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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Text to Speech makes Life Sweet

Hi hi. Haven't posted in awhile, I know. Had my last classes of the semester Monday, and now I'm cramming hard until my finals begin next Monday. But I thought I'd take a quick moment to share a neat little trick I'm using to study for a class that is having a closed-book exam.

I'm not very good at committing things to memory, I don't think. I always joke that I can hold about three things in my head before the first one starts falling out when I try to put another one in. But unfortunately I have to know more than 3 things on my Constitutional Law exam, so I'm desperately trying to commit to memory the holdings of 14 very important Con Law cases.

I don't think I've had to do so much memorization since I was trying to acquire a basic German vocabulary back in high school. What worked back then? Auditory repetition. On the Mac (and probably on the PC, but I've never tried this over there), there is a very slick way to convert written documents to spoken iTunes tracks automatically, without having to read the tracks aloud yourself.

First, turn your word processing document into a PDF.


Next, open the PDF in a program such as Preview, highlight the text you want to turn into an audio track. Under the program menu, select Services, then Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track.


The Mac will use one of its on-board speech emulators (I like to use the voice called Alex) and deliver the track right into iTunes, where you can rename the file and create a study playlist.


The speech is a little stilted, but if you put all your punctuation in the right place, Alex actually does a pretty good job putting appropriate voice inflection in appropriate places.

This is so bitchin.


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4 comments:

miss. chief said...

Woah! Awesome!

B.R. said...

Excellent! I will definitely use this. Memorization is a funny thing but as the old adage says: 'Übung macht den Meister.'
Good luck with the exams!

B.R. said...

Excellent! I will definitely use this. Memorization is a funny thing but as the old adage says: 'Übung macht den Meister.'
Good luck with the exams!

miss. chief said...

Woah! Awesome!

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