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Adding hours of reading time with one audio app

November 16, 2015

Voice Dream Reader

Screenshots of Voice Dream Reader: left, reading screen;
right, list of books and articles.

I made a 10-hour road trip earlier this month super productive. No, I didn’t watch 10 webinars or hold a really long conference call. I finally knocked out two business books, one of which I’d been wanting to read for a couple of years.

Usually, I’d search the library ahead of time to find audiobooks, either digital downloads or CDs. But I’d need to spend at least half an hour prepping the audio files so my iPhone could play them at double-speed. It’s almost always worth it, since a 10-hour audiobook takes only 5 hours. (Sadly, CD players don’t have playback speed control.)

But I found an app to help my audiobook addiction, Voice Dream Reader [aff. link].

When I outlined how to triple your reading, I showed how the free service Instapaper allows me to save all the articles I want to read in one place. A bonus feature is that the Instapaper app will read any article aloud, letting me listen to them at regular or double speed in the car or on walks.

Sadly, the only hurdle in Instapaper has been other file types, such as PDFs and ebooks.

Adding Voice Dream Reader made it possible to listen to audiobooks simply by importing the PDF or epub files. This is especially helpful when the audio version doesn’t exist, because the book is out of print or never offered an audiobook.

Yes, instantly turn any ebook into an audiobook!

It is easy to import files of all types, including Instapaper articles. Voice Dream Reader has a few advantages over Instapaper. First, it automatically plays the next article in the queue; with Instapaper, I always had to bring up the list of articles to play the next one, which isn’t much fun while driving.

Second, it maintains most recent position within an article; Instapaper would sometimes forget where I had left off, meaning a few minutes of scrolling to find my place, which again isn’t much fun while driving.

Third, not only does it have optional male and female voices but also a customizable pronunciation dictionary. I’ve been able to tweak words, proper names and acronyms for a better listening experience.

Like most e-readers and apps, Voice Dream Reader does not read DRM-protected files, but does include the following note on its features page:

Books in Kindle, iBooks, Nook and most online bookstores are protected by DRM and cannot be loaded into Voice Dream Reader. It’s possible to remove DRM, but it violates your contract with the online bookstores.

For me, having an app that reads aloud anything and everything has been a huge help. I’m looking forward to taking deep dives into my extensive reading list every time I hit the road.

Voice Dream Reader is available for $9.99 on iOS [aff. link] and Android.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauree permalink
    November 18, 2015 9:54 am

    i love this

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  1. The 2015 index to posts | Birmingham Blogging Academy

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