Engineer Proofs and Presents Better Content, Using TextAloud

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Text to Speech Software helps busy military and civilian Missouri engineer Paul Blanzy achieve better learning, productivity and project management

Project engineer Paul Blanzy divides his time between civilian and military work, a major part of which involves the management and presentation of huge amounts of text content. To help Paul absorb, proof, and even present that content, he turns to TextAloud, the popular Text to Speech program from NextUp.com. TextAloud helps users like Paul export almost any electronic text into spoken audio that can be listened to on a PC, or output to popular MP3 or other audio file formats for listening on iPhones (R) iPods (R), laptops, MP3 players, PDAs and more.

"I like TextAloud because it helps me understand how my writing comes across to people," comments Paul, who listens to his important e-mails, letters and speeches using the Text to Speech software in order to objectively hear inflection, tone of voice, and pacing that differs from his own. "This gives me insight into how my written words may come across to the recipient, and not just how I meant them to be read."

Paul, a resident of St. Charles, Missouri, first discovered the software after searching for a Text to Speech reader for self-study materials that might enable him to share spiritual references, Bible readings or personalized sermons. "I was looking for a way to hear specific content that was not available through 'books on tape,' and which would allow me to choose specific sections I wanted to hear without having to wade through too much that I didn't," he adds.

Paul soon found a multitude of additional uses for TextAloud, using the software for everything from listening to his e-mails and other content while driving, to testing out the text for speeches and presentations using voices such as 'Lauren,' an optional Premium Voice from AT&T Natural Voices (TM), as well as other pleasant and realistic AT&T Natural Voices (TM) like 'Ray' and 'Julia.' "This approach helped me to make sure I was able to be light-hearted, but sincere, without sounding corny or mushy," he adds. He soon discovered other uses for the software, turning to TextAloud to assist him with a customer presentation during a transitional period at work, and using it during his commute. "That was a big help," he adds."I was on 'active duty' and drove to my office for an hour each way every day. I tried podcasts for a while, but it was too hit-and-miss on good ones, and there was little control over the content." Instead, Paul began to make his own Text to Speech collections, putting the MP3 files onto CD for listening in the car.

TextAloud also proved helpful on an aspect of life almost every computer user has experienced -- that of maintaining objectivity while reading or responding to e-mails, even on emotional or stressful issues. By using Text to Speech to listen to those e-mails, Paul was able to listen objectively while removing the emotion too easily read into a discussion or topic. "Letting 'Lauren' read e-mails to me in her more dispassionate voice helps me to pause and see things from the sender's perspective," he comments. "Doing this can really save a lot of grief on both sides of the screen." Paul not only used the approach for listening to his inbox, but for evaluating his own e-mails before sendout, as well.

For others embarking on using Text to Speech, Paul advises that they listen to samples of several choices to really find the voices they'll respond to best. "I have trouble hearing higher frequencies, for instance," he comments, "so a lower voice works best for me on some stuff." He also utilizes different voices for different tasks, listening to female voices for some documents, and male voices on presentations or technical items. Paul's use of Text to Speech now ranges through most of his computing tasks, from e-mails, presentations and documents, to his latest endeavors of blogging and podcasting. He's even using his text to speech files to help him with self-affirmation and self-hypnosis!

"Ultimately, TextAloud gives me great insight into how others will read or hear my words," Paul comments. "I've also achieved deeper understanding overall when listening to content read aloud to me, and I'll even read along sometimes on items for study, for a double-whammy of learning. TextAloud is easy to use, and it really makes my written and spoken words that much more effective."

About TextAloud:
With a completely new interface and more personalization options than ever, TextAloud is the highly useful PC program for students, scientists, writers, business people, and PC users from all walks of life. TextAloud enables anyone to experience their reading by listening, and has been featured in The New York Times, PC Magazine, Writer's Digest, on CNN, and more.

TextAloud is priced from $29.95, and system requirements include almost any version of Windows (R) (from 98 to Me, NT, 2000, XP or Vista), as well as a minimum of 64 MB of RAM, 10 MB of disk space, and a sound card. TextAloud can even be listened to on TV, using TiVo's (R) Home Media Option, and it works seamlessly with iTunes (R), for easy synchronizing with iPod (R), iPhone (R), or other iTunes (R)-compatible portable audio players. Best of all, unlike prohibitively priced gadgets or eReaders, TextAloud does not require special hardware of any kind. Become a fan at http://www.Facebook.com/TextAloud, or try the program today, via a safe and secure preview and purchase at http://www.NextUp.com.

Optional Premium Voices:
NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional Premium Voices from Nuance RealSpeak (TM), 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 (R) 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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ANGELA MITCHELL
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