Active Programmer/Designer Finds TextAloud is the Ultimate Multitasking Tool

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UK Professional Manages Hectic Work Schedule with Text to Speech Software

With a fast-paced and hectic work schedule in addition to several time-consuming hobbies and interests, keeping up is sometimes a challenge; however luckily multitasking comes naturally to Mark Johnson, a UK web designer and programming support specialist who is also an author and artist. His very busy work schedule means that he consistently works on several projects or tasks at once, so to assist him in making the most of his multitasking, he listens to his e-mails and research even as he works at his keyboard, using Text to Speech program TextAloud, from NextUp Technologies (http://www.nextup.com).

Priced from less than $30 ($29.95 USD), TextAloud is the effortless and inexpensive PC program that enables users to flexibly export their documents, e-mails, websites, and other materials (even PDFs) seamlessly to audio files. Those files are then accessible and easy to listen to anywhere via MP3 player or iPod, computer, CD, or a variety of other portable devices (even on the latest iPhones, and more).

In Mark's case, TextAloud provides him with valuable time away from the computer screen, and enables him to listen to that workload instead -- everything from his e-mails from customers, to his research on the web, documents, proofreading, and beyond. "There are so many things that TextAloud can do to help save time," Mark comments. "I've used it to read e-mails that I've drafted back to me, as well as my writings as an amateur author, and often I notice mistakes in listening to my typing that I missed when proofing by reading alone." He also enjoys the ability to listen to the customer e-mails he must review for his work, as TextAloud enables him to do this while also being able to address and research the issues right there on the computer even as he listens.

"When it comes to e-mails and documents, I have a choice now," he adds. "I can read them on the fly or I can use TextAloud to export them to audio files, and then simply let my MP3 player 'read' them to me as I drive or cycle to work." He originally used TextAloud in conjunction with his Creative Zen MP3 player, but now listens using a Sony Ericson W890i mobile as his latest portable accessory.

Meanwhile, the program is not just a benefit at work, but at play as well, as Mark has also used TextAloud to rediscover his love of literature. "I have always loved stories!" he comments. "But I just don't have enough time to sit down and read a good book or short story. So one of the best things about TextAloud for me is having the ability to take a piece of fictional writing and turn it into audio for listening. There are many authors on the web that offer their creations for free, and you can get some really old classics free as well. There is a real pleasure in hearing hours and hours of audio books, and it's something you just can't get with real people reading a story (or most audio books for instance). They have to cut so much out to fit it on a couple of CD's. But this way, I get the full version, and with AT&T Natural Voices (TM), I forget that a computer is talking to me, and can just enjoy the story. It's great. I don't even buy audio books anymore as there are so many great stories out there on the web, and TextAloud allows me to experience them as they should be experienced!"

Mark's favorite features to the program are the file splitter, which allows him to easily create audio files by chapter or however he needs, as well as the program's other easy functions for customizing the listening experience, even down to the individual pauses, phrases, and word pronunciations. "I love the ability to add pauses, and change voices seamlessly," he comments. "And any rare word that might sound a bit wrong on first hearing, well, it's easy to fix -- you simply go to the Pronunciation Editor so that you can tell the software how the word ought to sound. This takes a matter of seconds, and from that moment on, the software will always be able to pronounce the word the way you want it to. This is a great option, and helps to make the listening experience even more natural and realistic."

To maximize his experience with TextAloud, Mark has been a longtime fan of its assortment of available Premium Voices, particularly the AT&T Natural Voices (TM) for his listening. "With the AT&T Natural Voices (TM), we really don't have far to go before you won't be able to tell the difference between a computer and a real person," he comments. "They are well worth the investment, and honestly, the achievement of this software is astounding. You sometimes forget that you're listening to a computer at all."

For story listening, Mark tends to choose Crystal, as "she has a very clear and well-spoken voice," he adds, while for listening to research, e-mails, web articles and more, he tends to listen to Mike. "His voice is very human, much like a real-life news reader!"

Ultimately, TextAloud has helped Mark, a born multitasker, to excel even further at making the most out of his work and leisure, whether on commute or in front of a computer. "Whether you're working in a job or a repetitive task, or even when you're washing the car, walking the dog, or mowing the lawn, TextAloud means that you can still do so while enjoying an audio book, or even reviewing an e-mail, article, or other document," he adds. "Simply put -- I don't know what I would do with my ears if TextAloud hadn't come along to entertain them."

About TextAloud:
Highly useful 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 also works seamlessly with iTunes, for easy synchronizing with iPod (R), iPhone (TM), or other iTunes-compatible portable audio players. The program is available for fast, safe and secure purchase via http://www.NextUp.com.

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

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. 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.

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 writers, editors, and teachers, to actors, students, entrepreneurs, firefighters, doctors, lawyers, truck drivers, musicians, and more, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043 or via Admitchell at 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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