Thursday, January 8, 2009

Turns Books Into Audio Files With a Digital Scanner

Plustek's Book Reader V100 (scanner) has a very interesting function. With the scanner through one of its apps, you can turn your scanned document into an audio file. Have a long report you do not feel like reading, just scan it and listen. As the title of the post suggests, making your own audio books is another possibility. Potential copyright problems here are obvious.

This type of app moves things in the wrong direction for me. I (and I would imagine this is the same for most) read faster then audio books talk. This means using more of my time to listen to something then it would take me to read it. Rereading a section is also generally much easier then trying to get back to the right spot in the audio. Still, this app would work well for turning written work into an audio file to listen to while driving or doing other work in which reading is not possible.

I have not tried the software, nor found any review site that has, so I can not comment on the technology's effectiveness.

"Plustek's $700 Reader scans books through a cool optical character recognition tech that understands words even when they’re faded or smudged on the physical page. It can duplicate books in PDF and various other file types.

But the killer app, and one whose ease of use is probably a bit controversial, is that the scan also automatically creates MP3 files of books. This means you can make an audio file of any book you own in only a few steps.
According to the company, setting up the book scan is simple – you just place the book on the base and the machine does the rest. (The sensitive curved lamp scan every word, even in the crack of the book's spine).

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