Spoken text

I have a very good friend who is legally blind. He is 85 years old and gets around very well for someone who has difficulty seeing. He goes to work everyday and presides at family court. We visit a lot and he tells me about his grandson that he is very proud of and his five daughters and their families. I often mention books that I’m reading and he shares audio books that he’s been listening to. Recently I wanted to get a recording of a book that was published in 1921 and though I’ve scoured the Internet I’ve been unable to find a recorded version of the book. I tried using Espeak on my Ubuntu notebook. I’m not as good with Espeak as I’d like to be.  Tonight I set out to find a website that had text to speech capabilities. I found Spoken Text.  The examples seem to imply that their system is better. I hope so as I’d really like my friend to have a chance to hear this book.  I almost forgot to mention that I wanted him to hear “Conquest of Fear” by Basil King. I thought it might mean more to him as the book is about the authors own struggle with blindness and fear.

My friend is one of my spiritual advisors and last night he was happy to hear that I’m going to return to graduate school. He’s been helping me to examine where I’m going and he’s delighted that I’m doing something positive.  I hope that you who visit here might keep me in your prayers. I haven’t made a final decision on schools and specific programs of study.  As always it is difficult choosing.  As usual in making this decision, I’m projecting, worrying about money that  I haven’t even spent yet.

4 Replies to “Spoken text”

  1. Not to be too old-fashioned/pedantic but might it not be a more beautiful thing for you to record the book for him yourself? You could do it a chapter or so at a time, allowing yourself to immerse in a text that obviously means a lot to you and hearing it in your voice might be really meaningful to him.

    I’m a worrier too. I do think there can be something learned from the weighing of the possibilities, just sitting with the choices, feeling all of your fears about something. As long as the worries don’t make so much noise you can’t hear the right path forward. Blessings on your journey.

  2. Yes, you’re right and I might just record it for him. In fact I’ll probably get even more out of the book by reading it for him. I have to get a mic hooked up to my notebook. I’ve used Audacity to record other items. Thanks for the prayers I could feel them last night as I slept. I’m more at ease this morning and more directed too. I was reading Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” and I re-read “The Power of Intention.” I’ve intuited that in my life before but now its coming on stronger for me along with what Basil King writes about in “Conquest of Fear.” Thank you for stopping by and offering your thoughts. 😉 Don

  3. I’ve attempted to record a book once*, and it wasn’t easy. My advice: a really good microphone (I made the mistake of starting out with a cheap karaoke one), some time set aside just to read, and good software make all the difference. A quick read-through of the chapter you’ll be recording doesn’t hurt, either.

    You might call your state’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (a program that is partially supported by the Library of Congress.) for further help.

    They have people who record books every day and can probably give good advice. (For full disclosure, I worked for the Maryland program for a while until funding for my position was withdrawn by the politicians. It’s a great service, and I still miss working there.)


    * I was trying to record “A Christmas Carol” by C. Dickens for my dad while he was deployed. In the end, I gave up and recorded a story by O. Henry instead.

  4. Thank you for the very good suggestions. I’ll try to contact the Talking Books and Braille Library at NYSED. Once again blogging proving to be an answer to some of my problems. 🙂 Don

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