Voice Reader Text to Speech, by developer Linguatec, brings quality text-to-speech software to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The app comes loaded with 32 different voices and support for 21 popular languages. The sound quality is excellent, and though the pronunciations are sometimes skewed, the app still offers rock solid reading capabilities.
Concept and Functionality
As stated, Voice Reader Text to Speech offers the ability to transcribe written text into vocal audio. To do so, the app provides 32 different voices representing, a myriad of different countries and 21 languages.
Voice Reader provides several ways to get text into the app, including the ability to copy and paste straight to the editor. Of course, users can also type directly the things they’d like read. Voice Reader includes support for popular global languages like Russian, English, French, German, and Spanish, and on the whole, the app’s pronunciations were spot on. Within the English and French texts I checked, Voice Reader performed admirably, stumbling over only a few words here and there. I was particularly impressed with the French Canadian pronunciations, which echoed effortlessly the twang of a Québec accent. My knowledge of other world languages is a bit scarce, but it’s a safe bet that Voice Reader is equally as good elsewhere.
The only hiccup in the process is that Voice Reader requires an internet connection to generate its audio files. Where a data connection is available, this isn’t an issue: In fact, it ensures the pronunciations are as close to the spoken language as they can be. But where internet is scarce—say on the morning commute to work with a 3G-less iPad—not being able to generate spoken text is a real drag.
Design and Layout
Voice Reader keeps things simple, offering a plain text editor with tabbed navigational controls lined along the bottom. Getting to the app’s various features is a one-click affair, which made Voice Reader incredibly simple to use. Within the settings, users also have the ability to change the physical aspects of the app, including font, font size, voice in use, and the quality of the pronunciations themselves.
The app also includes the ability to export text and audio to email for easy sharing, which is a tremendous boon. However, I would have liked to see a quicker way to import large documents, as there’s currently no in-app way to load huge text files simply and efficiently.
For the two dollars Voice Reader costs, ($1.99 in the App Store) users can enjoy quality text-to-speech capabilities, a smooth interface, and support for a wealth of different languages. It’s a solid affair, and one that won’t disappoint those in need of such an app.
Voice Reader Text to Speech requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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