TextAloud Review

Dennis Faas's picture

Do your eyes ever get tired from reading the screen? Have you ever wanted to listen to your emails and documents -- rather than read them?

Quite often, I'm faced both these scenarios. And since I do a lot of traveling, it's not always feasible to bring my laptop along with me to get caught up on some reading. So, when my eyes are exhausted and when I just want to sit back and relax, I use a program called TextAloud to listen to my documents and emails.

How does TextAloud work?

In a nutshell, TextAloud converts text into spoken audio. With TextAloud, you can either listen to the audio immediately, or save it to an audio file (.MP3 or .WAV) for later playback. The later option is a great feature for me, because all I need to do is convert the document into .MP3 format and copy it to my low-voltage .MP3 player.

Wait a sec. Doesn't the computer sound like, well, a computer?

While it seems redundant, computers are notorious for sounding very monotone.

Recognizing this limitation, the developers of TextAloud have incorporated the use of AT&T's Natural Voice technology as an alternative to the free Microsoft voice tones. Although the AT&T voices cost $25.00, they make listening to long documents pleasurable, especially when I travel.

My personal favorite personality is 'Audrey' (a UK English speech implementation). There's even a Spanish speaking 'Rosa' voice, which is equally as pleasing to the ear. Click here to listen to an .mp3 sample of Audrey's voice.

Additional Natural Voices are available in German and French.

Is there a maximum size for text files?

No. The only limiting factor is the amount of available hard drive space used to write an audio file. For example: I downloaded the Edgar Rice Burroughs book, "The Warlord of Mars" and it is 160 paperback pages. Using my 700 MHz Pentium III machine, TextAloud converted the entire book in an hour into a 643MB .WAV file without any problem.


The TextAloud interface is very easy to use. Newbies will appreciate the simplicity of TextAloud, because it provides simple-to-follow documentation up front.

By far, the best feature of TextAloud is its ability to convert text files to audio. Combined with the AT&T Natural Voices, TextAloud creates MP3 or WAV files with the best clarity I've heard in the computer voice generation field. For people like me who travel frequently, TextAloud provides a very convenient way to catch up on news and information.

TextAloud: Purchase

TextAloud is the best selling Text To Speech program on the 'net.

By itself, TextAloud sells for $24.95 and includes 8 free Microsoft voice tones. The AT&T voices normally sell separately for $35.00, but if you buy it with TextAloud, you'll save $10.00 [bringing the total price is $49.95]. Both options are available on the below page:


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