text to speech


One of the most popular text-to-speech apps on the market is Speechify. Developed by a team of students from Harvard, Speechify aims to help people read faster, comprehend better, and improve their productivity. The app offers various features, such as voice selection, speed control, and syncing across devices, making it a convenient and efficient tool for anyone who wants to save time and energy.

How to Use Speechify: A Guide to Scanning, Customizing, and Highlighting Text. I. Introduction

Reading is an essential part of our daily lives, whether it's for learning, entertainment, or work. However, reading can also be time-consuming, tiring, and distracting, especially when you have to deal with long articles, academic papers, or emails.

Fortunately, there is a solution that can make reading more accessible and enjoyable: text-to-speech apps. These apps use artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to convert written content into spoken audio, allowing you to listen to your favorite articles, books, or documents while doing other activities.

One of the most popular text-to-speech apps on the market is Speechify. Developed by a team of students from Harvard, Speechify aims to help people read faster, comprehend better, and improve their productivity. The app offers various features, such as voice selection, speed control, and syncing across devices, making it a convenient and efficient tool for anyone who wants to save time and energy.

II. Is Speechify Free to Use?

If you're interested in trying out Speechify, you might be wondering if it's free to use. The answer is yes and no.

Speechify offers a free trial that allows you to test the app's features and convert up to 10,000 words of text to speech. This trial is a great way to see if Speechify is the right app for you and if it meets your needs. However, there are some limitations to the free trial, such as:

  • The trial lasts for only seven days.

  • You can't download the audio files or share them with others.

  • You can't use some of the advanced features, such as PDF support or custom vocabularies.

  • The audio quality is lower than the paid version.

If you want to use Speechify beyond the free trial, you need to subscribe to one of its plans. Speechify offers two subscription options:

  • Monthly plan: $9.99 per month

  • Yearly plan: $69.99 per year

Both plans give you unlimited access to Speechify's features and allow you to convert as much text to speech as you want. The yearly plan offers a significant discount compared to the monthly plan, so if you plan to use Speechify for a long time, it might be a better deal for you.

III. Speechify Alternatives

While Speechify is a popular text-to-speech app, it might not be the best fit for everyone. Here are some alternative text-to-speech apps that you might want to consider:

  1. NaturalReader: NaturalReader is a text-to-speech software that can read aloud any text on your computer or mobile device. It offers various voices, languages, and accents, as well as OCR support and pronunciation editor. NaturalReader has a free version and a paid version, with prices starting at $99.50 for a one-time license.

  2. Voice Dream Reader: Voice Dream Reader is a mobile app that can read aloud PDFs, eBooks, web pages, and other formats. It offers advanced features, such as annotation, highlight, and synchronization with cloud storage. Voice Dream Reader costs $14.99 on the App Store and Google Play.

  3. ReadAloud: ReadAloud is a browser extension for Chrome and Edge that can read aloud web pages, PDFs, and eBooks. It offers multiple voices, speed control, and customizable hotkeys. ReadAloud is free to use and doesn't require any registration or subscription.

  4. Google Text-to-Speech: Google Text-to-Speech is a built-in feature on Android devices that can read aloud text from any app. It supports multiple languages, accents, and speed settings, and can be customized with different voices and pitch levels. Google Text-to-Speech is free to use and doesn't require any additional installation.

Each of these text-to-speech apps has its own pros and cons, so it's up to you to decide which one suits your needs and preferences the best. However, if you're looking for a Speechify alternative that is similar in features and pricing, we recommend trying out NaturalReader or Voice Dream Reader.

IV. Speechify for Chrome

If you use Google Chrome as your main browser, you might be interested in Speechify's Chrome extension. The extension allows you to listen to any web page or Google Doc with one click, without having to copy and paste the text into the app. The extension also offers some additional features, such as:

  • Highlighting of the currently read word or sentence

  • Speed control and voice selection

  • Translation of the text into different languages

However, the Speechify Chrome extension has some limitations, such as:

  • It doesn't support PDFs or other file formats.

  • It doesn't work offline.

  • It can be slow or buggy on some websites.

If you want to use Speechify on Chrome, we recommend installing both the app and the extension, so you can have more flexibility and options.

V. Speechify for Students

One of the main advantages of Speechify is its suitability for students who need to read a lot of academic material or study for exams. Speechify offers various features that can help students improve their reading skills and save time, such as:

  • Smart scanning of textbooks and notes

  • Custom vocabularies and pronunciation guides

  • Multi-tasking and speed reading options

  • Automatic syncing with cloud storage

Moreover, Speechify offers a special discount for students, which gives them 50% off the monthly or yearly plan. To apply for the student discount, you need to email Speechify's support team with your student ID or other proof of enrollment.

If you're a student who needs a text-to-speech app for studying or research, Speechify can be a valuable tool that can help you stay focused and productive.

VI. Totally Free Text-to-Speech Apps

While Speechify and its alternatives offer various features and benefits, they might not be affordable or accessible for everyone, especially those who are on a tight budget or prefer open-source software. If you're looking for a totally free text-to-speech app that doesn't require any payment or registration, here are some options to consider:

  1. Balabolka: Balabolka is a free text-to-speech software for Windows that can read aloud any text file, including Word, PDF, and HTML. It offers multiple voices, speed and volume control, and file splitting. Balabolka also supports text highlighting and saving the audio files in various formats.

  2. eSpeak: eSpeak is an open-source text-to-speech engine that can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It supports several languages, including English, Spanish, and French, and can be customized with different voice characteristics and pitch levels. eSpeak can be used with various front-end applications, such as Speakonia or Screen Reader.

  3. Speakonia: Speakonia is a free text-to-speech program for Windows that uses Microsoft Speech API to convert written text into speech. It offers different voices and languages, as well as speed and pitch adjustments. Speakonia also has a built-in text editor and can save the audio files in WAV or MP3 format.

  4. NVDA: NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free and open-source screen reader for Windows that can read aloud any text on the screen, including web pages, documents, and emails. It offers multiple voices, languages, and Braille support, as well as speech and sound customization. NVDA is designed for visually impaired users but can be used by anyone who needs a text-to-speech app.

While these free text-to-speech apps might not have all the features and quality of Speechify or other paid apps, they can still be useful for personal or educational purposes, and can save you money and hassle.

VII. Conclusion

In conclusion, text-to-speech apps can be a helpful and efficient way to consume written content and improve your reading skills. Speechify is a popular text-to-speech app that offers various features and benefits, but it's not the only option on the market. There are other text-to-speech apps, both paid and free, that can meet your needs and preferences, depending on your budget, device, and use case.

Whether you choose Speechify or another text-to-speech app, remember that the goal is to make reading easier and more enjoyable, and not to replace it entirely. Text-to-speech apps can be a supplement or a tool, but they can't replace the human experience of reading and engaging with the text. So, use them wisely, and happy listening!

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