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Listen Up: Overview of Text to Speech Software

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  1. Listen Up: Overview of Text to Speech Software Dan Comden University of Washington

  2. Whenver you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of influence, try ordering someone else’s dog around. - Unknown

  3. outline • Why • Platforms • Apps • What UW uses • What I missed (What you use)

  4. why TTS? • Academic texts • Ancillary/Adjunct reading • Recreational reading • ESL • Other?

  5. platforms • Handheld • iOS • Everything else • Mac • Windows

  6. apps – everything else • Zip, zilch, nada • (not really) • Android – TalkBack • Mantano, Book Place, blio, Moon+ • FB Reader, MultiReader • Blackberry Text ‘nDrive (what?) • Others?

  7. apps -iOS • Google Books – only ePUB format will work with VoiceOver • iBooks – VoiceOver, other tools? • Others?

  8. mac OS Built-in • TextEdit Add-on • Read:OutLoud • Snap&Read floating toolbar • Read&Write toolbar • NaturalReader

  9. windows • K-3000, WYNN • Read:OutLoud • Read&Write • ClaroRead • UltraHal • NaturalReader (free and paid) • Balabolka • TextAloud • Narrator…

  10. too big to fail? (no) • K-3000 • WYNN • Great for K-12, not so much for higher ed

  11. mid range • ClaroRead • Read&Write

  12. low cost • Text Aloud • NaturalReader Personal/Professional/Ultimate

  13. free • Balabolka • NaturalReader (free version) • UltraHal • (ReadPlease discontinued)

  14. UltraHal (free) • zabaware.com • Unique highlighting @ bottom of window • Converts into .WAV only • Auto-reads dialogs • Mouse only – no keyboard shortcuts • Beware of Adware/Malware w CNET download

  15. Balabolka • The Chatterer is free! • Supports spell checking, skins, • Uses any unlocked SAPI voice • Focus indication by color • MP3 creation • Sketchy keyboard and OS integration (shortcuts, cut and paste)

  16. TextAloud • Reasonable price • Group/site licenses available • Custom audio processing, different voices • Creates MP3, other formats Batch Processing Firefox plugin

  17. NaturalReader • Lots of options • Save to mp3 feature (paid) • Free version works for many • Easy to distribute, uses installed SAPI

  18. outside the box • ZoomText • MAGic • Other tools?

  19. what UW uses • ClaroRead • NaturalReader (Free) • ZoomText • JAWS/VoiceOver • On deck: Read&Write and NVDA • *All supported by local OCR & DRS

  20. what you use (what did I miss?) • (+3) Ginger - spell and grammar checker – Clockwork booth • NaturallySpeaking Read That Back feature • ClaroSpeak – iOS available now • VoiceDreamReader masking reader (sounds cool!)

  21. Demos • ClaroRead • NaturalReader • TextAloud