So many interesting articles, so little time to read them.  Enter FreeTTS, a free online tool that creates an audio version of any text as a downloadable MP3 file so I can listen as I go about my day – on my commute, walking the dogs, doing the dishes, etc.

It’s very easy to use.  Just copy the text you want to convert, then paste it into the text box on the FreeTTS home page.  Select the language and the voice that you prefer.  Finally, click the “Convert to MP3” button to listen to it right away, or click “Download to MP3” to download it for later.

I found the speech to be fairly natural.  However, if you prefer, you can further customize the audio with the supported Speech Synthesis Markup Language.  SSML allows you to provide details on pauses and audio formatting for acronyms, dates, times, abbreviations, etc.  I haven’t tried this, but Mashable says it’s not too daunting.

You don’t need to use SSML if you’re happy with the site creating a basic audio readout of your text, but if you do want to make a more polished file, the kinds of SSML code you can use is listed toward the bottom of the home page on the site.

Free TTS allows you to convert 6,000 characters a week into audio for free.  Paid plans are available if you’re looking for more.  See the review on Mashable for more information.  Hat tip to beSpacific.