How Can I have books read to me by Scribd?
One of the many plus points of new website Scribd.com is the ability for people worldwide to upload virtually any file they wish and share it with other users of the Scribd website. From eBooks to school books, plays to sheet music and beyond, Scribd is fast becoming one of the most popular file-sharing sites on the Internet this side of a Bit Torrent site.
One of the reasons for this is that not only can you upload documents and then have the ability to read them immediately – no, one of the real success stories of Scribd.com is how it allows the formats of the originals to be changed. From a Word document to a PDF file and into an eBook, there’s virtually no limit on what can be done. The piece de resistance of this set-up, though, has to be the ability to listen to the document or book.
If you have poor eyesight, or perhaps suffer from some sort of reading disorder, it can be frustrating trying to read documents and paperwork. This is especially true if the documents are online, and you have Internet fonts and monitor glare to contend with. However, thanks to the efforts of Scribd.com, this is no longer a problem. Amongst the formats that uploaded files can be transferred into are audio files – this then allows the visitor to listen to a spoken word version of the document or book they’re interested in.
How Easy is it to Listen?
What makes this possible is the intelligent way that the site uploads the documents. Even as a user is uploading one of their stories, poems or other, Scribd.com is already converting it to various formats such as Word, PDF and more impressively, an audio file in the MP3 format. It’s this file that you then listen to afterwards. You can even see the status of the conversion, with a little process bar on screen in front of you.
Once the document has been converted, that’s where the real fun begins. By going to the relevant page on Scribd.com where the file is hosted, you have various options available to you. The toolbar on the left of your screen has two choices available to you for audio playback of your chosen book or document, and both are extremely straightforward to use.
The first is a simple playback feature, much like using a media player on your computer. If you look down the left hand side of the page you’re on, you’ll come across a small grey bar with the word “Listen” next to it. On this grey bar you’ll notice a Play button, as well as a Time and Volume Control feature. If the document has already been converted to an audio file, an automated voice will begin reading the text for you.
The other option available to download the MP3 file itself, and listen back to your chosen subject at a later time to suit you. Again this is simplicity in itself – all you need to do is look slightly above the Playback bar to where you should see a boxed area that offers you sharing options. In here, if it’s available, you’ll see a colourful arrow, which is the symbol for Windows Media Player. Just click on this icon, and your MP3 will download. You can then listen to it through any compatible MP3 player or Media Player.
Already a hugely innovative site, Scribd.com has taken things one step further with its audio playback functionality, and as such, it seems hard to imagine how this won’t be the next huge thing in Internet popularity.