second recommended site is Yakitome (www.yakitome.com).  Unlike VozMe, Yakitome requires you to set up an account by specifying an email address, username and password.  Once you've done that, the site is free to use, and works in a similar way to VozMe.  Type or paste your text, click the button, and wait.  For some reason, Yakitome takes much longer to do the conversion (typically a few minutes), and there's a handy countdown timer to tell you how long it'll be before your file starts playing.  Cynics might wonder whether the delay is deliberately introduced to give you time to read the adverts on the page!

Once the file starts playing, right-click the green document-like icon to download it.

So, which of these services is my favourite?  Ultimately, regardless of usability and time delays, the only thing that counts with such a service is the voice quality.  And for that, Yakitome wins hands-down.  

 


Got a Hot Find?  I'd love to hear about it.  See http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/submit-product-review.htm.


 

 

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Comments

by weheh on 6. March 2013 - 1:00  (105983)

Excellent post. Thanks! I tried a bunch of these and I agree with you that YAKiToMe! has the best voice quality by far. I have a long commute and the pdf to mp3 conversion with YAKiToMe! is superbly useful for my studies. The other systems you mention and that are mentioned in the comments seem to use the crappy Microsoft voices or other crappy voices that are available for free from the web. I did some research and the YAKiToMe! free voices are the very expensive voices you would otherwise have to buy. I like that there's nothing to download, so no malware, yeah! And I read their Terms of Service and there's no issue with loss of copyright. So good get! Thanks again.

by Vahid Akbari (not verified) on 30. August 2011 - 22:57  (78685)

well done man, but there is a easier way to do that
through your computer and without any special programs and even websites,
1. Open Notepad
...
2. Type the following line in notepad:

CreateObject("SAPI.SpVoice").Speak"I Love YOU"

3. Save file as ' computer_gender.vbs '

the state i wrote I Love You is the place where you should type or paste your real text :)

by nowj (not verified) on 29. April 2011 - 3:10  (71092)

I tried Panopreter Basic and also found it would "save as" .mp3. Nice program- very simple! Actually it also saves the file as .wav at the same time. The button is called "save to audio." I don't know that it will "save to audio" from the cut and paste / "input and speak" side of the application - RIGHT side. To activate the "save to audio" one must first create a .txt or .doc file with one's desired reading. One inputs this from the "read file" / LEFT side of the app. The sound file is saved to where the text file originates. P.S. I think this branch of software if often referred to as "text to speech." "Text reader" is also common.

by Brainz (not verified) on 26. August 2010 - 19:28  (56775)

Try VocaTalk Personal Podcast. This app is specially designed for listening really large content. It puts music, adds audio fx like voice modulation and positional audio. It generates mp3 and also publishes local podcasts for easily managing episodes. It's really cool to listen TTS with music playing in the background. Check it out here: http://www.vocamedia.com

by jeng (not verified) on 10. July 2010 - 15:35  (54055)

You're right. Some people tend to hear rather than read. Other utility that I found useful is morz text to speech (morzproject.com/morz-text-to-speech.html) . The only reason I like this software are it small (less than 100 KB) and portable!

by Mve (not verified) on 9. July 2010 - 13:50  (53995)

I have experiences with Panopreter Basic, it's the free text to speech software, besides reading text, it can convert text to mp3 and wav files, and the voice rate and volume can be customized. I recommend Panopreter Basic as a powerful free text-to-speech application.

by leland.w on 15. June 2010 - 18:28  (52188)

Awesome find. I have wanted something like this for a while but everything I had found was mostly payware. However I agree with others that I would be careful what I convert due to copyright issues. If you convert something you want to retain copyright on you probably should use another method of conversion.

by Anonymous on 14. June 2010 - 2:31  (52070)

Please be aware that when you submit your text file to a web site, you may lose your copyright ownership of the text. You should carefully read the terms of use for the site and their privacy agreement before you send your file.

Further your file will generally be sent in plain format. BEWARE!

by Anonymous on 12. June 2010 - 17:37  (51991)

Balabolka. The program can read the clipboard content, view the text from DOC, RTF, PDF, ODT, FB2 and HTML files, and be saved as a WAV, MP3, OGG or WMA file.

by jhonking on 12. June 2010 - 17:21  (51990)

pdf to mp3 software, i need it for my research.tnx

by Anonymous on 10. June 2010 - 12:28  (51823)

i recommend Balabolka it is a Text-To-Speech and The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, OGG or WMA file. http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm

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