Quick Links

*** Pictures *** Videos *** DIY *** About Me

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Turn Blogs Into Audio Books

I awoke today to snow, yes it was snowing big fat flakes, and not just a few, it was a mini-blizzard I couldn't see the mountains across the road! Fortunately it only went down to 36 F, it didn't freeze, so I think my tomatoes will be OK. Now it's sunny and  54 F, and you'd never know it ever snowed today.

I also started my tobacco seeds, actually did this about a week ago, right now they are about an inch tall, I started them in plastic drinking cups, I have been saving them for over a year just for this purpose. I cleaned the cups with bleach water to sanitize them, then poked a hole in the bottom of each one. The tobacco seeds are tiny, very very tiny! What I did was I folded a white piece of paper in half, creased it then unfolded it. I tapped out as few seeds as possible onto the paper, then tapped them a few at a time into each cup. I had already moistened the soil before packing them into the cups, I found it much easier that way, the first ones I did, I put the dirt in dry, then tried to water it, the dirt would not absorb the water, so I put the dirt into a large bowl, added water and stirred it like a cake batter until the dirt was evenly moist, not soaking wet, then I packed it into the cups.

I put a few seeds in each cup of soil, then I used a spray bottle to make sure the soil and seeds were moist. I used plastic wrap to cover the cups to keep the soil (and seeds) moist. It only took a few days for the seeds to sprout. They are a bit leggy because I didn't have them close enough to the window, I was afraid they would bake in the sun. Now I have them pushed up all the way to the window to get full sunlight. I mist them several times a day to keep the soil moist. I can't wait to get them outside and in the ground. I have about 34 cups, most of them have at least 2 plants growing, some have 3 or 4. I'll try to take the extra plants and transplant them into their own containers later.

OK, this part has nothing to do with living off grid, but I find it interesting and fun to do. I enjoy learning, reading books, but I don't have the time to do much real reading any more. When the sun is shining and it's light enough to read, I have other things to do, when it gets dark and I'm at home with the time to read, it's often too dark inside the skycastle to read, I don't want to waste power by having higher wattage lights on just to read.

I love listening to audio books, any time you see me with my MP3 player, I am listening to an audio book, not music. I solved the problem of not being able to read when I want. I get a digital copy of the book (or any other reading material I wish to listen to). I create a new blog, then I copy each chapter to the blog, this is easily done with copy and paste. One thing, you will want to copy your book in reverse, starting with the last chapter and work your way backwards (by chapter) through the book, the reason being is Blogger puts each new post first, so if you start with chapter one and work your way through all the chapters in order, then the last chapter would be the first post. Hope that makes sense. You can also create the chapters in order, then go back and change the date and time to make the chapters go in reverse order so that they appear in the correct order on the blog.

Be sure to respect copyright, don't make this available to the public at large, I always go in on Blogger and make sure that it doesn't show up on my blog list. I also tell it to not show up in search engines and not show in Blogger lists. But do not make it a private blog, otherwise the next step will not work.

Once the entire book (or other text) is copied to your new blog, this next step is optional, but I go ahead and do it. Go through each chapter, just scan through, I remove chapter numbers and anything else that will not work well as spoken word, anything that you would not normally read aloud when reading, I remove, I also go through and any sentences I see that do not have punctuation at the end, I add a comma or a period, the reason is when this is read by the computer, any sentences with no punctuation will be read with no pause at the end, it will treat it as one continuous sentence with the following sentence. For example:

Test Sentence
Often you will see a title with no punctuation, the computer will read the title and the following sentence as if it were one sentence with no pause.

I would do this:

Test Sentence,
Often you will see a title with no punctuation, the computer will read the title and the following sentence as if it were one sentence with no pause.

I added a comma to the title, that way when it's read by the computer, there will be a pause after the title. Also anything in brackets ( ) or anything with ... will be read as a whole sentence with the next sentence with no pause, I just remove ... and replace with one period, and I add a comma after a closing bracket, especially if this comes at the end of a sentence. Often lists of things will not have any punctuation, I just add a comma after each one.

A list of numbers,
Also, anything that has a dash - in it, I remove the dash, when you read aloud, you don't usually read the dash aloud:
is read normally "one to two", the computer would say "one dash two" which is incorrect, so in that case, I would replace the dash with the word "to" or I just remove it all together, just depends on how it would be read aloud. If it's a hyphenated word, then leave the dash.

Now, you will want to go to Odiogo.com, sign up with your new blog, this is a free service, it reads your blog out loud, after you are set up, it takes a few minutes for them to finish and make the MP3 available, then you can go in and download the MP3 versions of your book making it an audiobook. The voice is a computer voice, and it's not perfect, it will mispronounce words from time to time, but all in all, it works pretty good, especially for something that is free. You can have as many as you want. I just create a new blog for each one I want to do. Be sure to download your MP3s as soon as possible after creating them, I have found that for some reason, especially if the blog is not active, the MP3s of your blog (on line) will not be there, they will stop working, so go ahead and download them within a few days, the same day is best.

Download the MP3s, put them on your MP3 player and listen.

All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message. Wretha, properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader), Thanks for visiting!


  1. Thanks again for a very interesting link! You always come up with a new way to entertain and educate!

    Might be something I have to try...!

  2. Wow! This is great info! Something to do in the wintertime. I will turn many blogs and info into mp3s! Thank you so much!


SPAMMERS BEWARE - your garbage will NEVER SHOW!

I love comments, but not spam, all comments are moderated, your comment will appear shortly. Thanks.