Convert Text File into Spoken Audio File via Command Line

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With Mac OS X Text to Speech tools, we can convert any .RTF or .TXT file into a spoken audio file that can then be transferred to your iPod or iPhone for later listening.

Updating: There is an easier way to convert a text to audio file using the OS X Services menu, the resulting spoken audio track goes straight to iTunes, you may want to try that first if you don’t prefer the command line approach which we cover here.

The command format to convert text document to m4a audio file is as follows:

say -o output.m4a -f /path/to/file.txt

The default output is to the current Terminals working directory (usually your Home), but you can specify it to go elsewhere if you want. Here is an example where the output goes to the desktop and the input file comes from a documents folder:

say -o ~ / Desktop / textaudio.m4a -f ~ / Documents / HugeDocumentNobodyWantsToRead.txt

If you want to use a text file buried deep somewhere on your Mac, remember that you can drag and drop the icon into the Terminal to reveal the full path.

The audio file is in M4A format and read as whatever your current standard text-to-speech voice is. If you’d rather have an mp3 file, use iTunes to convert m4a to mp3, and you can always change the voice with the -v flag or by setting the default to something else.

Updating: If you have any problems, try a plain text .txt file as the input document.

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The time to complete the How to Convert a Text File into a Spoken Audio File via Command Line tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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