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Text to speech

Voice Dream reader app can now play audiobooks
December 8, 2013 | 12:15 pm

Voice Dream reader appThe new version of the Voice Dream reader app, a superb iOS text-to-speech app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, can now play audiobooks, too. Even at $10, costlier than the typical app, Voice Dream is a Buy, capital B, at the Apple App Store. Voice Dream 2.9.2 can handle zipped MP3s as well as audiobooks in Daisy, thanks to help from a Swiss library organization, and navigation and general usability are excellent, just as in the regular text-to-speech mode for ePub files and others. Dozen of optional voices in common languages work with the app, and my favorite is the UK-accented “Peter” voice...

Setting up Moon+ Reader for Text-to-Speech Using Ivona
April 30, 2013 | 1:15 pm

Moon+ ReaderI was presenting at a seminar last week, and someone came up to me afterwards and said he'd bought my book and was enjoying it. His only complaint was that the Kindle for Android app didn't support text to speech, and he wished he could listen to my book while he was driving. "No problem," I told him. "Ivona and Moon+ Reader." My books are all DRM-free, so it was easy for him to download the file and open it in Moon+ Reader. If you want to try this trick at home with different books, you may need to first remove DRM. I've...

Bookshare introduces new products for disabled readers
February 11, 2013 | 10:00 am

BookshareBookshare has developed two new digital products to help those with disabilities. Bookshare’s Web Reader and Bookshelf were announced at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference, held January 30 through February 2 in Orlando, Fla. The products were created to help those with impairments such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities or low vision. The Web Reader will allow Bookshare members to open books, including NIMAC textbooks, in a browser without the need of any downloads or separate software. The Web Reader is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9 and above. Web Reader allows individuals to adjust font size, colors and display format....

Impressions of Pocket’s new text to speech feature
September 29, 2012 | 8:17 pm

Pocket formerly known as Read it LaterBy Jeremy Hill | for Gadget Tell  Pocket (previously known as Read it Later) released an interesting update for its Android app last week: Known as the "Listen" feature and part of the Android 4.2 update, Pocket can now read your articles to you. It's easy enough to use: You simply open any article you've previously saved, press "Listen," and then sit back as Pocket reads the article to you, word for word. It’s a neat update, but is it practical? Here are our impressions: I think Google’s artificial intelligence voices are among the best in the industry. For example, the voice assistant within Google Now sounds...

Apple explains how to sync narration tracks in EPUB files for iBookstore
August 4, 2011 | 9:31 am

Back in June, Apple introduced a new iBook feature it calls Read Aloud, which is similar to Nook's Read to Me feature in that it provides a human voice narration that syncs to the onscreen text. In both commercial cases, the feature is meant primarily for children's books. Now Apple has updated its iBookstore Assets Guide to include instructions on how to add a Read Aloud narration track to your EPUB file. You can't access the latest guide unless you're a registered iTunes Connect member, but eBookNewswer has printed part of the relevant section: "You can create a Read Aloud book...

Authors Guild and publishers oddly quiet on the matter of iPad’s VoiceOver
August 27, 2010 | 8:15 am

image164[1] I didn’t notice this David Pogue article from August 12th until Techdirt and Slashdot pointed it out just the other day. Though most of the article is about other cool features offered by iOS 4 (unified contacts, Facetime tricks), in the last section Pogue talks about the VoiceOver “spoken books” feature on the iPad and wonders why the Authors Guild and publishers hasn’t freaked out about it. I previously looked at the matter back in March; you’d think they would have had time to speak up by now. Yes, this is exactly the feature that...

Looktel bringing hand-held text-to-speech to Windows Mobile smartphones
March 31, 2010 | 9:00 am

looktel Remember the Intel Reader, the $1500 handheld device that acts as a hand-held portable scanner/OCR/text-to-speech device for the blind? A company called LookTel is in the beta stage of bringing something similar to Windows Mobile camera phones. The device will speak aloud text (package labels or street signs) or identify currency within its field of vision; snapshot-OCR magazine articles, book pages, and so forth; and allow adding voice tags to patterned labels that can be applied to containers and other objects without speakable text. According to the article, it will even allow the user to provide...

Apple releases iBooks information
March 13, 2010 | 8:15 am

Apple has posted a webpage with details about the iBooks iPad app. There are a couple of points of particular interest to TeleReaders. First of all, iBooks will allow you to “add free ePub titles to iTunes and sync them to the iBooks app on your iPad.” That’s right, the page specifically uses the word “free”. Presumably it means “DRM-free”—since iBooks won’t use or support ADEPT, if someone gave an ADEPT DRM-encumbered e-book away for free, it still would not work. Still, this is good news for Baen readers, since even Baen’s commercially-sold e-books have no DRM,...

Through text-to-speech, Roger Ebert can speak again
March 4, 2010 | 8:15 am

ebert-cancer For the past several years, film critic Roger Ebert has been unable to talk, due to complications from cancer surgery that left him without a lower jaw. But thanks to CereProc, a company that mines words and syllables from existing audio sources (such as the many commentary tracks and TV shows Ebert has recorded) and sets them up in a text-to-speech application, Ebert is now able to “speak” with a voice that is noticeably his. It will never be mistaken for his “real” voice from days of old, but it sounds a lot better than the stock...

Text to speech voices that don’t suck!
March 1, 2010 | 8:17 am

text to speech.jpgFrom eBooks Just Published: I’ve just released two incredible new text to speech voices for use with Text2Go. They are called Amy and Brian and have been developed by IVONA Software. I really think they’re amazing - certainly the best I’ve ever heard. You can read the press release on the Text2Go blog or better still listen to the press release as narrated by Amy or Brian. As a matter of fact, I did listen to the press releases at the links above, and the voices are so good that I decided to post this article....

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Text-to-speech mode and parting thoughts
December 22, 2009 | 8:33 pm

There is one last aspect of the Astak that I need to review before shipping it back in. That is one of the major ways it differs from the Sony, and one of the ways it is similar to the Kindle 2: text-to-speech read-aloud mode. Note that with the version of firmware with which the Astak shipped, only PDFs could be read aloud. However, a more recent firmware upgrade expanded speech-compatibility and now it works with ePub too. (And perhaps other formats; I did not check.) I connected the Astak to my computer and recorded a couple of minutes of the...

More text to speech conversion
December 7, 2009 | 8:54 am

Screen shot 2009-12-07 at 8.47.33 AM.pngI received the following email from Mark Gladding, founder of Tumbywood Software in Australia. I reprint it because it is important that our readers with disabilities have as much information available to them as possible. The Text2Go software he describes costs US$ 45, which includes one voice. I noticed your recent article describing converting ebooks to MP3 files so you can listen to them on your Kindle. I don’t know if you’re aware but I have a similar text to speech product called Text2Go, that will convert any DRM-free ePub ebook into an iTunes Audiobook for playback on your iPod/iPhone...