I'm looking to find a converter (ie text-to-speech engine or interface/overlay that will call a user specified text-to-speech engine) that will convert my EBooks into AudioBooks:

  • Must: Support at least html, pdf (textual), mobi and azw as input types (more supported is great of course)
  • Must: Output in (user choosable) flac, wav or mp3
  • Should: read metadata saved in OPF format (ie from Calibre) and save that as metadata on the audio file
  • Should: save output side-by-side with input file
  • OS: Windows preferred but *nix acceptable
  • Pricing: Gratis would be great but I'm interested in any options as long as they at least have a limited trial edition
  • Cool: allow user to pass what speech engine (and speech engine parameters) to use to the cmd line (or gui)
  • Cool: Open Source so I can play with it and customize it to the max

Must either

  • Be/have a Calibre plugin


  • Support being given a folder and recursively going through the folder looking for input files.
  • Gratis I'm assuming?
    – aman207
    Feb 23, 2014 at 17:29
  • What OS? Windows?
    – Qwertie
    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:38
  • 1
    @Qwertieϟ see item 6 in my list of reqs (Windows preferred but *nix acceptable) Feb 24, 2014 at 9:20
  • @aman207 Definitely preferred but given that I have doubts that this will be an easy find I was leaving it open; I'll comment that though to be clear, thanks Feb 24, 2014 at 9:21
  • Would an ebook reader that can read the book as text-to-speech in real-time be a valid solution? I'm pretty sure a few eReaders do this already. Apr 1, 2014 at 4:41

2 Answers 2


I don't know an all-in-one software that would convert epub/mobi to mp3, but I've managed to convert a pdf to mp3 in the past by using pdf2txt, espeak, and ffmpeg. All three are command line applications.

Espeak can convert a plain text file to a wav file. So you need to convert the EPUB file to a text file, then convert that to a wav file, and convert the wav file to an mp3 file.

To convert a plain text file to an mp3, use:

espeak -f Book.txt --stdout | ffmpeg -i - -ab 192k -y AudioBook.mp3

To convert a pdf to an mp3, use:

pdftotext Book.pdf - | espeak --stdout | ffmpeg -i - -ab 192k -y AudioBook.mp3

On Mac OSX (there are no ports at the moment), You can also use Audiobook Creator available on the App Store.

It works with epub, collection of HTML (in a folder), pdf, txt. It doesn't have a Calibre extension, as it is self contained app store app.

It outputs to m4b which is Apple's native audiobook format, you may need another converter for other audios.

It will walk through folders, but it will only take HTML files from the folder, as the intention is not a bulk import, more one ebook scattered in HTML files.

It is drag and drop utility where you can select the options for text to speech.

  • 1
    Thanks for answering! But could you please edit your answer and include how the other requirements are met? OP e.g. specified "Must: Output in (user choosable) flac, wav or mp3". And as it comes without Calibre integration, does it walk folders recursively as requested? Furthermore, OP asked for "Windows or *nix", is there a port? (OK, in some way OSX could count as *nix-based – but I'm afraid that's not what the OP meant ;)
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2014 at 14:11
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    edited answer, but it sounds you are after different platform
    – Codingday
    Sep 5, 2014 at 14:19
  • 1
    Thanks! Right, I guess Nick is "after different platform". And yes, he would also need another converter then, as he stated: I want it so as to be able to listen on my "dumb" mp3 player. Doubt that player supports .mb4 files. Nice idea though, might be useful for someone else.
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2014 at 14:57

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