Automator, which is an ominous-sounding program, is a very convenient tool found in the Mac Operating System (O/S) that can provide you with scripting. It’s as simple as a plug and play application, creating audio files using “aiff” format, which you can then convert into an audio book. This format is accepted by many audio devices like the iPod.
Macintosh also has a Text to Speech application which was initially intended as a vision-impaired tool assistant or a screen reader. However, you can also use it to convert text or presentations to audio books as well.
To create your own audio book, follow the simple step by step instructions below.
1. Open the Automator application.
2. Go to “Text”, and click on the command, “Select a starting point”. This will open a new window where you can begin converting your files.
3. Select the command “TextEdit”. You can find this under “Get Content from”
4. Check and confirm that the “Use text of open Textedit document” command is highlighted.
5. Click on “Choose” command
6. Click on “Library/Text” which you can find near the far left of your window.
7. At this point, you can either use your mouse to drag the “Text to Audio File” command to the work area; or double click on the same command.
8. Depending on the Mac version you are using, there are two different ways of handling the next step. If you are using the Mc X Leopard, select “System Voice/Alex”. If you are using the Mac X Tiger, select “System Voice/Bruce”
9. Save your file by clicking on the “Save As” command. Name your file Audiobook or ___ Audiobook.
10. Your file will automatically save onto the Desktop, but you can change this by choosing the location you would prefer.
11. Before you click on the “OK” command for the Save As box, click on the “File, then Save as Plug-In”. If you enjoy using keyboard shortcuts, the command is “Control S.” You will also need to select the “Finder” in the “Plug In” box
12. Click on the “Save” button.
Now, to play your audio book, got to the place where you saved your file, and double click on it. It should have the extension name “.aiff”. Click on play, and listen to your newly created audio book. Usually, the audio device that will open will be iTunes.
This process works perfectly if you are using TextEdit files. Also, you will need to be sure that the TextEdit file is open so that the Automator can copy it properly. Otherwise, it might search for a file, and copy the wrong file. Suppose your file is too long, be ready to wait for it to copy entirely. The process may take time. When the file has been copied, you can even transfer it to your iPod so that you can listen to your new audio book wherever you go.
There are other applications you can use to create your audio book such as SayPad, and http://www.switchingtomac.com