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iPod and iTunes Hacks by Hadley Stern

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Hack #100. Create Your Own Free Audiobook

There are a myriad of interesting books in the publicdomain on the Web, and each of which can be turned into an audiobook for listening on the go.

The iTunes Music Store currently lists about 5,000 audiobook titles. While a reasonable selection, it's not exactly a massive library. What if you want to listen to a book out there in the public domain or, if you are a writer yourself, want to listen to the latest draft of your own words? Got an important meeting presentation or speech coming up that you want to hear out loud? Need to memorize lines for that community center play you are in?

Using Apple's built-in speakable items, a nifty piece of software called Text Reader (http://www.codepoetry.net/projects/textreader; donationware), iTunes, and (optionally) an iPod, you can quickly create your own audiobooks.

Before we start with the technical stuff, though, let's talk content. Apart from your own words, there is a great amount of content out there in the public domain (their respective copyrights having lapsed or expired). Public domain content might not be the most current, but some pretty good stuff was written before the 20th century.

One fantastic source for public-domain books is Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.net). Named after the inventor of movable type (which spawned the printing revolution), Project Gutenberg is "a volunteer ...

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