Tools for Automating the Creation of MP3s

Handouts Media

Presented at 8:00am in Virtual Room 1 on Thursday, November 18, 2021.



  • Joseph Polizzotto, Accessibility Technologist, Wake Technical Community College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Post-COVID, students may prefer to listen to texts rather than look at a screen. With this context in mind, we will demonstrate how to automate the creation of MP3 files by using freely available tools. You'll learn how to create audio whose features can be adjusted to students' preferences and to the varied complexity of course content.


Creating rich audio files is an important aspect of alternative media services and accessibility in general.

Audio files are desirable for their portability and suitability to the unique needs of learners who struggle with reading text on a screen.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate how to integrate MP3 creation into your existing alternative media workflows by an automated process.

Using a DOCX-MP3 script and other freely available tools, we will show how you can create high-quality audio files that can account for the unique needs of students and the challenging content you may encounter.

By learning our workflow, you will be able to create audio files that have the following features:

- MP3 metadata - adjustable voice and speed - language switching - "mathspeak" for STEM content - MP3 bookmarks (navigate by headings) - natural pausing and pitch changes - adjustable pronunciation of proper nouns - optional removal of secondary text and footnote text content


  1. MP3 files are beneficial to many students, especially Post-COVID
  2. Using a script that converts DOCX to MP3 provides a way to automate the MP3 creation process
  3. The DOCX-MP3 script makes it possible to customize the audio file for your students' unique needs

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Psychological

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Joseph Polizzotto

Joseph is the Alternate Media Supervisor at UC Berkeley. He previously was Assistive Technology Specialist Instructor at the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, where he trained college faculty and staff on alternate media workflows and assistive technology.

Joseph received a B.A. degree in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from San José State University. He has over 15 years of teaching experience in ESL and basic skills. His research interests include accessible EPUB 3 and mobile reading systems.