updated 10:55 am EDT, Thu July 5, 2007
TextParrot now GhostReader
AssistiveWare, under its ConvenienceWare brand, has released GhostReader 1.1, a successor to the earlier program TextParrot. Like the latter, GhostReader is used to have the Mac OS read documents back to a user, in accents and languages ranging from British or American English through to Turkish and Swedish. A Safari plug-in allows the reading of any text under the mouse cursor, and recorded tracks can be exported to iTunes to create podcasts or audiobooks.
The update brings with it several new high-quality voices: Max (Dutch), Rosa (American Spanish), Louise (Canadian French) and Peter (British English). Medium-quality voices, meanwhile, are now present for Czech, Turkish and Icelandic. New buttons allow users to hear a paragraph again or skip to the next one, and schools can lock preferences to reduce the need for troubleshooting. GhostReader requires Mac OS X 10.4; the price varies based on the license, from $40 for a single-user monolingual copy to $1,000 for 150 computers.