Re: Audio Books

From: Harvey Newstrom (newstrom@newstaffinc.com)
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 10:54:48 MST


<EvMick@aol.com> wrote on Sunday, January 09, 2000 4:12 am,

> I've just (re)discovered audio books..

I loved these a few years ago when I was commuting 90 minutes each way to a
consulting job. I got more "reading" done that year than I had in a long
time! Try looking at your local library for audio books you can borrow for
free to reduce your costs.

> Today I listened to Tom
> Clancy's "Every man A Tiger' from Oklahoma city to Effingham
Illinois....it
> was the easiest St. Louis Transistion I ever made..

I grew up on a farm near Effingham, Illinois.

> Hows about some enterprising software type writing a program that would
turn
> a paperback book into a CD audio?

I already use my Macintosh to do this. I use it to make audio tapes of
texts I download off the Internet, so I don't do much scanning for this
purpose.

The Mac has built-in text-to-speech capabilities, and most text editors have
a "Read outloud" command. Just stick the sound output into a taperecorder,
and you've got it made.

To add a little more control, I wrote my own little Applescript batch job.
It does the following:
    - choose the file to speak
    - select length of each tape side (default is 45 minutes for my tapes)
    - progress bar shows percentage complete
    - progress bar estimates time left to speak
    - progress box shows text of current sentence being spoken
    - script stops before end-of-tape and prompts for turn-over or next tape
    - script keeps track of tape/side number and shows what label to put on
tapes

I wrote and debugged this in about an hour. I tested it with about a year
of use.

> EvMick
> Effingham, Ill.

(I grew up on a little farm just outside Effingham, Illinois.)

--
Harvey Newstrom <http://harveynewstrom.com>
Certified Consultant,  Legal Hacker, Engineer, Research Scientist, Author.
____________________________________________________________
-- This is my script to create audio tapes from ASCII files --

-- Select file to speak

set thisfilename to (choose file with prompt "Speak File:") as string set startfilename to 0 repeat with i from 2 to (count of thisfilename) - 1 if character i of thisfilename is ":" then set startfilename to i + 1 end repeat set thisfileshortname to characters startfilename through -1 of thisfilename as string set thisfile to (open for access thisfilename) tell application "Finder" to set thisfilesize to (get eof thisfile)

-- Select tape length

set lengthtime to 0 set temptime to 45 repeat while lengthtime = 0 activate display dialog "Pause for tape change every:" buttons {"<", (temptime as string) & " minutes", ">"} default button 2 set thisbutton to button returned of result if thisbutton is equal to "<" then set temptime to temptime - 15 else if thisbutton is equal to ">" then set temptime to temptime + 15 else set lengthtime to temptime end if if temptime 0 then set temptime to 15 end if end repeat

-- Start progress bar

set thistape to 1 set thisside to "A" set currentposition to 0 set previouslyrecorded to 1 tell application "Finder" set myFile to file of (every process whose frontmost is true) set comment of information window of myFile to "Speaking: \"" & thisfileshortname & "\"" & return & "Current Position: 1A:00:00 out of --:--:--" open information window of myFile end tell

-- speak entire file

set speaking to "not done" repeat while speaking is "not done" set starttime to (current date) set endtime to starttime + lengthtime * minutes try with timeout of lengthtime seconds repeat while (current date) < endtime set thistext to (read thisfile until ".") set limit to (count of thistext) - 1 if limit > 30 then set limit to 30 end if if limit > 5 then if (characters 1 through limit of thistext) contains return then if character 1 of thistext is return then set thistext to (space & (characters 2 through -1 of thistext)) as string repeat with i from 2 to limit if character i of thistext is return then set thistext to ((characters 1 through (i - 1) of thistext) & space & (characters (i + 1) through -1 of thistext)) as string end repeat end if end if set currenttime to (current date) set difftime to currenttime - starttime set currentposition to currentposition + (length of thistext) set thisminute to round (difftime / 60) rounding down if thisminute < 10 then set thisminute to "0" & thisminute set thissecond to round (difftime - thisminute * 60) rounding down if thissecond < 10 then set thissecond to "0" & thissecond set secondsdone to previouslyrecorded + difftime set estimatedseconds to secondsdone * (thisfilesize / currentposition) set estimatedtapes to round (estimatedseconds / 60 / lengthtime) rounding up if estimatedtapes mod 2 is not 0 then set estimatedtapes to (round (estimatedtapes / 2) rounding up) & "A" else set estimatedtapes to estimatedtapes / 2 & "B" end if set oddminutes to round ((estimatedseconds / 60) mod (lengthtime)) rounding down if oddminutes < 10 then set oddminutes to "0" & oddminutes set oddseconds to round (estimatedseconds mod 60) rounding down if oddseconds < 10 then set oddseconds to "0" & oddseconds tell application "Finder" set comment of information window of myFile to "Speaking: \"" & thisfileshortname & "\"" & return & "Current Position: " & thistape & thisside & ":" & thisminute & ":" & thissecond & " out of " & estimatedtapes & ":" & oddminutes & ":" & oddseconds & return & thistext end tell tell me to say thistext end repeat end timeout if thisside is "A" then set thisside to "B" else set thisside to "A" set thistape to thistape + 1 end if set previouslyrecorded to previouslyrecorded + (lengthtime * minutes) activate display dialog "Start recording Tape " & thistape & " Side " & thisside buttons {"Cancel", "OK"} default button 2

on error errorMessage number errorNumber -- Handle end-of-file, cancel button, time-out or other errors set speaking to "Done!" activate if errorNumber = -39 then -- end of file try set thistext to (read thisfile) tell me to say thistext on error end try tell application "Finder" to set comment of information window of myFile to "Done speaking \"" & thisfileshortname & "!" & return & "Ending Position: " & thistape & thisside & ":" & thisminute & ":" & thissecond play sound "Done" else if errorNumber = -128 then -- cancel button tell application "Finder" to set comment of information window of myFile to "Cancelled speaking \"" & thisfileshortname & "!" & return & "Current Position: " & thistape & thisside & ":" & thisminute & ":" & thissecond play sound "Synth Twang" else display dialog errorMessage & "(" & errorNumber & ")" buttons {"OK"} default button "OK" with icon 0 end if end try

end repeat



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