TextAloud Review, June 16, 2005
I am rarely as excited about a software application as I am about TextAloud. Possibly because I spend so many long hours in front of a computer screen, that I actually worry about damaging my eyesight. I don't blink as often and my eyes get really dry! TextAloud provides a solution to this, and many, many other problems. In fact, offhand I can think of dozens of uses for this super application.
As you can probably guess from the name, TextAloud is a text-to-speech converter. I might go so far as to say that TextAloud is the premiere text to speech software application.
TextAloud makes it really easy to get started. I downloaded the software, and had it working fine in less than 10 minutes!
Computer voices have come a long, long way since the early days of text-to-speech conversion! There are plenty of free computer voices available and TextAloud comes with the Microsoft Text To Speech engine. The three voices (Mary, Mike and Sam) are quite good, and you can easily adjust the frequency and pitch of the voices to suit your own taste. Just use the simple controls on the TextAloud mainscreen.
You can also download the Lernout & Hauspie Text To Speech engines with British, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish voices.
TextAloud also supports the exciting new voice technology like AT&T Natural Voices, NeoSpeech and Cepstral. These voices are really fantastic. I listened to them and was amazed by the inflections, tone and natural-sounding speech patterns of these synthesizers. They sound so natural, you'd almost swear you are listening to a television announcer or some real live human being with a really nice voice.
You can use TextAloud to create MP3 or WMA files to play back on iPods, PocketPCs, and CD players. This means you could read an assignment or a report while you're jogging, if you want to. TextAloud can really increase your productivity without making you feel like you are chained to your computer screen!
Get sick of reading email and reports? You can record email and reports with TextAloud and play them back later on your favorite audio device. TextAloud even supports Tivo's Home Media Option, so you can listen on your TV if you want!
If you give speeches, you can play them back and see how they sound. Want to motivate yourself? Type your custom message, and change it whenever you want. Listen to TextAloud read your goals for the day or the week while you sit back and relax.
My mother has failing eyesight from macular degeneration, and is also hard of hearing. But my voice isn't strong enough to read an entire book out loud so she can hear it. I can use TextAloud to read some of her favorite mystery books. She can turn the volume up with TextAloud and wear headphones and listen to some books she hasn't been able to read for years. I also found her favorite magazine online, and she'll be able to enjoy it again, with the help of TextAloud.
TextAloud could be extremely useful for people with disabilities, whether vision problems like my mother, or difficulty speaking.
Is there is a limit on what you can record with TextAloud? No, you are only limited by hard drive space. You can download all kinds of magazines and books now from the internet free or at a reasonable cost. I always thought it was great to have these resources available, but my eyes get tired and I don't really like reading a book from the computer screen. TextAloud makes it possible to enjoy all this information without risking your precious eyesight!
TextAloud is the most popular text-to-speech program on the internet, and for good reason. The TextAloud interface is simple and easy to use. You'll be recording text and playing back speech in no time at all.
At such a low price, it's a no-brainer to buy TextAloud. Even if you think you'll use it only occasionally, it's well worth the cost. TextAloud will make your life less stressful, more productive, and more enjoyable too! Computer professionals, students, seniors, business people, travelers, academics, and speech writers will love TextAloud, and I highly recommend it!
The Great Mind Review Team
Great Mind Inc