TextAloud Helps Pilot to Soar in Studies

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Pilot Finishes 18 Months of Military Study in Just 9 Months Using Text to Speech

As a United States Air Force pilot, Tom Schwarzkopf balances a busy schedule between flying, teaching, and family, a demanding enough task on its own. But until recently, Tom also had to fit learning and memorization time into the mix, during his study of advanced military doctrine at Air Command and Staff College. Luckily, he discovered Text to Speech software TextAloud from NextUp Technologies (http://www.Nextup.com), and the program was such an efficient tool that he directly credits TextAloud as the reason he was able to finish eighteen months of advanced military studies in just nine. Affordably priced at just $29.95, TextAloud is a Text to Speech program that installs in seconds, and converts text into spoken audio files for listening on a PC, Laptop, or MP3 player or other portable device. "The amount of retention I gained, as well as the amount of time I saved overall," Tom comments, "was unbelievable."

Tom first started using TextAloud three years ago when he was enrolled in Air Command and Staff College. "The study material was complex, mind-numbingly boring and incredibly immense, and with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of repeated acronyms to remember. It's easy to let your mind wander when you're reading that kind of thing visually." Instead, Tom looked for a better solution, and found one in TextAloud.

He found the program after doing a search on the Internet for text readers and chose TextAloud because of the program's wide assortment of available Premium voices. "I particularly liked the AT&T Natural Voices (TM) 'Crystal' voice, as it was a soft female voice without the typical computer persona." With TextAloud installed in minutes to his laptop, and Crystal to read to him, Tom dove into his studies, and was delighted to discover an almost immediate increase in his retention and understanding of even the most complex material.

He soon created a learning routine that worked for him, finding that reading his material while listening to it read aloud was the quickest way to comprehension and retention. "I would sit down in front of the computer in a comfortable chair, put on my earphones, open a lesson on the computer, and open the book at the same time. While following along in my book, I would listen to the words as they were being read to me by TextAloud." The speed at which TextAloud reads the text can be easily adjusted to fit the user's comfort zone, an advantage Tom used constantly. "I set the program's reading speed at the fastest level that I could still comfortably comprehend." Working this way vastly increased the efficiency of his study time. "Comprehension markedly improves when the material you study is backed up in your brain by more than one sensory input," he comments. "I was able to visually 'see' and hear the material all at once, learning and retaining more in far less time." He also liked having the ability to integrate the use of TextAloud into other programs such as Office and Explorer, as well.

Soon, Tom was even able to use the program to overcome another of his hurdles in military study -- the huge numbers of repeated acronyms present in the material. "I discovered that TextAloud can be easily configured to read the expanded versions of the acronyms every time," he comments, "so once I did this, I was able to reinforce my understanding of the material even further."

His new study methods also helped Tom to immerse himself in his learning without the constant household distractions of kids, pets, telephone, and more. A family man with three kids, two dogs, and a cat, Tom's exuberant surroundings could occasionally present challenges for someone seeking a little quiet study time. "I could put on my earphones and literally isolate myself from the outside world. Before using TextAloud, I was reading seven pages of material per hour with questionable retention. After introducing TextAloud into my study routine, I was able to complete seventeen pages of material every hour with clearly improved retention. I'm a firm believer in using TextAloud as a tool to improve the retention of facts and the efficiency of time." Using his new study approach, Tom finished eighteen months of advanced military study in just nine months.

"TextAloud allowed me to graduate from school very quickly. These schools were prerequisites to better jobs, promotions and better pay." He now recommends his approaches to others, including his children, and now even has students of his own. "I'm now an educator of sorts myself, an instructor pilot, and recommend my study techniques with TextAloud to others whenever I can. It took away the 'pain' of going to school, and significantly reduced the amount of time I've spent slouched over a book. It can do so for others, as well. TextAloud is an outstanding tool."

About TextAloud

Highly useful for 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 at just $29.95, and is compatible with systems using Windows (R) 98, NT, 2000, XP and Vista. The program is available for fast, safe and secure purchase via http://www.NextUp.com.

About NextUp.com

NextUp.com, a division of NextUp Technologies, LLC, provides award-winning Text to Speech software for consumers, professionals, businesses, educators, and those with visual or vocal impairment, or learning disabilities.

In addition to TextAloud, NextUp.com markets other innovative Windows software designed to save time and deliver vital information. NewsAloud (TM) is a talking personal "news agent" that finds the stories users want, and then reads them aloud or to portable audio files. WeatherAloud (TM) is a weather application that lets users select and listen to personalized weather forecasts, while StocksAloud (TM) reads stock updates and related news headlines aloud for specific companies of interest. NextUp Talker is an easy and affordable program that allows people who have lost their voices to use the latest in high-quality computer voices to communicate with others. Most recently, NextUp introduced a new text reader, AbleReader, available with the AT&T Natural Voices (TM) for use on Mac computers. Information on AbleReader is available at http://www.AbleReader.com.

NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices (TM), NeoSpeech (R), Nuance (R), 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, French, Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, Castilian (European) Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch, Belgian Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, and Arabic.

Evaluation copies of TextAloud are available upon request. For more information on NextUp.com or TextAloud, or for other case studies involving users ranging from firefighters, doctors and lawyers, to truck drivers, musicians, and more, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043 or via Admitchell @ Nextup.com.

All companies and products referenced in this press release are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Angela Mitchell
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