Many eBook Readers have or not the Text-to-speech (TTS) feature, but clearly it is pre-installed in the eReader and can not be changed.
Instead here we see the panorama of the TTS in devices that are certainly better with respect to the software: the tablets. Although it is inevitably better to read a book on an eBook Reader, thanks to the ePaper screens, for those who use the Text-to-Speech for severe sight problems it can change quite lot reading, or rather listen, a book on a table,. It could even be a better solution, thanks to the many solutions on the market.
By analyzing the two main tablets, the iPad and the Galaxy Tab, you may notice some important differences, due to their different nature. The iPad has its own applications, while the Samsung tablet uses the Android market - so the apps can be used for other devices, too.
From the iTunes Store to the iPad
The easiest way to purchase applications for the iPad is the iTunes Store. There are several that relate to the Text-to-Speech.
The most popular is called “Speak it” and is considered one of the highest quality. Clearly it can be used for all Apple devices , like iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is considered one of the best thanks to the voice, which reproduces, although synthetic, almost the natural one, thanks to the clarity.
It doesn’t works only with eBooks. In fact you can copy e-mails, documents, web pages, PDF files and paste the content directly to Speak It!, which will reproduce the text aloud. You can also create audio files of the same quality of the text-to-speech (TTS), that can be sent by e-mail to anyone you want. You can also create voice messages from the written text, for any purpose, including making a presentation. The application, in recent years, has had great feedback from users with disabilities.
In fact, the interface is simple to use, simply insert the text and press the “Speak it” button. It also works in landscape mode, and can save all the phrases that you want to enjoy them again later. It has the basic functionality of an audio player, such as the ability to pause, change volume and change the speed of the spoken text. It can also change the font size of it.
The application is on the iTunes Store at a price of $ 1.99. The version has only four voices, but you can then purchase another 20. It is localized for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Another well quoted program of TTS is called “Voice Reader”. The application offers a professional speech with 21 languages, 32 voices and much more for all Apple products. Again you can copy and paste text from e-mails, web sites or various documents, , including text data in Unicode, to make them easily read by the program.
It may also be useful, for example, to learn the correct pronunciation of foreign words, simply changing the language of reading. With the app you can also save and export data and audio products, to share or send them via e-mail. With Voice Reader, you can change, as well as the letter size and speed, the height of the tone, the audio format and quality. At $ 1.99.
With “SpeakPad”, instead, you will have a multitude of voices, and more downloadable directly to read Web sites and browse them just by moving a finger. And to save and share them via Twitter, or send them via e-mail. SpeakPad, moreover, is free on the iTunes Store.
Text-to-Speech on the Galaxy Tab
On the Samsung tablet exists a standard program for TTS, and can be activated easily. Just press the Menu button, go to Settings, then Voice input and output, then Text-to-speech settings, and choose the settings to change, among Default engine, Speech rate or Language.
If not enabled, you will also see the Install voice data option. Click on it and you will have the feature on.
If you want a workaround, you can find an excellent application in the Android Market: is called “Moon+ Reader”. It added many more features than the standard Galaxy Tab app. You can customize many aspects: line spacing, fonts, bold, italics, shadows, fades etc.
There are 10 themes included, including a key day / night visibility, and more than 20 backgrounds, different touch-screen buttons, including volume, or the Search and the button to go back and forth. There are five types of auto-scroll: fast, per pixel, per line or per page, and you can control the speed in real time. It has several options to adjust the brightness, again through the touch screen, or to remove the white gaps and to organize the available books.
It has an off-line dictionary and an on-line one, and you can annotate and highlight parts of text. Moon+ Reader is free, but it is possible to buy a PRO version. With it you’ll take out the advertising in the app, and it also supports a feature where you just shake the Android phone, for example, to activate the Text-to-speech. And you can protect the program with a startup password and control with some keys the Bluetooth and the headset. With the PRO version you also have the ability to share bookmarks, underline and annotate, and have the e-mail support for any problems. And it costs only $ 4.99.Did you find this helpful?