Convert Text to Spoken Audio the Easy Way
I showed you how to convert text to spoken audio files via the command line but some people ran into trouble with that method. It turns out I completely over-engineered how to do this, because there is a much easier way to convert text to audio that is guaranteed to work for everyone, you just have to enable it first in OS X 10.6:
Enable “Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track” in Services – Mac OS X 10.6.8 or lower
This is such a useful feature I’m surprised it isn’t enabled by default in 10.6 (it is in Lion, read on for that). Here’s how to enable text to audio conversion prior to 10.7:
- Launch System Preferences
- Click on the “Keyboard” panel
- Click again on “Keyboard Shortcuts” and select “Services” from the left side menu
- Scroll down until you see the “Text” option group, click the checkbox next to “Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track”
Now you just need to close up System Preferences and the option to convert text files and text blocks to spoken audio is enabled.
To access the feature, just right-click on any text block and select the “Add to iTunes as Spoken Track” option from the pop-up menu. You’ll then see the Services gear churning away in your menu bar and in no time the file will be automatically loaded into iTunes as a spoken audio track.
This follows the same convention as the command line method in that the default voice is whatever you set your Mac’s text-to-speech voice option to, you can always change that in the Speech preference pane.
Converting Text to Spoken Audio in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
The Text to Spoken Audio feature is enabled by default in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, so to use it in Lion all you need to do is right click on a block of text and select “Add to iTunes as Spoken Track” and OS X takes care of the rest.
This will also record in the default voice, but with the myriad of realistic new voices available in Lion this feature is going to be even more useful.
The Lion screenshot comes via MacGasm.