I hadn't heard of software for converting your text documents directly to mp3 files before I came across 2nd Speech Center. This award-winning software uses a computerized voice to read any text files that you want. With a convenient layout, 2nd Speech Center is very easy to comprehend even for the non-tech users. (I think I just made a word up!)
In addition to text files, this program supports PDF documents, Microsoft Word documents, email files (.EML), and HTML files. Multiple files can be opened simultaneously, with the a tab for each. You can also directly paste text into the software, or write out what you want read. One of my favorite features is the pop-up window that recognizes text on the clipboard and asks whether you want it to be read aloud (only when the software is open does this window show up, of course).
For reading your text, this software has 11 different voices to choose from, and the pitch and speed of the voices are alterable to your preferences. I wasn't thrilled with the selection, considering that most of the voices sounded similar, differing from each other only in pitch and speed. A few of the computerized voices sounded exceptionally unnatural, although there were a couple I thought were decent.
I did like the options concerning pronunciation, however, because any specific word or symbol can be made to be pronounced in a particular way. Also, at any point in your document a tag can be placed to cause an extra long break in speech, a whisper, reading in monotone, or emphasized pronunciation.
What I really thought was cool was the feature of converting text directly to mp3 speech. You can select from any bit-rate as well! It also has the option of saving to a WAV file if you would like. The output of the speech is good quality with the exception of Microsoft Anna, which has a ring behind most syllables (because it's the only voice not created directly for use with this software).
A bonus feature of the software is an alarm to either tell the time or give a message/reminder. There are various settings, including having the message hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
In summary, 2nd Speech Center is good software for converting virtually any text file to speech. With great customization tools, this software brings a new aspect to automation. I only feel that the voice selection could be improved to bring this software to its full potential.
Submitted by Mike2nd Speech Center features and highlights:
Speech Center is licensed as Shareware for the Windows operating system / platform from text to speech software and can be used as a free trial until the trial period ends (after 30 days). The Speech Center 184.108.40.2062 demo is available to all software users as a free download with potential restrictions and is not necessarily the download of the full version.
Compatibility with this speech center software may vary, but will generally run fine under Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP on either a 32-bit or 64-bit setup. A separate x64 version of 2nd Speech Center may be available from Zero2000 Software.
We have tested 2nd Speech Center 220.127.116.112 against malware with several different programs. We certify that this program is clean of viruses, malware and trojans. [Read more]