I have been converting PDF files, notes, web clippings and anything text to MP3 files so I could bring them with me and listen while on the fly. Recently, I have a couple of books that I simply could not finish due mainly to their being rich in content. Instead of buying an audiobook version of books that I already have, there must be a way to convert these books to MP3’s. Last Jan 31, I decided to do just that and converted a book accordingly. For this project, I had to use the following:
- Exacto Knife
- Optional Rototrim cutter.
- Fujitsu Scansnap S510M scanner with bundled Abbyy Finereader OCR software
- TextAloud text to speech conversion software.
The total process took me around 3 hours with most of it involving the careful cutting of the book one page at a time. Here is the step by step:
- Cut each page. Using the exacto knife, just cut each page as uniformly as you can. In my case, I did not bother insuring that every page was of uniform size. After cutting every page, I then used the Rototrim to insure that every page is of uniform size. If you do not have a Rototrim, you just have to be careful during the cutting process to insure that every page is cut uniformly. I did a final check to insure that all pages are uniform in size and are in their correct order. This process took about 1 and a half hours to complete.
- Scan Pages to searchable PDF. I put the S510M through its paces. I set the Scansnap software to scan in duplex mode and scanning to searchable PDF (the s510M uses the AbbyFinereader OCR software that came bundled). I then scanned 50 pages at a time which is the maximum the sheet feeder could accommodate. I was extremely amazed at how accurate the scans were. I managed to scan all 257 pages of the book without a single error. Yes, The S510M with Abbyy Finereader can do an amazing job in this department. This process took only 30 minutes to complete.
- Remove page numbers and headers. I opened the searchable PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0 which again came bundled with the S510M. I selected all the text and pasted them in my favorite text editor -Textedit. In Textedit, I removed every header and page number that appeared on each page, I then saved the edited file.I left the Chapter numbers alone, which will come useful in the next step. Another 30 minutes.
- Convert text to speech. With the text file from #3 above open, I fired-up TextAloud. I then selected every chapter in the text file and dumped each one in TextAloud for conversion. I bought two optional voices for TextAloud _ Kate and Paul. For this audiobook, I chose Paul. It took me another 45 minutes to complete this process.
- Bind the original pages of the book (optional). 15 minutes using a desktop binding machine.
In about 3 hours from start to finish, I was done with the project with all 13 chapters of the book stored in my iPhone. Each chapter averaged about 5mb once converted to mp3.
Now, I checked Amazon and determined that I have had the book since October but have not gotten to finish reading it for more than 2 months. With the mp3 of the book inside the iPhone, I am now on my second reading.
Do you have any book worth digitizing?