TextAloud Opens Up a New World of Content for One Visually Disabled New Yorker

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NextUp.com's leading Text to Speech software helps one user find better options and assistive support for reading and study

Like many people around the world, Jordan Star enjoys reading and web surfing in his free time, but his legal blindness can make this difficult for the Long Island resident, even when he uses screen readers created especially for the blind. However, Jordan soon discovered a new solution in TextAloud, as the Text to Speech software by NextUp.com provided a handy and easy to use assistive alternative. Soon, he was using TextAloud on a constant basis to support almost all his text listening activities, whether by computer, portable device, iPhone (R), and more.

Jordan's visual disability has progressed over time, so as his eyesight worsened, he began to research his options for assistive technologies. He found it harder and harder to see e-mails, for example, since people did not send e-mails in large text or font sizes even when he asked them to do so. He decided to try listening, instead. "I wanted a text reading program but was not willing to pay the very expensive prices required for the leading programs made specifically for the blind," says Jordan, explaining that both of the top text readers for the blind cost about $400, which was well outside his budget. Then he found TextAloud, which enabled him to disregard text size and listen to his correspondence entirely by ear -- and at a fraction of the budget of traditional screen readers.

"I found TextAloud to be a real help almost immediately, as it allowed me to convert e-text and eBooks to audio files very quickly and easily so that my active reading activities could continue," comments Jordan, who listens to his files on a multifunction Sony MP3/CD player. "This meant that I could now listen to books instead of trying to see to read them." Once the PC software became a mainstay for his regular reading, Jordan then discovered how to use TextAloud to listen to his e-mails and websites, which further eased the tension of his visual disability, and saved his eyes from strain and fatigue.

The more Jordan utilized TextAloud, the more uses he seemed to find for it. "TextAloud is affordable, and far easier to use than JAWS or ZoomText, which are Text to Speech programs that are popular with blind people (and which are very expensive)," he adds. Jordan also proofreads his e-mails by listening with TextAloud, with the huge array of optional Premium Voices available for the program another pleasant surprise. "The different voices are definitely another discovery for me," he adds. However, it's really the program's flexibility that he enjoys even more, as files can be converted to a variety of popular audio file formats, and can be played on almost anything, from iPhones (R) and iPods (R), even to televisions. "It's great to be able to listen to the multitude of eBooks available out there to enrich one's life. The quality and clarity of the voices is excellent, and adds variety -- they're not boring like too many other computer-generated voices in readers for the blind."

Jordan has now gone on to recommend TextAloud to his other friends in the blind community. "TextAloud has improved my life by enabling me to communicate more efficiently with friends and family," he comments. "I know that, in time, TextAloud will enhance my life further, and that I couldn't do things I want to do without it. It has opened a whole new world."

About TextAloud:
With a completely new interface including more personalization options than ever before, TextAloud is the highly useful PC program for students, scientists, writers, business people, students and people 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.

Hailed by critics and users alike, TextAloud is priced from $29.95. 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 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 doesn't require special hardware of any kind. Become a fan at http://www.Facebook.com/TextAloud, or try the program today, via a fast, safe and secure preview and purchase at http://www.NextUp.com.

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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