It seems like text to speech web apps and plug-ins are everywhere at the moment. Some offer this, others that, but at the end of the day, they all make it easier for people with reading difficulties to enjoy written content. Well, at least in theory.
Be as it may, one of the most popular screen-reading options out there is, without a shadow of a doubt, Read Aloud TTS. It’s one of the oldest pieces of speech software, and many people seem to find it the most reliable.
Still, is this due to the quality of service it offers its users, or is there something else? Some seem to think Read Aloud is popular because of its pricing. Well, in short, it’s not that simple. There are always two sides to a coin, and the same applies to this TTS plug-in.
About Read Aloud
Checking out web stores on the internet means that you’ve surely come across Read Aloud text to speech. The reason it’s popular is down to it being capable of transcribing most docs that you can come up with. It’s simply that good.
With this app, people can listen to their emails as well as news articles on web pages. On the other hand, it can come in handy for those with young children too. You just turn their digital book into audio, and they get to listen to an awesome bedtime story.
Doing the above, Read Aloud makes multitasking a real possibility. However, that’s not all. Its main purpose isn’t to help people who don’t have time to read. Read Aloud is all about overcoming learning disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD, and vision impairment.
But that’s not all. This speech synthesis app is suitable for students as well. They can listen to their study material and enjoy better text comprehension. This is especially useful for those studying different languages, as the app supports more than 40 of them.
How expensive is Read Aloud
Since we’ve introduced you to this open-source transcription app, it’s only fair to mention its pricing. Read Aloud has a free version, meaning that you can add it to your browser right now. But there’s one catch. Being free of charge means that it lacks certain features.
Namely, if you want to switch the voice-over of the artificial narrator, you’ll need to pay for services of other premium TTS apps like Amazon Polly, Microsoft Azure, and others. Although this is an in-app option, it still beats the notion of freeware software.
Why would anyone want to do so, you might ask. In essence, the default free voice of Read Aloud is the bionic one of your browser. This means an unnatural-sounding speech, which can make your ears bleed after just one sentence.
Cheaper alternatives to Read Aloud
As we’ve said, Read Aloud has numerous benefits that make it so popular. However, it’s not without its faults, even as free software. Its bionic reading voice is nothing special and leaves users wishing for more. Certainly when it comes to long articles and textbooks sounding monotonous and uninteresting.
This is why many people turn to alternatives. But these alternatives aren’t NaturalReader or some other tutorial-heavy app. They are, in fact, cheaper than it is to use Read Aloud and pay for Polly’s or Azure’s natural-sounding narrators. Among these, Speechify sets itself apart due to its quality and overall versatility.
The reason Speechify is a text to speech solution among its subscribers is due to its three main components. It uses optical character recognition (OCR), machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These three together can transcribe pretty much any writing into speech. And when we say any writing, Speechify can even turn photos of handwritten text into an audio file. But this is just one of its several benefits with which it tops other TTS apps on the web.
When it comes to AI narrators, they all have fully customizable realistic-sounding voices. So much so, that comparing them to Read Aloud’s narrator is anything but necessary. And to add to it, there are over 15 of them, including male, female, and accent variations. Furthermore, users can pick between more than 30 languages from all over the globe. Apart from English, some of these are French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Chinese.
Lastly, mentioning Speechify wouldn’t work without talking about various platforms on which you can use it. For those using an iOS mobile device, you can download the mobile app from Apple’s App Store. On the other hand, it’s also available for Android users through Google Play Store. And if you need a simple API text to speech service on a PC or laptop, Speechify can be added as an add-on on Mac or Windows on Safari and Google Chrome web browsers.
How do I get Google to read out loud?
Whenever your Android phone’s browser displays a web article, you can say, “Hey, Google, read it” or “Hey, Google, read this page.” It will read aloud the content of the page immediately. To help you follow along, the browser will also automatically scroll the page at the voice’s reading speed.
Is there an app that will read a book out loud?
TalkBack is a great screen reading option for Android devices.
How do I get Gmail to read out loud?
To hear text read aloud:
- Select the time in the bottom right of your screen or press Alt+Shift+S
- Select Settings
- At the bottom, select Advanced
- In the Accessibility section, select Manage Accessibility Features
- Under Text-to-Speech, turn on Enable ChromeVox (Spoken Feedback)