all audio files, various epub kindle html versions of the sutta text I used, are on that page under downloads -> show them all
I recorded this in two formats.
The standard MN sutta format, a single audio for the entire sutta.
A sectioned version with tracks, meant to be used on a portable mp3 player so you can skip around easily, “repeat play loop” on the interesting sections, etc.
In the next few weeks, I’ll set up a version of this sutta where the html sutta text has links within it to jump to the exact time locations of subsections.
Notes for proof listener:
I made one tiny change (addition) to B. Sujato's original sutta text, I added a line to clarify that Anuruddha is responding to the questioner, here:
(Ven. Anuruddha responds:)
“The limitless release of the heart and the expansive release of the heart differ in both meaning and phrasing. This is a way to understand how these things differ in both meaning and phrasing.
Because of the subsection headers I added, which are not in the original sutta text, the silent pauses where the subsections start are longer, to allow for autosplitting while exporting the tracks. So listening to the single file sutta, you’ll notice some longer pauses on those section breaks.
There just doesn’t seem to be a robust market for listening to english MN suttas. At least those MN suttas recorded by me. Which is fine, I only made recordings because it bugged me that they didn’t exist. I’m not going to audio record long suttas any more, just short suttas of interest to me that I am likely to re-listen to regularly.
The English MN collection is almost complete though, so I will finish out the remaining 20-30 suttas left to record with computerized text to audio conversions with robo voices, in the next couple of months, just to have a complete audio collection for my portable mp3 player.
I’ve actually previously used your MN recordings in the past to make my way through good chunks of the MN (audio in general is particularly convenient for me) so it’s nice to give back a little doing some PLing with material I probably would have listened to eventually anyway.
I’ve actually used some text to speech conversion myself in the past to generate mp3 files from epubs. I used the free Balabolka software https://download.cnet.com/Balabolka/3000-2170_4-75182534.html which mostly seems to make use of Window’s speech conversion routines. It does a passable enough job. The resulting speech is okish, but obviously nowhere near as nice as a human speaker.
Though I had to make up a short pronounciation dictionary for some of the more common Pali words. Balabolka allows the usual pronunciations to be overridden in this way, e.g. it’s annoying to have to listen to jhana constant be pronounced as “yana” (though only did this for some of the more common words). Obviously there are no microsoft speech packs for Pali, though there is for Tamil (vaguely related to Pali I think; I tried putting Pali text into google translate once as an experiment to see what it would make of it and it identified it as Tamil, though couldn’t do anything more than that). Never investigated that further though.
All makes converting an ebook into audio fairly straightforward. Text usually needs a bit of editing (such things as editing in some audio cues instead of bullet points etc.). Though haven’t converted any books very heavy on Pali words.
I gave that a try, balabolka won’t install on my windows 10 pc laptop with norton, antivirus prevents it. Googling for balabolka, I can’t seem to find any official website that may distribute a non-bloatware malware version…
I’ll probably just use one of the freeconverters that work over the internet, have been experimenting with a couple the last few days.
I’m not going to modify the sutta source text to make the audio pronounce more correctly though. If I need to spend time and energy doing that, might as well do a voice recording. This is meant to just be a stop gap measure, I’m sure eventually some people will step up and have human voice recordings for all the main suttas.
Also for Bhante Sujato’s translations, he almost uses no pali so the pronunciation should work pretty well in theory.
Here’s one experiment I did, Ven. Thanissaro’s essay “jhana not by the numbers”,
The EBT portion of KN in audtip is getting close to complete. I’m going to make text-to-speech conversions for Theragatha and Therigatha and upload to archive.org in the next week or so.
PLed the sutta. Didn’t spot any issues with it so it’s a pass from me.
On Balabolka, the official website seems to be the one here: Balabolka
Just two programs on it (one is Balabolka and the other a Russian anagram/word puzzle solver) seemingly by the two Russian programmers mentioned. When I originally installed this, my virus program (BitDefender) also complained and I had to set an exception for this (not a good sign I’ll admit), but it seems to be fairly widely used with no obvious complaints, so I took the chance.
However, it mostly seems to be just a front-end to Window’s speech functionality (SAPI5 currently: Microsoft Speech API - Wikipedia). It’s possible to download the Microsoft speech platform and packs for various voices from the Microsoft website. That all really just provides an API to programmers though; strangely there doesn’t appear to be a program in Windows which allows actual use of that functionality, but really only just needs a front-end to the functionality to be installed [EDIT: come to think of it, my very recent version of Microsoft Word now does have the facility to read out text, which uses this functionality, but no idea how I would then record this to a file].
Just had a look there and there’s an open-source front-end available here: http://espeak.sourceforge.net/ on sourceforge called eSpeak. Just installed it without difficulty or complaints from my anti-virus. It seems a minimal enough front-end but, from a quick test, it seems to do the job (though it seems to save speech into wav files). I’d reckon there’s a good chance some other free front-ends are out there.