Speaker 2.3.1

A fun and easy to use application that can simulate a human voice based on text input

  • Category:

    Converters

  • Version:

    2.3.1

  • Works under:

    Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    4.9 (92)

Speaker is a Windows XP tool that lets you write text and have it spoken by the computer.

The Windows operating system has long had text-to-speech capabilities built in. It is included as part of the Windows accessibility and is useful for users with certain disabilities but also for multitasking users. You could, for instance, listen to a text while you do something else.

Speaker is a small program created by Felipe Giannazzo and it is essentially a frontend to the text-to-speech capabilities that Windows provides. The application is quite intuitive and simple to use. It comprises three main sections: a top menu, a large textbox and an array of buttons at the bottom.

The menu has two items: Voice options and Help. The help provided is quite basic but more than enough considering the scope of the app. It does cover Windows text-to-speech capabilities and options, the terminology, the settings and so forth. The Voice options menu gives you access to the various voices that Windows offers. There are male and female voices as well as voices that account for regional dialects, and you can adjust the speed of any voice to change how it sounds.

The textbox is the area you input the text to be spoken, and the text you provide can be as simple as a single word or as complex as entire paragraphs. You could copy and paste and entire work of literature. To activate the narrator, simply click the button labeled TALK. A Clear button lets you clear the textbox. There are also eight or so other buttons that activate predefined phrases, such as “yes” and “no.” A Time button activates the narrator to read the current system time.

That is about the extent of what Speaker for Windows XP does. Does it have a practical use? Perhaps, but be mindful that Windows has built-in tools and there are other free tools that take advantage of the Windows text-to-speech engine in more sophisticated ways.

Note that Speaker is no longer supported. The developer remains active but has apparently determined that Speaker is no longer worth pursuing. The final version released works and is stable, but it was never updated beyond Windows XP. It may work via compatibility mode in later Windows versions, but it is unclear if changed to the Windows text-to-speech engine and software will cause instability.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • A text-to-speech frontend

Cons

  • No longer supported

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User Opinions on Speaker