TextAloud Helps Professor Take a Bite Out of Publishing

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Nebraska Dentist and Professor authors new textbook with help from Text to Speech

As a full-time dentist and professor, Ron A. teaches at a major University Medical Center college in Lincoln, Nebraska. His profession gives him unique insight into the mechanics of teaching, reading and learning, as well as how to process and remember information for the long-term. An accomplished author, Ron has published several journal articles and textbook writings in the fields of dentistry and health sciences, and most recently published a textbook on December 30, 2009, on The Dental Management of Sleep Disorders. To review and listen to the research he needed for the book, Ron turned to TextAloud, the easy and popular Text to Speech PC software from NextUp Technologies (http://www.nextup.com).

TextAloud runs on a Windows (R) PC and is able to quickly and easily export written text into spoken audio in just minutes, and from almost any source -- from e-mails, websites, and documents, to PDFs and more. The program is affordably priced from $29.95 and has proven invaluable for PC users from students, commuters, and those battling learning disabilities, to academics like Ron, for whom the program's ability to output and save written text as natural-sounding audio has been a huge time-saver. The audio files generated by TextAloud can be listened to on almost any portable audio devices, from iPhones, to iPods, laptops and PCs, Compact Discs, and others.

"TextAloud helped tremendously by allowing me to listen to many of the scientific resource articles that I was researching as references for my textbook," comments Ron, who found that the program not only allowed him to listen to a huge amount of material, but also offered him better retention of the facts, as well as a more dynamic review experience. "The ability to utilize voices like those of AT&T Natural Voices (TM) significantly enhances the ease of listening to TextAloud, and increases the feeling that you're listening to someone simply talking to you naturally," he explains.

To streamline and enhance his listening experiences using TextAloud, Ron created audio files via TextAloud's easy 'Speak to File' function, then simply loaded them onto his SanDisk MP3 player or his Blackberry Storm phone. "The 'Speak to File' feature allowed me to quickly save files for later listening when the time might be more opportune," adds Ron. "Batch conversion was easy and helpful as well -- especially in instances where I might find some commentary sites with several archives of interest to me." Thanks to TextAloud, Ron could simply convert them all at once with just a few mouse clicks for later listening at his convenience. "The conversions are quick, too!" he adds.

Ron also appreciated the program's built-in ability to easily customize the speed and volume of the voices. "This was especially great, as there are some types of articles -- such as those which are especially scientific or commentary-intensive -- that I might wish to slow down," he adds. He also appreciated the wide variety of document types and text formats the program allowed him to convert to speech, from Word, Text, and Web/HTML, to PDF.

Ron found the software both powerful and easy to use as he worked with a variety of academic and scientific articles for research, frequently using the software's ability to reside in the system tray, for easy recall at a moment's notice. "I appreciated the flexibility TextAloud offered, as well, and the way it gave me various means of importing (loading) text into the software," he adds. "I also like the way the simple pressing of the 'Crtl+C' buttons will automatically pop up a TextAloud user dialog box based on parameters that I can set myself." He also valued the program's inclusion of a plug-in for Firefox among others for greater browser flexibility. "I appreciated having a choice, and not being confined to one browser choice as so many seem to do."

Because his subject matter was often lengthy as well as academic, Ron quickly discovered a few shortcuts and tips for making the listening experience more dynamic. "Changing the voices during the 'speaking' of an article adds diversity if one has been listening mostly to one type of voice for a series of articles," he adds. "This really helps me to keep my focus and attention on what I'm hearing." Ron also made extensive use of TextAloud's ability to fine-tune the timing of pauses between sentences, between a heading and body text, or even between paragraphs -- accomplished easily with the use of added spaces via the spacebar on files to be output to speech. "As much of my listening material involved health, medical and dental topics, I found that the program's Pronunciation Editor was very useful for customizing the 'speaking' of some of the more commonly used specific terms in my material. This enabled me to customize unique yet frequent specific terms like 'orofacial' so they read as expected." Unlike too many PC programs, he also found that TextAloud's Audio Help and Help files, as well as its Online Manual, were both detailed, helpful and resourceful. He was even able to use the software's Skins feature to change the interface look now and then, for visual interest.

Ron's enjoyment of TextAloud didn't just come from his need to listen to large amounts of material. Since early childhood, he has found that his abilities in learning are maximized when he listens to material as opposed to reading it visually. "When I was a youngster, there weren't any testing abilities for learning/reading issues, and so throughout most of my life, reading was a struggle," he comments. "I really, really had to force myself to study and accomplish what I have in life. TextAloud affords me a tremendous opportunity to overcome that hurdle and simply listen to what I would want to read, but which I had found difficult to sit down and do visually. Best of all, it allows me to multi-task and do other things while listening."

"I am a better listener than reader," he adds, "but often I need to hear something more than once, so TextAloud is highly useful in a myriad of ways: news sites, sports sites, professional research articles (either web-based or scanned), as well as for having user manuals for items read to me while I am trying to figure something out." Ron's son, a junior in college, also became a frequent user of the software, and he found that it helped him to combat his ADD and to help him focus in his learning for online courses, assignments, directions, and more. Ron's daughter, a student in Junior High school, uses TextAloud for listening to the Bible as well as for her school reading assignments, as well.

"Ultimately, anyone can use TextAloud," he comments. "End users just need to review and explore the option offerings of the program to become familiar enough with them, which is very easy to do -- and then demonstrate it to their children, students, and others who will find it as useful as I did."

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, for easy synching with iPod (R), iPhone (TM), or other iTunes-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 purchase via http://www.NextUp.com.

NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional Premium Voices from Nuance (R), 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.

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 enables people who have lost their voices to use the latest in high-quality computer voices to communicate aloud with others.

Evaluation copies of TextAloud are available for the media upon request. For more information on NextUp.com or TextAloud, or for a rich assortment of case studies involving users ranging from firefighters and lawyers, to writers, editors, teachers, actors, students, entrepreneurs, doctors, truck drivers, musicians, and more, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043.

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

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