Making EBooks Speak On Maemo/The Nokia N900

I wrote a small Perl script to read through ebooks (in plain text
format) out loud via espeak.

NB: Unlike my usual policy, I really can’t solicit suggestions or
offer to help people with this script, because I don’t have my Nokia
N900 phone anymore.

Here’s the process:

  1. Get your ebook into plain text. Calibre is really good for this. (I don’t have X on my linux box, so I made a stripped down version at http://teddyb.org/~rlpowell/public_media/calicli.zip; good luck if you want to use it, try “python cli.py”)
  2. Get it on your phone
  3. Get http://teddyb.org/~rlpowell/hobbies/software/espeak_ebook.pl.txt and get it on to your phone.
  4. Get espeak on your phone; it’s in the Extras repo, I think
  5. Run it like “perl espeak_ebook.pl <book file>’


Up and down arrows change the speaking speak. Left and right arrows change the paragraph it’s reading. Space stops it from actually making noise, but keeps it running so you can read the paragraphs manually. q quits.