My kids want to know why computers can’t talk like those in Star Trek Classic (circa mid-1960s). Well, now your Mac can talk. If you give it something to read. There’s an inexpensive Mac app that reads the text in documents and saves an audio file.
The Voice Of Your Mac
Voice technology on Macs is not new technology. It’s been around a long time. Mac OS X already has built-in text-to-speech capability.
Open up System Preferences. Click on Speech. Select Text-to-Speech. Select a voice. Tweak a preference. You’re ready.
Grab some text in a document, select it, right click your mouse, select Speech, select Start Speaking.
If you’re in the right Mac app, selected Mac voice begins to read your text. Wouldn’t it be cool to save that voice reading session to an audio file? Would it not be cooler still to have your Mac read a bunch of documents and play back the audio in your iPod or iPhone?
Enter Alex, Laughing
Text2Tape is a simple Mac app that reads text in documents and records the audio and saves it for playback. It’s even simple to use.
It uses the settings in the Speech control panel in System Preferences. You get options to record audio in small files using AAC format or in higher quality, larger files using AIFF format.
Even better, Text2Tape batch records documents, one after the other. It can read text in .txt, .rtf, .doc, .XML, even HTML, Web Archive, and other text file formats.
Select a specific voice in the Speech control panel, and that’s what Text2Tape uses to record the audio.
The audio is saved to your Mac so you can play it back later.
Nice, huh? So, what’s the problem? You can’t try it without buying it. It’s yet another Mac App Store app with a low price, a nice list of features, and no way to trial or demo the app. Mac users are being encouraged by Apple and Mac app developers to throw away a few dollars to try out cheap, new apps. That trend is growing and is not user friendly.