TextAloud converts screen text into spoken words. This app is useful for people who have difficulty reading material on the screen, but is also useful for those who want to multitask more efficiently.
Navigation shortcuts: TextAloud's variety of navigation shortcuts is quite helpful if you're listening to a very long document. This becomes the equivalent of scanning something for the sections that are of the most interest to you.
Video tutorials: There is a shortcut right from the help menu that jumps you to the video tutorials hosted on the company's website. These tutorials are extremely useful and comprehensive and show you all of the major operations you can complete with the program.
Voice options: The voices that come with the free version are all very grating. They are especially robotic sounding and quite difficult to listen to for prolonged periods of time. The software promises that the best voices are reserved for the paid version.
Overly complex interface: The interface is filled with a large menu, several text boxes, and a cluttered toolbar. Since the program's primary function is to read text out loud, there could have been a way to streamline all of this.
If you find yourself spending way too much time reading during the day, TextAloud can increase your efficiency. However, the free voices are grating enough that it may be worth the upgrade to the paid version.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of TextAloud 3.0.73.
TextAloud converts any text into spoken words. It reads text, e-mail, web pages, and documents using your choice of voices. Unique Text to MP3 or WMA conversion saves your daily reading to audio files for download to your portable player. Listen to e-mail, online news, or important documents while you exercise, work or commute. It is available with exciting premium voices from ATT Natural Voices, Cepstral, Acapela, and Nuance RealSpeak.