Text to Speech for Educational Apps
Of course, if you or a friend have a great voice and a great microphone, you can record the audio for the letters and words. But, if you are like me, you don’t have a setup for creating professional audio soundtracks. A second option is to use the text-to-speech feature on your MacR to create the audio files. Here are the steps for Mac OS X.
TextEdit is your Mac’s basic word processor and has the built-in text-to-speech feature. To use the feature, first add the text you wish to “hear” into the editor window.
- Select the text in TextEdit.
- From the Menubar, click Edit - Speech - Start Speaking. This will play the audio through your computer speakers.
- To stop, click Edit - Speech - Stop Speaking.
- Select the text in Pages.
- Right-click and choose Speech - Start Speaking.
- To stop, right-click and choose Speech - Stop Speaking.
Instead of hearing the audio on your Mac, you can also create an audio file. This option is not turned on by default. You first need to turn on this feature.
- From the Apple Menubar, click the Mac Apple icon and choose System Preferences from the menu.
- In the dialog box, select the Keyboard icon in the Hardware section.
- In the Keyboard dialog box, select Services on the left.
- On the right, extend the Text section.
- Put a check in the box next to Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track. This will add the option to the TextEdit and Pages menus.
- Close the Keyboard dialog box.
- Quit and reopen TextEdit or Pages. Select the text.
- From the Menubar, click TextEdit (or Pages) - Services - Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track.
- In the pop-up dialog box, choose a System Voice from the pop-up menu and click Play to preview the voice. Check the voice you prefer.
- Give the audio file a name in the Save As box.
- Click Continue. Your Mac will not play the sound through its speakers but will create an .m4a audio file and place it in iTunes.
- Open iTunes. In the Library menu, select Music. You will see your audio file listed.
Users/you/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Unknown Artist/Unknown Album/NameOfFile.m4a
If you prefer .mp3 format
- Open iTunes Preferences
- Click the Import Settings button
- In the Import Settings dialog box, set the Import Using option to MP3 Encoder
- Click OK
- Find the .m4a file in iTunes
- Right-click an choose Create MP3 Version from the menu
- iTunes will create an .mp3 version of your .m4a audio file
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