What do Agnes, Kathy, Alex, and Junior have in common? They are the voices of the Mac OS and they are used by Narrator, a text-to-speech and dictation app for your Mac. Have one or multiple voices read back your story (a great tool for novel or screenwriting that have conversations between two people), or help you study for a part in a play. Dictate a letter and listen as it is read back to you. The possibilities are endless.
It’s really quite simple. You can paste text or import an RTF, .txt, or .doc file into Narrator and you can hear it read back to you. Control the rate, pitch, inflection, and volume to give the voices a wide range of expressiveness. There are also silent read-along options for stage directions or if you need to just read out your own parts.
The Mac is good at assisting those with learning and sensory challenges with its VoiceOver and other assistive features. When it comes to TTS (text-to-speech) Narrator takes it one step further. Once you copy text or import it, you can assign voices to read out different parts. For example, you can select Victoria to read out the part of a novel or play when you need a female character, or assign the voice of Alex – whatever you want or need. Need something read back to you in Italian? or purchase Vittoria, the Italian voice (or many other voices from different languages) available from our partners at Cepstral. With its flexibility, Narrator can be a product to assist anyone who desires to maintain their independence or enhance their learning experience.
Narrator doesn’t just talk back, it will listen too! Use the Mac OS Enhanced Dictation for offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback. Dictate a letter, compose a short story. When you go back to add punctuation, Narrator enhances the feedback of your dictation with pauses and emphasis when it comes across commas and periods. Narrator is not without a sense of humor. Included are novelty voices like, Hysterical and Good News – all designed to enrich your TTS or dictation adventures.
To help you improve the pronunciation of tricky words, Narrator includes a Dictionary preferences feature. Enter a list of words to look for, and add the words or phrases to use in place of those words. You can replace an acronym or symbol with a more elegant phrasing or spell words differently so they are pronounced correctly.
You can export what you have created in Narrator directly to iTunes, where you can listen to it time and again. Sync your Narrator files to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone. Narrator enables you to create your own audiobooks from text. For example, pick a book from one to the 42,000 free books provided by Project Gutenberg, assign characters and export it to iTunes to enjoy whenever you wanted. There is also an export option for ACC sound files to use with other sound playing software such as a soundtrack in iMovie or as a screenshot voiceover.
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