ebook2cw-E-book to Morse Code Conversion

You know I love niche projects, but this is the first project I've come across that genuinely made me laugh out loud and exclaim, "I've got to cover that!"

To quote the Web site:

ebook2cw is a command-line program (optional GUI available) that converts a plain text (ISO 8859-1 or UTF-8) e-book to Morse code MP3 or OGG audio files. It works on several platforms, including Windows and Linux.

Turn e-books into Morse code audio tracks—I'm guessing this is intended for Morse code students.

Installation

Quoting the documentation:

1) Binaries: statically compiled binaries are available at the project Web site, for Linux (i386) and Win32. Those should be suitable for most users.

2) Source: a Makefile is included; it compiles both under Linux and Windows (with MinGW).

Library requirements are mostly minimal, but for the source, you will need the development packages (-dev) installed for the lame and ogg libraries.

If you're running with the source, grab the latest tarball, extract it, and open a terminal in the new folder. Compiling this program is also easy. Again, just enter:

 $ make 

 

If your distro uses sudo, enter:

 $ sudo make install 

 

If your distro uses root, enter:

 $ su # make install 

 

Usage

ebook2cw is a command-line program and using it is fairly simple, although you'll want to keep the man pages at the ready for using something other than the default parameters. The basic syntax is as follows:

 $ ebook2cw textfile.txt -o outputfile 

 

Here, the textfile.txt obviously represents whichever text file you want to convert to Morse code. The -o switch is for specifying the output file, followed by the output file's name. Notice I haven't given the output file an extension, such as mp3. ebook2cw does this for you automatically, and I actually recommend against doing so, as the resulting filename becomes rather messy.

I don't have the space to go into detail on ebook2cw's command-line switches, but I can at least highlight a handful that will be the most useful to the majority of users.

If you want to switch from MP3 output to Ogg, use the switch -O (note the uppercase letter).

The sample rate is set by default to 11khz @ 16kbps—perfectly adequate for a series of dots and dashes, but sometimes it's a bit clippy and horrid to listen to. If you want to change the sample rate to 44khz, for instance, use the switch: -s 44100. To change the bitrate, using this combination, set the bitrate at 64kbps: -b 64.

You can work things out from here, but I hope you enjoy the results. Maybe the works of Dickens are even better, slowly spelled out one letter at time? Either way, this project has probably given me the biggest grin since I started this column. I'm sure it'll be very useful—to someone.

Read More: http://fkurz.net/ham/ebook2cw.html

______________________

John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.

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Used it for a little while

cbier's picture

It's very handy for practicing CW. The author reads ebooks this way and can copy at 80wmp+.

"I'm sure it'll be very useful—to someone."

WA6YSO's picture

This program would be useful for Amateur Radio Operators, though in the United States, the requirements for sending and receiving morse code as a requirement of licensure have been relaxed. It is also part of computer programs which generate and/or receive morse code.

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