Friday, October 12, 2012

Comparing Text-to-Speech Programs

Audiobooks are a great tool for students and adults with reading difficulties because they allow poor readers to access content aurally instead of through print. Almost every book is available in audiobook format if you know where to look. Unfortunately, more and more reading takes place on screens instead of on pages. Students and professionals must read electronic documents and webpages with as much, or more, frequency than books, and these texts aren't available on CD or mp3. Luckily, there is an alternative: text-to-speech programs can read electronic text to weak readers, thus by-stepping the decoding process that can be so taxing.

To help you compare some of the available text-to-speech programs side-by-side, we've compiled a handy chart. Our chart includes both very high quality, expensive programs, and also more basic, less expensive (or even free!) options. Some may find that a very basic program meets their needs, while others will be impressed by the versatility and wide number of features available in some of the more sophisticated packages.

Click-through the chart image to view in large scale, or download the PDF.

Did we miss a good option? Please share your recommendations (or your experiences with any of the programs mentioned above) in the comments.

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