Corporate Trainer makes productive use of travel time with Text2Go.

March 29, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Posted in text to speech, Text2Go, Text2Go User Stories | Comments Off on Corporate Trainer makes productive use of travel time with Text2Go.

I have recently started a campaign to find out a bit about my Text2Go users and how they are making use of Text2Go. This second story is from Rob Graham.

Listening to text to speech while travellingI’ll be happy to share a little info about myself and how I came to buy Text2Go.

I’m a corporate trainer in the areas of online marketing and advertising. As such, I’m often travelling or presenting. The nature of my field is that it is constantly in flux. In order for me to be able to make sure that my training offers the most relevant and up-to-date material means keeping up with all the news and changes in the field. The reality, however, is that I just don’t have the time to comb through the dozens of online newsletters I get daily in search of the useful tidbits.

Last week I was preparing for a 5 hour drive between cities. I had with me a folder of articles that I has printed and taken along with me with the hope that I would be able to find time to read through them. This hadn’t happened.

I said to myself, “ I wish I could just have somebody record these onto tape or CD so I could listen while I was traveling”. I then started looking around the web and found Text2Go and it seemed like the perfect solution. I downloaded the trial version, converted a couple of dozen articles straight from the web and within a few minutes I had over 5 hours of MP3s sitting in iTunes.

During my long drive I listened to the articles, and was able to get this useful information from the page and into my head using travel time that often is non-productive. I found the pronunciation of the avatar to be remarkably accurate and easy to listen to. The technology has come a long way in the past few years.

Now I have the ability to load my laptop or MP3 player up with the information I need to review and can do it at my leisure using time that would normally be less productive (wandering through airports, in the car, subways, etc). As far as an investment goes, Text2Go has already paid for itself.

Rob Graham
VP of Creative & Technical Training
The Laredo Group

Thank you very much Rob for taking the time to share your story. If you would like to share your experience, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

 

Husband uses Text2Go to convert eBooks for his blind wife

March 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Posted in text to speech, Text2Go, Text2Go User Stories | Comments Off on Husband uses Text2Go to convert eBooks for his blind wife

I have recently started a campaign to find out a bit about my Text2Go users and how they are making use of Text2Go. One of the aims is to allow me to better shape future versions of Text2Go. However, as this first story proves, it’s a very refreshing change to hear about someone else’s experiences. 

I put the following questions to Simon a few days after he purchased Text2Go. He immediately responded with the following story.

Mark: Could you provide some background information on who you are and what you do?

Simon: My name is Simon and I am an analyst programmer currently working for a tool hire company in the UK.

Mark: What sort of uses do you put Text2Go to?

Simon:

1. For my use, I have ebooks converted to my iPod. Client specifications, etc converted to listen to on route to different jobs and as my family send emails to me in the form of essays of no less than 4 pages, listen to them while doing other things.

2. My wife is partially blind so I convert ebooks for her to listen to while I am working.  I have also wired the house up to my home network so as certain sensors are triggered, vocal announcements are made to assist her.  I once a week go online and download the local paper and make the stories into audio files for her to listen to.  We have pets who come and go and took her some time to get use to so as they near her, the pet sensor is located within her radius and they are announced.

Mark: What sort of information do you typically convert to speech?

Simon:

1. Ebooks
2. Email
3. Client Specifications
4. Short audio soundbites
5. News stories
6. Audio Calendar events for wife

Mark: When do you listen to the information you’ve converted?

Simon:

1. My wife listens all day long…

2. Me, while driving, commuting, cooking and general housework.

Mark: Are there any other comments you may have?

Simon:

1. Would love similar controls for outlook like you built into internet explorer.
2. The software has aided in making my wife’s life a lot better… she now can keep up with current affairs and enjoy books again and now she wants me to convert more books that she and her friends who are also blind can listen to when they meet up every week at our house.

Mark:

Thank you so much for sharing your story Simon. I had never thought that Text2Go would be useful for the visually impaired as I believed you would need to be able to see the screen in order to perform the text to speech conversion in the first place. Doing the conversion for your wife (and her friends) is a great solution. It’s really nice to hear how much effort you’ve put in to make your home a safe and comfortable environment for your wife. I bet she really appreciates it.

Finally, adding a toolbar to Outlook is a great idea. I’m nearing completion of the next version of Text2Go and am starting to gather ideas for the following release, so I’ll certainly add your vote for an Outlook toolbar.

For more stories from Text2Go users, check back in the next couple of days. If you would like to share your experience, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

I hate to admit it, but watching my child’s swimming lesson is becoming tedious.

March 20, 2008 at 6:55 pm | Posted in iPod, MP3 Player, text to speech, Text2Go | Comments Off on I hate to admit it, but watching my child’s swimming lesson is becoming tedious.

The Dreaded Swimming LessonMy daughter currently has a swimming lesson once a week on a Tuesday evening. At first I was very excited, as I was able to knock off work a little early and be home in time to take her to her lesson. A few weeks in and I’m ashamed to admit it but it’s becoming a little tedious.

The problem is that it’s a group lesson with 3 other kids, so my daughter is only in action 25% of the time. It’s only a ½ hour lesson but then I let her have another ½ hour after the lesson to muck around in the pool.

Some of the other parents must also be finding it tough going. They come armed with an array of reading material. Books, magazines and newspapers are commonplace.

The thing is I really like to show my daughter support. If my head is buried in a newspaper when she looks up to see if I’m watching (which she does regularly – perhaps too often if truth be told), she’s going to be very disappointed. I’m also genuinely interested in watching her progress. I find it one of the most satisfying things as a parent, watching my kids develop over time.

Then it hit me. Text2Go is just perfect for this situation. I can listen to an eBook, article or collection of blog posts on my iPod while I keep my eyes on my daughter at all times. During the lesson I can offer encouragement and after the lesson I can just keep an eye on her so that she’s safe while playing in the pool.

This is definitely going to be the plan for next week’s lesson. The biggest problem I foresee is going to be the background noise level. The noise generated by 100 kids in an enclosed pool with concrete walls that bounce the sound back and forth is extreme. The standard iPod earbuds don’t actually block out a lot of outside noise. I know that Sennheiser make some iPod earbuds that include a set of earfit rings of varing sizes. These allow you to find the size that best fits your ear, creating a tighter seal between ear and earbud, and hence blocking out more background noise.

The next level up is to buy some earbuds or headphones that have active noise cancellation. These may be necessary in this situation. I’ll find out next week.

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