One thing that may not be completely obvious about Text2Go, is that once you’ve hit the Text2Go button and the text to speech operation begins, you are free to navigate to a new web page or even close Internet Explorer. Text2Go will continue to process the document in the background.
Similarly, if you have a number of articles you wish to convert to speech or are converting an eBook chapter by chapter, you don’t have to wait for one document to finish before starting the next. Text2Go simply maintains a queue of documents and will convert each to speech in turn.
Many articles on the web are plastered with ads and split over multiple pages so the pages
will load quickly can contain more ads. This makes capturing the complete text of an article somewhat tedious. You need to select the text on each page, use the ‘Add Text’ command and then navigate to the next page and repeat.
However many websites provide a printer friendly version of their articles. To find them, you need to look for a ‘Printer Friendly’, ‘Print’, ‘Print this Story’, etc icon/link.
The printer friendly version is displayed as a single page and doesn’t contain ads. This allows you to select the text as a single block and use the ‘Text2Go’ command. Another benefit of these pages is that they load very quickly because they don’t contain ads and unnessary graphics.
I just wish all websites provided printer friendly pages.
If you find that when you play an audio track using iTunes it sounds different to when played through another player such as MediaPlayer, you’re probably experiencing the effects of iTune’s equalizer. A Text2Go user recently asked why the spoken audio (text to speech) tracks sounded tinny and had a ringing sound to them when played through iTunes but sounded fine when the same text was spoken aloud.
I had experienced the same effect in the past and had tracked it down to the iTunes equalizer. The equalizer is hidden away as a single item in the iTunes View menu and many people don’t know it exists.
When you select View-> Show Equalizer, a graphic equalizer will appear. The graphic equalizer comes with a large number of presets suitable for different music types. You can also create and save your own presets or use the manual setting to endlessly tweak the sound levels to your taste.
When I first discovered the equalizer it was set to Manual with the following settings. You can see that the 4K and 8K frequencies have been cranked right up. This produced the tinny, ringing sound as described above.
The solution is to adjust these levels down to a more normal range. Apple have very thoughtfully included a ‘Spoken Word’ preset in iTunes that is perfect for listening to text to speech tracks. Once this preset has been selected, spoken audio will sound much better and all traces of tinnyness will be gone. Here is the equalizer setting for the ‘Spoken Word’ preset.
Jamie Morris recently dropped by this blog. He runs an interesting site called Business Mobile that provides news, forums, tech and travel guides aimed at mobile professionals. One particularly interesting post in his blog was the announcement that the iPhone has made it to the UK.
This got me to wondering if the iPhone is any closer to being launched in Australia. The most recent iPhone-related article in Australia I could find was speculating as to whether Australia would get the first 3G iPhone. I’m not too fussed what form the iPhone appears in, as long as it’s soon and doesn’t involve signing up to a horrendous plan.