The Mac OS X uses great voice synthesis, but let’s face it, it’s limited. You can’t necessarily assign voices to your text and, if you wanted to hear what different folks have to say – like in a group or a meeting, well, that’s really limited too.
Narrator, one of the only text-to-speech solutions for the Mac, changes all of that.
It’s simple, really. Just paste your text into the window or import an RTF, .txt or .doc file into Narrator and your letter, story – any text – is brought to life using voice synthesis. You can choose different voices, rates, pitches, inflections and volumes for each character you assign, giving your text a wide range of expressiveness. There are also silent read-along options for stage directions or for you to read out your own parts. And if you need more characters, you can get additional voices and in several languages. Just visit our partner, Cepstral to audition more actors.
Narrator has its professional uses. That business letter you’re ready to send to a prospective customer? Have Narrator read it out for you – you’ll know right away if what you wrote is what you want to have read. That big meeting where you took a lot of notes? Assign characters to each participant and listen again so you don’t miss anything.
You can also export speech directly to iTunes, where you can listen to it over and over, or sync it to your iPad, iPod or iPhone. This enables you to create your own audiobooks from text — for example, take a work of classic literature from Project Gutenberg, assign characters to the story and export to iTunes. There is also an export option for AAC sound files for use with other sound playing software, for example, using as a soundtrack in iMovie or as a screencast voiceover.
To help you improve the pronunciation of tricky words, Narrator includes Dictionary preferences. You enter a list of words to look for, and words or phrases to use instead when speaking. You can replace an acronym or symbol with a more elegant phrasing or spell words differently so they are pronounced correctly.