A bedtime story is a tradition that probably transcends cultures and languages.
A story is read or told to a child to prepare them for sleep. It’s time honored and it works.
Who’s better at storytelling? You, or your Mac?
What? I know what you’re thinking. “Alex, how can you even ask such a question?” On the surface, you’d be correct in your worry about my sanity.
Yes, the Mac is a personal computer, but reading bedtime stories to children? Isn’t that abdicating a piece of mommyhood?
I should know. My little girl is about nine months old and seems to love bedtime or naptime stories from me, not the Mac.
What got me interested in this subject about the Mac being used to read bedtime stories was Mac360’s continual quest to find useful utilities for Mac users.
That means the staff checks out many Mac applications, discards most as “not ready for prime-time” and reports on the rest.
It’s our way of being a part of Apple’s Think Different culture.
Don’t misunderstand my intent. I’m not looking for ways to make my Mac become the Kayhill Family Babysitter. Yet.
While scouring the web for new Mac utilities I came across Tell Me A Story.
My first thought was, “This is interesting (remember, I’m a new mommy).”
Then I read a couple of reviews and one struck me as worthy of commentary.
One of the reviews was a straightforward, “Parents: your kids need YOU to read to them, not a machine! This software is a terrible idea.”
How can you argue with that? We should be the ones to read bedtime stories, or any kind of stories, to our children, right?
Except that we often buy toys that talk to our children when a string is pulled. We often leave children unattended in front of a TV half the day.
Who’s doing the storytelling then? Obviously, our children need us to read stories, but the software is not a terrible idea. It’s a great idea.
Why? Not every parent can read. My case in point is our next door neighbor; a lovely Hispanic woman with three young children.
I showed her Read Me A Story on my Mac.
In moments she had a few tears come to her eyes. She is speech impaired. She can read English (and Spanish; which is one language more than me) but cannot speak.
Clever software such as this allows her to “read” a story to her children. What’s that worth? The Mac is the intermediary and not much of a part in the overall equation.
Tell Me A Story couldn’t be much easier to use. It uses the Mac’s voice capability to read the text of a story. Start. Stop. Pause. Delete. Change the speaking rate.
That’s about it. Large buttons. Large fonts. Easy to read. Easy to use. Perfect for those with poor eyesight, those who cannot speak, or for children to learn to read.
Tell Me A Story is developed by Custom Solutions of Maryland. It will not be a big seller or show up in a box at the Apple Store.
I’m impressed that a Mac developer publishes such useful applications, even if beneficial to a smaller segment of the Mac user population.
As to the original negative comment that showed up on MacUpdate, others chimed in with more thoughtful responses:
That sounds like a paradigm shift; a true use of “Think Different.” There’s more.
You get the idea. Different stokes for different folks.
What about you? Have you run into a very useful Mac utility or application that’s perfect for specific uses, even though a small part of the Mac community?
Share your thought and experience with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.