Roboreading

Greetings and salutations! Another week, another round of book-related shenanigans. Audiobook production update: 16 chapters recorded, 10 chapters edited. Yes, I’m behind on editing. I’m working on it!

Today I was listening to a podcast that mentioned using text to speech to create audiobooks. They were excited because someone managed to get the computer to use some inflection. They played a sample. It was…okay.

I’ve used text to speech before because I have more time to listen than to read. While it is functional, after a while, the robo voice becomes abrasive. It’s stiff and unnatural like trying to cover up with a cardboard blanket.

An audiobook is a performance. Good or bad, that’s what it is. I’d rather hear a human read.

The worse part is that I’m sure the robo reader will eventually get to the point that it will be indistinguishable from a human performer. That makes me sad, not just because I’m working on creating an audiobook.

It’s sad because it seems like no industry is safe from automation. These fantastic strides in technology are going to put people out of work. They already have put people out of work. At what point does it stop? When no one has a job anymore? That’ll be fun.

And does no one remember the Terminator? That was a cautionary tale, people!!

Our robot overlords will not be benevolent.

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Notes from the Floodlands

Greetings, internetizens! Well, I would be recording right now but my sump pump is struggling like mad to keep my basement from turning into a subterranean pond…again. My makeshift sound booth is not in the same room as the pump but is within earshot, so I’m just going to hold off recording until the monsoon wanes.

But I do have a progress report. 8 chapters recorded, 6 edited! We are chugging right along. My reading is WAY better than when I first started, so that’s cutting down on both recording and editing time.

I thought I would get some recording done this past weekend. I had three days off in a row, after all. But no. There were activities every day, not that I’m complaining. On Friday, we went to Indy Comicon. None of us had ever been before, so we were pretty excited. I picked up some small Gremlin art prints, which are very cool, but the thing I’m more excited about is the comic book adaptation of The Dark Crystal!

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It came out when the movie came out in 1982, and in the back are some concept sketches and stills from the movie.

I also bought a sword. It’s a katana. Yes, I am a giant nerd.

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For my next trick, I will go answer emails I’ve been neglecting. Catch you later.

 

The Podcast

I don’t know why I insist on doing things that give me mini-panic attacks. It’s like I can’t help myself.

I started a podcast. I’ve been thinking about doing so for several months. It’s called Authors Read, and if all goes as planned, if people actually want to be on it, it’s going to consist of authors reading short excerpts from their books.

I’ve been working on the first episode on and off for the last month or so while I’ve been tweaking my whole recording environment and process for the audiobooks. I made the mistake of doing the first episode myself, which kicked off a fantastic downward spiral of nitpicking of every little thing. Sometimes I wish my perfectionism actually resulted in perfection.

Anyway,

Here’s the link to the episode on Podbean

If you’d like to be on it, the contact form is at this link.

The podcast isn’t on itunes quite yet, but it should be once they appprove it.