I'm reading about 150 pages of text on screen, every day. I will have to read about 15.000 in the next upcoming months. No joke.
Well, the problem is this: I suffer from a sort of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which forces me to read every sentence up to 10 times until I really get it. Mac OS X Snow Leopard has a built-in text reader with the name "Alex".
Although it is already pretty good quality, I know there are far better natural sounding voices out there. I have heard already voices that are absolutely amazing compared to Alex. They're so good, that you can't tell anymore the difference between a real person or a computer. Alex still has this "metal factor" in its voice, which makes my ears hurt after 8 hours of listening.
The next problem with Alex is, that he never makes a break after a sentence. Also, it's not possible to think about a sentence and then continue reading. It's also not possible to have him repeat a sentence, without tedious text selection and shortcut usage.
Actually, the best tool I can imagine would have the option to read a sentence and move on to the next one after pressing a special key, OR repeating the previously one after pressing a special key. That would help so much! And if that's even with one of those bell lab / AT&T / whatever super-natural voices, even better!
But it would be already a great relief if there was just a better tool to control Alex. To let him make breaks after sentences or let him speak big chunks of text sentence-by-sentence with fine-grained control over repetition and moving on.
Is there anything?