Last week and the week before, the Tech Review looked at Speechify and Natural Reader. We decided another option should be reviewed and this was the task we challenged Tony McGovern this week. He chose to review Read Me and here’s what Tony has to say.
What is Read Me?
Read Me is a text-to-speech API that will convert text into speech and it is available as a web extension.
When Read Me is used as a web extension, you can open it using the Brower extension or create your own shortcut keys to open Read Me. When opened, it appears as a widget. There are several settings to include dark mode and text size.
When it comes to ‘speaking’, Read Me presents several options to ensure happy listening. These options include voice pitch, volume, speed, alternative voices and multiple languages.
When uploading content to be read, you can alter settings to include:
- font sizes
- speed of the voice
- dark mode and more
A range of different file formats can uploaded onto the widget too. When Read Me reads content, it highlights the words as it speaks which makes it easier to follow. There are controls which allow you to navigate different sections of text.
What can Read Me be used for?
The service Read Me is ideal for people with reading difficulties and no / low vision. It assists with the navigation of and reads web sites, documents, emails and text, on both the mobile devices and computers.
This can be used to save time and for multi-tasking, i.e., listen to content whilst working, travelling or just rest your eyes and listen instead of reading.
Use Read Me to listen to the required reading for a meeting or classwork on your travels. Read Me is a great way to read books which your friends recommend, especially if you never get time to sit down and read.
For those learning a second or third language, Read Me is available in multiple languages which makes it a useful translator tool. It helps improve language skills.
Read Me is a very private web extension for your browser and it does not collect or use your data.
As a useful online service, Read Me provides a simple and easy widget for online content creation. There are multiple options for customising this service to suit your needs.
Speechify and Read Me are similar online services. While Speechify has a further reach with Android and iPhone having apps, as well as browser extensions, Read Me only has the browser extension.
Both Speechify and Read Me’s browser extensions are similar in layout and control and both services allow for uploading documents.
Read Me performs better online and provides navigation controls as well as allowing multiple formats for uploading (Speechify only allowing PDF uploads).
Read Me is free whereas Speechify provides a free trial, then subscription.
Between Read Me and Speechify online, I would use Read Me. It has better controls and options. However, if you need a service for offline work, Speechify is the app for you!