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PDF to MP3 Audiobook

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Are there any good readers out there for this?
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Question by:rtod2
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by:thepcwizard
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Nuance PDF Pro has a read to mp3 capability.
Costs about 50-100.
They also own "Dragon Naturally Speaking" and incorporates some of that technology.
Works pretty well.
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by:rtod2
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Not seeing that one in the lineup and they have a bunch of products.  Do you have a link to the one you mention?
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by:thepcwizard
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http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-converter-professional7/index.htm

This will give you info on the product.  Have seen it other places go on sale for about half price.

This link shows the different versions, and the Pro and Enterprise both will read to pdf -
 http://www.nuance.com/ucmprod/groups/imaging/documents/collateral/nd_002765.pdf
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by:rtod2
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Thank you!  I was able to download a trial version.  The conversion is only to text formats though.  I need something that will create mp3 speech files out of it so that it can be played back as an audiobook.  Please advise.
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by:thepcwizard
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Try tools, read pdf.
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by:rtod2
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Just awful.  Terrible unnatural voice.  Any other suggestions?  PDF to MP3 in a natural voice.
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by:thepcwizard
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Using the first product, you can create a text file.
Using Dragon Naturally Speaking, it will read it back.
Maybe they have a more natural voice.
http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/by-product/dragon-for-pc/index.htm

For my application, reading text for a class the canned voice was fine.  
It allowed for studying while driving.
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by:rtod2
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I need something that will make an audiobook (mp3) out of a PDF in a clear natural voice.
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by:rtod2
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No option for natural voice or any settings at all to improve it.   Is there anything any better?

From what I can see, Nuance is all about speech to text recognition, not text to speech.  Text to speech is an entirely different animal.
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by:thepcwizard
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Actually, their software goes both ways.  The "Dragon" software both listens and speaks.
A lot of automated phone systems use their products for the generated voice you hear.  And it is very human sounding.

Look at the following links on their site referring to the "Natural Sounding" voice in Dragon Naturally Speaking -
http://nuance.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2491/kw/voice/related/1
http://nuance.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4111/kw/voice/related/1

To quote from the first link -
Dragon 5 Preferred and higher comes with the Elan Speech Engine. This provides a natural sounding male voice to read back text from your text documents.

Dragon 6 Preferred and higher comes with the award-winning ScanSoft RealSpeak speech engine which is a state-of-the-art text-to-speech technology that reads your documents and e-mail back to you in a human-sounding voice.
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by:rtod2
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This one >> http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-converter-professional7/index.htm  is the one I tried and it is terrible.

Do you have a link to the latest one you recommend?  Will it make the mp3 I am after?
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by:rtod2
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?
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by:thepcwizard
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If I were trying this I would do the following -
1 - Use the pdf converter product to make a text file.
2 - use the dragon naturally speaking product to read it back  and capture the audio.  I know it will read.  try typing up some text and test it's speaking capability.  
Too bad you can't purchase a better voice for the pdf.  you'd be done at  that point.
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by:rtod2
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I'm not having much luck.  I do need a natural sounding voice but make pdf into mp3 is exactly what I am after.  Assistance still greatly appreciated.  To date, I have not found anywhere close to a realistic voice when trying to convert pdf to mp3.
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by:rtod2
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This isn't the first call for experts.  Can you increase the priority?
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by:Merete
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Side idea since everything else is failing you.
what if you personally read this PDF and record your own voice?
Tools you can use is Audacity
or if your sound card has a recording device like Media Source from Creative sound Blaster.
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by:rtod2
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Thanks Merete but I was looking for something that could convert full-length PDF files into realistic sounding MP3 audio for playback in the car.
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by:Merete
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thepcwizard's comment Convert it to text first then use a narrator, seems to be the best option..
this Narrator works well, Paul is the test example, the one I tested using EE typed words
the thing is  I had to manually set the spaces between the words and set the  paragrah the sentences play at speed -2 it sounds almost normal, lots of work though.
http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.htm
Otherwise try this trial $29.99 USD to buy.
Audio Book Creator
http://www.audiobookcreator.com/
Converts Web pages, word, PDF documents to Audio for use with CD/MP3 player.
Talks Web pages, word, PDF documents Out Aloud on the computer.
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by:rtod2
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OK.  $29.99 is no problem.  If I have to manually set spaces and speed, that's going to be a problem.  I tried Audiobook Creator again and that seems like it might work if it would create an mp3 which it doesn't look like it will do.  I'm looking to create a robust solution for turning PDFs into audio books.
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by:Merete
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What type of PDF do you have there?
I'll test it for you but most of the PDF I have here are just manuals
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by:rtod2
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It's ok with me whatever you have to test with.  I need it to create the MP3 from the pdf or text file.  If it can do that, then we have a winner.  Realistic voice and understandable speed would be even better.
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Merete earned 500 total points
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Use the one that syas ABC
Not the ABC pro.
 Click on the small folder  
Click on New Folder that half open below the File
import txt doc PDF
navigate to your PDF and open it. wait!!!!
 The text opens into the page after a minute
Select a voice. I didnt download any more so tested the one Microsoft Anna English
Press the Play
Speed -2 or -3 works ok
Still sounds digital. You have to play around with the voice settings
and maybe change the gaps on the text in some places.
Once she spoke through it
I then hit the round circle
Save as
Give it a name and a directory
Wow it saves very quickly saved to WAV
Here's a sample of my Test
this straight from a PDF manual to wav then I recorded it in Audacity so I could show the results
EE doesnt support it damn
What's a file upload site?


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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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Merete, just change the file extension to something like .txt (!)

What it seem is needed here is intonation - that currently always needs some form of manual adjustment.  If you are looking to convert a large number of .pdfs into audiobooks this way and expect them to sound near human on playback without any intervention then that technology isn't available outside of tech labs right now.  Even hardware based playback (see Lightwriter etc) have that limitation.
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by:Merete
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lol see if you access this test sample
http://www.mediafire.com/?dv17thnb9jgfq2v

 or just go ahead run the tool and try it yourself probably faster
That tool is very easy to use
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by:Merete
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Tried that MASQUERAID
thanks though
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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­Or rename to .zip :)

Change to .mp3 extension to listen
Voice-tester.zip
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by:Merete
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Thanks I just uploaded here
http://www.mediafire.com/?dv17thnb9jgfq2v
here's two snaps rtod2:
first add a file
then showing the PDF text



add-file.jpg
PDF-text-in-ABC.jpg
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by:rtod2
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Merete, thanks
It looks as though both ABC and ABC pro will open a PDF and save to mp3 or wma which is absolutely perfect.  It's exactly what I was after.  I was hoping for more refined voices and so forth.  The thing I can't get past on this is how darn antiquated the site looks http://screencast.com/t/7RR6k4YFy1ly .  Note the copyright date of 2004.  Surely some bigger players have joined this game to make the process even better?

You mentioned that you didn't download any better voices but then I didn't see any others to download.  Were there some?

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by:Merete
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rtod2
yes I found it very easy to use, runs ok in windows 7 as well.
From my own sourcing there is newer versions but the fads are now for ipods and facebook stuff,
 I guess with this one because it supports opening PDF it's not something that is sort after a lot.
I found the extra voices on that home page above on the top was downloads, here ya go,
Download Additional Voices  http://www.audiobookcreator.com/downloads.html

The only other is that one I linked earlier
Free NaturalReader 10.0
 can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words
can convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV for your CD player or iPod.
http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.htm
I dont have time now to test this one
but if it's free well worth a shot?
cheers

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by:Merete
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Hello rtod2 do you still require any assistance or have you found your solution.
Cheers
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