Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tech Writer Chooses TextAloud to Catch Errors before They Reach the Editor's Desk. Text to Speech program catches the errors most spell-checkers miss

From: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/08/prweb4370324.htm

Clemmons, NC (PRWEB) August 10, 2010

Freelance tech writer Dan Heim works from a home office just North of Phoenix, Arizona, writing for a variety of high-tech clients worldwide from the serenity of the rural desert. With degrees in both Physics as well as Environmental Science, Dan was a teacher of science and math for over 30 years. His work now includes writing for trade journals, testing services, and newspapers, as well as the production of educational materials for math and science teachers, so it is critical that what he provides is free of typos or errors. He accomplishes this goal by proofing his documents by ear, using his computer and TextAloud, from NextUp.com (http://www.NextUp.com).

TextAloud is the popular Text to Speech software program that enables PC users to experience their reading by ear, whether for listening in the gym or during a commute, or simply as a useful alternative to visual reading. Priced from just $29.95, TextAloud is state of the art TTS that is simple to use, turning almost any text file format into spoken audio--from websites, articles and e-mails, to eBooks, word processing documents, and PDFs. TextAloud then seamlessly exports that text into most popular audio file formats, which can then be played via MP3 player, iPhone (R), car stereo, or computer, and listened to anywhere you go!

"I initially purchased TextAloud as a potential 'narrator' for some of my educational animations," Dan comments. "I figured that a synthesized voice might be a cool hook." While experimenting with TextAloud's potential as a narrator, however, Dan soon realized that the software offered other benefits--most significantly, that it was a superb resource for proofing his own work.

"When one writes for a living, proofing is a critical process," he explains. "The spell-check modules built into word processing software programs are a huge benefit, but they are not perfect. If I type 'list' instead of 'lists,' for instance, spell-check misses it, and grammar-checkers are often just plain wrong. So when I would finish an article in the days before TextAloud, I'd just let it 'ferment' for a day or two, and then go back and proof it with fresh eyes to try to catch those errors. However, there were still errors that occasionally slipped through."

Dan began to use TextAloud to proof by ear instead, and the experiment was a success. "The ears simply hear what the eye misses," he comments--especially when it comes to typos. For this reason, TextAloud soon became his routine 'grammar check' proofing assistant. Now Dan no longer has to wait a day or two on proofing--before closing his documents, he simply uses TextAloud to ensure that his work is typo-free. "I just copy, paste and listen," he says, "and those typos immediately pop out." To customize TextAloud's narration and readings, Dan uses the program's easy and convenient pronunciation editor, and he relies on premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices (TM) for most of his readings.

"Ultimately, TextAloud has totally changed the way I proof my writing, with huge savings in time and a better quality end-product," adds Dan. "TextAloud provides me with the feedback that would otherwise come from my editor, and without the embarrassment of a correction."

About TextAloud:
A highly useful PC program for students, scientists, writers, business people, students and people from all walks of life, TextAloud has been featured in The New York Times, PC Magazine, Writer's Digest, on CNN, and more. Hailed by critics and users alike, TextAloud is priced from $29.95, and is compatible with systems using Windows (R) 98, NT, 2000, XP and Vista. TextAloud can even be listened to on TV, using TiVo's (R) Home Media Option, and works seamlessly with iTunes (R), for easy synchronizing with iPod (R), iPhone (R), or other iTunes (R) compatible portable audio players. Best of all, unlike prohibitively priced gadgets or eReaders, TextAloud doesn't require special hardware of any kind. The program is available for fast, safe and secure preview and purchase via http://www.NextUp.com.

NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional Premium Voices from Nuance RealSpeak (TM), AT&T Natural Voices (TM), Acapela (R) and Cepstral (R) for the most natural-sounding computer speech anywhere. Available languages include U.S. English, U.K. English, Indian-Accent English, Scottish-Accent English, Arabic, Basque, Catalan, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Belgian Dutch, Faroese, Finnish, French, Canadian French, German, Greek, Hindi, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Castilian (European) Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, and Turkish.

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