I recently started to experiment with text to speech tools to listen to books that don’t have any audiobook release. in fact, if you want to listen to any written sentence in the school book or want to hear how to say that word, you can type and listen the sentence or wording you’re supposed to hear. If any of you have hard to concentrate on reading so this helps you a lot.
It’s very easy to get started!
The first tool you need is Balabolka, it’s free and you can find it here: Visit & Grab
- Download and open it, I use the portable version.
- Drag any ebook or paste the text into it and click play. Easy as that. It will start to read with a computer-generated voice.
- Words read are highlighted so you can follow along.
The standard voices are pretty bad so I recommend you get some better ones. The difference is big.
I have tested a few.
Nuance v3.0.0, Ivona v1.6.76, Neospeech, and some older Loquendo. (Pirate releases of these are available)
You just install them and they will show up in Balabolka after a restart of the program.
Ivona or Neospeech voices are by far the best and I recommend using those, especially the female voices are very clear.
Loquendo is really bad and Nuance is decent at best.
They all have support for many languages so you can likely listen to books in your native language.
You can adjust pitch and speed to your liking and if you want to you can even train the voices to pronounce words better by building custom dictionaries for them.