The underpowered but essentially functional MailSpeaker combines two basic utilities: one for reading text files aloud and another for reading e-mails. MailSpeaker monitors your e-mail accounts even when you don't have an e-mail client open. When it detects a new message, it gives you a verbal alert and reads the e-mail out loud. The program can save e-mails in audio format, but only as WAV files. You'll need a third-party conversion utility if you want to compress them. The interface is dull and not very convenient. For instance, MailSpeaker can't automatically read the Clipboard contents as soon as you have pasted new text. To our disappointment, the program doesn't let you change the pitch and speed of the speaking voice. And you may run into trouble if you use a Webmail service such as Hotmail or Yahoo. In that case, you'll need to install the same publisher's All2POP software as well (and even then, it only supports Hotmail and Yahoo). In all, given the abundance of free text-to-speech tools available, we think MailSpeaker offers too little for its $25 price.
What's new in version 2.01
ReleaseNovember 7, 2008
Date AddedOctober 21, 2004
Operating SystemsWindows 2000, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows, Windows XP, Windows NT
Additional RequirementsWindows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server
Without needing to turn on any email client, MailSpeaker will voice notify you and read the email messages upon arrival (supports multiple email accounts). MailSpeaker reads emails, text files, information on your clipboard; saves the reading information (emails, text file, clipboard) to WAV files; plays WAV files; and performs customized anti-spam filter functions.