Text to Speech Software Review.

Natural Voice Reader Software.

The natural voice reader software is a collection of 3 products, one free and two (Pro and Enterprise) chargeable. These pages are a mainly a review of the free product.

Natural Voice Reader: Free version.

The free product uses the Microsoft's default voice Sam, a male voice which is quite clear. Rather robotic at times but a great improvement on the voice that the physicist Steven Hawkings used a few years ago, after a while you may want to give him a throat lozenge though!

There are references to the chargeable products in the menu and a pop-up offering the full product when you first start Natural Voices, generally a good balance and not to intrusive in my opinion for a free product.

Full stops, commas, colons & semi-colons all briefly pause the voice. With text in brackets spoken more quickly.

Speech conversion was usually quite realistic, as was the way it handled punctuation.

After quite a few hours of use the few problems I noted were all relatively minor (to me at least): -

  1. Some (relatively few) words are clipped, the word useful comes out as just ful. Two, to and too can also suffer from this.
  2. Sometimes words are given emphasis for no apparent reason.
  3. Numbers used as bullet point marks on web pages were not spoken, try it on this section to see this.
  4. The final point is not necessarily a problem. The salesmen would no doubt call it a feature. The Voice Reader extends some abbreviations so, co becomes company & sep becomes september for example.

Pro & Enterprise Products.

Pro & Enterprise products selling point is the superior 'natural voices' supplied with these versions. They are produced using the Natural Voices AT&T software.

Enterprise versions having further features including the ability to create conversations and XML programming according to AT&T's web site at least.

Judging from the samples provided and examples I have heard elsewhere they are good. The samples are not long however and there may be more noticeable problems on longer clips.

Personally as a UK english speaker, I dislike the english voice 'Charles'. I far prefer even the gruff Microsoft Sam to AT&T's Charles!

PC specification for memory & free disk space needed to run Pro & Enterprise products are also higher than the free product. Not to demanding on any reasonably modern PC/Notebook though.

Nature Voice Reader Screenshot.

Natural Voice reader reading in Google.

  1. Natural Voice Reader Review.
  2. Microsoft Speech Samples & Links.
  3. Installation and Performance.

  4. Using the Voice Reader.
  5. Poor Vision Features and Downloads.
  6. Screen shot of the Natural Voice Reader, browsing the internet with Google 640 x 480 (89K).