Author Topic: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..  (Read 5194 times)

Offline caverdude

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Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« on: July 17, 2011, 09:18:33 PM »
I am a long haul trucker and I have been working on ways to use the old MP3 player to greater advantage. First let me list some software that I have found to be useful..

  • Text Aloud (A Text Reader Application reads pdf's or text to a wav file unless you register it.) Also see AT&T Natural voices.
  • Bonc Enc now called Free AC (Audio Converter)  (Converts .wav to .mp3)
  • Paper Port (makes pdf's form scanned images also has fairly good OCR (optical character recognition)) Though there might be better OCR software available.
  • I have not got it to work really well but windows 7 comes with speach recognition now. This could be used for some dictations. I heard that Dragon Natural Speaking is the best.. I dunno really yet.
  • Audacity, recording software for reading books into mp3 or for voice notes.

At any rate all of these tools can help you convert text to sound and sound to test or images to text to sound.

I have projects for turning entire books into text so that I can listen to the entire book on the mp3 player, but this is time consuming and about as tedious as nitting sweaters. The technology is here but still a bit imature. The best way to scan a book in would be to use a sheet fed or flat bed scanner and probably to tear the book apart for the project. This would get you the best scanned images for more acurate OCR.  But I have yet to tear a book up for this purpose and probably won't unless I already have a copy of it on the shelf.

But just remember if you let mp3's or scanned images or text of books out on the net you are looking for trouble. Some copyrights do not allow any electronic reproductions at all. I'd still do it for myself but, I'd make sure I kept those secure. A text file however would be impossible to trace. If the sound is in your voice then that might be a problem. If its only read by text reader that would be impossible to trace. Still, I am not a pirate myself so I don't share like other  folks. But I would make up something for my own self improvement.

There are some ideas. Hope helps.


edited by F_M to fix the list tags.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:38:57 AM by fritz_monroe »

Offline caverdude

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 04:45:44 PM »
On another note, you can quickly cut and paste long passages from these forums into text aloud. Makes reading some of it more pleasurable.

Offline Ken325

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 09:00:42 PM »
I like podcast, itunes U, and You Tube.  Lots of good info.

Offline caverdude

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 09:27:54 PM »
I have also found web sites that rip the sound from online video's.. I've used that a few times to make mp3's from video's for me to listen to while driving on mp3 player.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 12:00:06 PM »
I've been looking at ways to convert audio mp3 files to text. Have several of my Dad that I want to convert to text.
Have been looking at Express Tribe. Someone noted Audacity has some capability of, have not had a chance to try it yet.
Prefer opensource if I can find it.

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 10:21:10 AM »
Text to speech is easy, but speech to text still has a long way to go. The easiest method would be to upload the audio (in video format) to a private listing on YouTube. It takes a few hours to kick in, but they will auto-transcribe it for closed captioning. The transcript can then be downloaded (with associated time indexes which you can remove with a "find/replace")

Another good one is Google Voice. Call your Voice account, and play the audio over the phone. It will appear in your inbox fully transcribed. This however is limited to about 3 minutes.

You can use voice dictation like Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's a bit easier to do edits, but not as accurate as Google's engine.

Honestly, you can hire a transcriptionist online pretty cheaply. A lot of companies do this to take meeting minutes on conference calls. There are companies that will give transcription contracts to freelancers for about $10/hr of recorded audio. Those who offer the service are pretty good. They often play the audio back at 2-3 times the normal speed so it can keep up with them. Most will use dictation software, but are adept at finding the errors and correcting them on the fly.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 10:29:53 AM »
Thanks.
Tried the Youtube method (audio in video format private listing) and no transcribe option appeared.

Google Voice would not be practical as it's a couple of hours to go through with different files.

May try to do myself. Just need to carve out the time.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 11:45:58 AM »
 I once wrote a ruby program that could read text. If I opened up a web browser and highlighted test any where on the page .. it would read it out loud. Not the best sounding voice but it was not hard to understand .. I used various plugable libraries to do it, everything was open source and free. I did it in windows

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 04:04:49 PM »
Yeah TTS (Text to Speech) is easy, especially in Windows.

Open Notepad and type in the following:

Code: [Select]
message="My Message Goes Here in Quotes"
Set sapi=CreateObject("sapi.spvoice")
sapi.Speak message

Save as a .vbs file and run it. You can open in notepad and change the text in quotes to anything you like. You can also see how "message" is just a variable, this could be part of a much more complex program pretty easily.

For dictation, you can find simple tutorials on YouTube on using built-in libraries in the .net framework via C#.
To delve into that, download "Visual Studio Community 2015" free from microsoft. It's a fun beginner programming lesson. The down side is having to dictate audio with multiple speakers, different accents, voice volumes. By the time you've cleaned up the audio enough and corrected the dictation errors, you could have typed it six times over, lol. The technology is getting there (Google is getting very good at it), but we're still a few years out before transcriptionists can be replaced by software.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Self Study and Self Improvement tips..
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 08:19:57 PM »
I know it's not as useful as converting your own text to speech.  But I've found that my local library has plenty of audio books available to "check out".  Not quite as good as Aucible, but it's free.