Text-To-Speech (TTS) File Processing.
I offer my services to convert PDF and text (Word, OpenOffice) files into MP3 files for a modest investment.
Why offer an MP3 version of your printed files?
- Ultimate convenience: a 110 page PDF document translates into a 05 hour and 30 minutes MP3 file. Even if you assume
that a competent reader can read faster than a machine Text-to-Speech converter, that is a lot of time needed to read
the PDF file. Most visitors to your site are more likely to have more time available to listen to an MP3 than
to print out the PDF file and then find the time to read a long document.
- Tap into the millions of MP3 players (iPods and similar) and MP3-capable mobile phones already available in the
hands of consumers.
- The MP3 files will allow you to reach a broader audience by allowing more visitors to your website to be exposed to
your material. Have you tracked how many visitors to your site do not download the PDF file? Probably because they know
that they will not have the time to read the file.
- Increase your book sales. This might sound counter-intuitive: people that listen to your MP3 file and found it
useful might be more likely to then buy the printed version in order to get a richer experience (with tables, images, etc.).
Think of the free MP3 file as a test drive for your site visitors.
What experience do I have?
Given that I have a long commute every day, I have been a heavy user of the Text-To-Speech (TTS) technology myself
for years. I decided to offer a PDF-to-MP3 conversion service based on my experience listening to, and recently
creating, audio files for listening while driving and exercising. I make sure each MP3 file is fully intelligible.
This is not just dumping the PDF file into a TTS engine and posting the resulting MP3 file. There are many details that
need to be fine-tuned for a plain text file to sound right to a listener while he is engaged in other activities (such as
driving, exercising, etc.). For example, you will notice several relevant features of these audio conversions:
- Each text file is edited manually and cleaned up the page numbers.
- The footnotes are read out loud right at the point where each footnote is inserted.
- The original printed file is broken down into sections to allow the listener to bookmark where he has listened up to
at any point in time.
- Each page number is announced when referring to tables and images on the PDF file that can not be properly described by
audio only. This will allow listeners to refer to the proper page number in the printed version of the file.
- Each file is properly tagged with ID3 tags to allow listeners to identify you as the author, including your website's URL.
Also, each file is tagged in sequence (track 01, 02, etc.).
- Most of the numerical tables and images are "described" to the listener.
- Converted mathematical symbols to speech ("sigma" "20 to the power of 8" "square root of").
- Mathematical formulas are spelled out.
- Inserted proper subscript and superscript notations.
- Each file is freestanding to a high degree: listeners will not need to refer to the printed file except for images
that can not be properly described with words alone.
You can see samples of my work and download Download Free MP3s.
Cost of TTS Processing.
I charge US$02 per page for an MP3 conversion of each of your files. There is a 10% discount if you mention my
PDF-to-MP3 translation services and post a link back to this website.
Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed: you will only pay me after receiving all the files, and making sure they all
meet with your approval.
Curious? Here is a risk-free proposal for you:
- Send Jose C. Lacal a 10-page PDF version of one of the documents you think visitors to your website will be most
interested in listening to.
- I will send you a manually-edited MP3 file for you to post in your website, at no charge.
- Ask visitors to send you a message if they find the MP3 file as useful, or more, than the original PDF file.
- Based on your visitors' feedback (which I am confident will be very positive), you will realize that a modest
investment to convert your PDF files into MP3 files is worth it given the increased exposure your work will receive.