iSpeak It

iSpeak It ($19.95) “takes any document or RSS feed and converts it into an MP3/AAC track in iTunes using your Mac’s built-in text-to-speech capabilities. Download news, weather forecasts and driving directions. From there it’s a quick sync to your iPod and away you go!”

Now this is an application that I like as it takes something that usually ties me to my Mac (news for example) and gives me the flexibility to add it to my iPod so that I can ‘catch up’ when I am out and about. Although I subscribe to a number of podcasts, I don’t really bother with news ones as by the time I have downloaded them and got round to listening to them, they are usually old news.

With iSpeak It I liked the fact that the preferences where simple, basically Automatic transfer to iTunes and Load on Launch and it was really easy to download the items that you wanted, for example UK news.


It was then a simple case of exporting to iTunes and listening to the clipping.


Now to be honest the default ‘ladies’ voice was somewhat irritating, but other options are available and if you are going to listen to this a lot then I suggest you try a few out and find one that doesn’t drive you nuts!


Load and edit any document. iSpeak It provides built-in support for PDF, Word, Pages 2, AppleWorks, RTF, HTML or text.

Download any web page or RSS/Atom feed. iSpeak It remembers previous feed downloads to ensure you only get entries you haven’t heard yet.

Use Xgrid to harness the power of multiple Macs to convert sections of a document into audio tracks.

Save documents as an AIFF file.

Transfer a document to iTunes and convert it to an MP3, AAC, etc track in your library (MP3 versus AAC conversion is based on your import preference settings in iTunes; AAC conversion requires iTunes 4.0 or later).

Split long documents into multiple tracks, just like audiobooks.

Make documents bookmarkable so they remember where you left off, just like audiobooks.

Automatically transfer a document to iTunes after it has been loaded. The document text is put into the track lyrics so you can read along as you listen.

Automatically load web pages, news and/or weather on launch.

Complete control over the song name, artist, album and genre settings.

A Services menu item for loading selected text from any application.

Download news, weather forecasts and driving directions.

Define and apply replacement rules to correct for Apple’s text-to-speech weaknesses.

Test the speech of any portion of a document to make sure it sounds correct (and subsequently define and test replacement rules for problem phrases).

Converts a document to speech according to your Speech Preferences (as set via the System Preferences).

Uses the file name, URL or download topic as the default song name to use within iTunes.

Create and edit text documents.


2 thoughts on “iSpeak It

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    Absolutely necessary is either the Cepstral voices, the Acapela voices, or wait until Leopard’s new voice. Hey, that’s something that Jobs didn’t touch on!

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