Windows 7 Narrator - Text to Speech.
Windows 7 Narrator is a basic but powerful text to speech software package that is included with the operating system. It works in the same manner as it did in Windows Vista. Narrator will read aloud what is on screen as you navigate using both your keyboard and mouse.
Reading - with character!
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.
Not just story-telling
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.
Listening made easy
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.
A product that likes to learn
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.
Addicted to audio?
13 NOVEMBER 2007 BY CATHY MOORE
Tom Kuhlmann has posted a thought-provoking demo that shows four ways to approach narrating a course.
The first three slides use some sort of narrated text. The final slide shows the best approach for that content, which is narration with visuals and no text.
My concern is that many people assume that narration is best for all content. However, research suggests that narration should be used only in certain situations.
Narration narrows cultural appeal
Also, narration puts a cultural stamp on your materials. A Flash that could be global gets a blatant “Made in America” label when I narrate it.
Narration is important for pre-writers because it lays a foundation for future writing skills by developing a child’s understanding, vocabulary, expression, and storytelling abilities. If a child learns to narrate early on, writing a story, summary, or short essay will eventually be an easy (and even fun!) task. http://keepinglifecreative.com/reading-fun/teaching-narration-with-visual-aids/