Make your own audio book using text to speech – Save your eyes, time


Why text to speech

Screenshot of Balabolka


I’m taking a MOOC (a Massive Open Online Course) on Coursera. It’s a literature course on Fantasy and Science Fiction and I noticed on the forums some people were worried about the amount of reading. I’m pretty busy these days so I decided I’d do at least some of my reading on the road by making my own audio books with text to speech. I think other people might be interested in how to do it. 

It couldn’t be simpler.

How to convert text to MP3

Text to speech has gotten a lot better. Good enough, in fact, to listen to a whole book.There are many free tools that help you convert text into MP3. One I use is Balabolka.

All you do is copy the text from the eBook file, paste it into Balabolka and choose the Save audio file option in the File menu. I actually prefer the Split and convert to audio files option to get me more smaller files. (See a screenshot). And that’s it.

For advanced users, Balabolka offers many other options but even the simple stuff will give you a lot of power.

You can much better results with commercial voices. I like those from You can get a 30-day trial from their website to see if the . Unfortunately, their license does not permit the sharing of rendered files. But I at least uploaded a sample of one story to give people an idea what it sounds like.

A note on the MOOC

So far I’m very impressed with how this one is set up. I’ve tried other MOOCs before but both were on specialist subjects – one on online education and one on programming but this is the first general subject MOOC. I’m don’t really expect to complete all of it but I’ll follow a few modules to get an idea of how it works.

  • mark will convert any Ebook format into an MP3 audio file, you can listen to it online for free or download. The voices are good quality and are comparable to most voices on proffesional audiobooks