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book reader

scans a book page by page and reads it to you
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
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I know this is obvious but I really would like an automatic book reader. Somthing that I can fit a novel into that hooks into one of my computers that will flip pages, scan them and then read to me. I just can't multi-task enough things at once and this would be a dandy thing to have while working. I know, I know, books on tape, the problem is that most of the crap that I read is not available and then there is the fact that the only tape deck I have is in my car. Why don't they make books on CD?
Grimrock, Sep 30 2000

Telesensory: Reading Edge http://www.telesens.../products2-2-2.html
Not exactly clip on (big honkin' box around $4000), scanner/reader. [jutta, Sep 30 2000]

Robotron reading machines http://www.sensorytools.com/products.htm
Form factor: small Xerox machine. [jutta, Sep 30 2000]

Books on CD, all 15 of them. http://www.booksontape.com/cd.cfm
Harry Potter and "God Bless You, Dr. Kervorkian". [jutta, Sep 30 2000]

Books on MP3 http://www.booksonmp3.com
The idea is there, but clearly doomed without access to current, copyrighted material. [jutta, Sep 30 2000]

mp3.com: Books & Spoken http://genres.mp3.com/music/books_spoken/
Good if you like Edgar Allan Poe. [jutta, Sep 30 2000]

VERA http://www.freedoms...s/scanners_vera.asp
[mrthingy, Sep 30 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Surveying the existing technology - I don't think anyone who's merely bored, not blind, would voluntarily shell out the $$$ for these boxes -- or want to listen to machine-generated speech for the duration of a novel. (And I don't think they turn pages, either.)   

       Maybe what is called for here is a big underground MP3 swapping network with a credit system based on newly submitted material and peer approval of a person's voice and reading style.
jutta, Oct 01 2000

       Given the choice, I'd pick Patrick Stewart over a machine, too, but here's a counterintuitive actual experience:   

       I "read" the audiobook version of Stephen W. Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," and was surprised to find that it is read by the author (in case you're not familiar with Mr. Hawking, I'll mention that he speaks through an automated text-to-voice converter). It took some getting used to, but the book was interesting enough to make the effort well worthwile. In fact, the machine-voice actually became LESS distracting and more natural with time, rather than the reverse.
beauxeault, Oct 03 2000

       For what it's worth: I know someone who downloads texts from Project Gutenberg and places like that, runs them through speech synthesizer software, transfers them to tape, and plays them all over the place. If you enjoy the dulcet tones of Stephen Hawking and like the classics, this is an approach I can recommend.
Monkfish, Nov 06 2000

       beauxeault: Do you have any idea whether Mr. Hawking was involved in his cameos on the Simpsons and Futurama? He's listed in the credits as a special guest star, but obviously the voice isn't really his.
supercat, Nov 06 2000

       I am aware of his guest appearances. My question is whether he shows up at the studio for the purpose of operating his voicebox, or whether someone else does it for him. From the footage I've seen of Hawking, he can't operate his voicebox as fast as he speaks in his Simpsons appearance so he wouldn't be "speaking" in real time in any event.
supercat, Nov 06 2000

       From the one story I read about it, he was delighted to have been invited, and showed up with all his lines programmed into his voice thyngi already...
StarChaser, Nov 09 2000

       Books on tape go much more slowly than I do when I read-- they drive me crazy, so *this* would drive me insane.
Galileo, Nov 03 2001

       Ah, Galileo, they are wonderful on long driving trips. Once, after driving 16 hours to reach my destination I then kept driving around aimlessly for another three hours just to listen to the conclusion of the book (To Kill a Mockingbird). But then, I'm weird.
bristolz, Dec 22 2001

       Well, To Kill a Mockingbird is different--even studying it extensively in school has failed to ruin it for me.
Galileo, Jan 14 2002

       <aside>beauxeault - I just finished Hawking's latest, "The Universe in a Nutshell". Not as good as Brief History, but nonetheless fascinating. He delves into new theories that I am having a tough time grasping, like p-branes and 11-dimensional supergravity.</aside>
waugsqueke, Jan 14 2002

       I have a hard time grasping a brief history of my income taxes for 2001 let alone all of time.
bristolz, Jan 15 2002


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