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Narrator uses rich voices provided within the Mac OS X system (especially OS X 10.7 Lion) to supply controls that allow the user to choose a voice actor-adjusting the speed and pitch of the actor's voice as well as inflection and volume-when reading the user added content. A dictionary preference allows substitution of words or phrases and to fine-tune pronunciation. In addition, the user has the ability to add more voice characters available from Cepstral, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based company that provides speech technologies and who has partnered with Mariner for this product.

What's New

Version 2.2.1:

Note: 2.2.1 is the version number of the demo version; the App Store version is at 2.2.

  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility

Requirements

OS X 10.7 or later

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Narrator User Discussion

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Sw_tester Member IconComment+59
Sw_tester
+1

mu states min os is 10.6, this is incorrect.
minimum os is 10.7

Reply1 reply
Version 2.2.1
MacUpdate-Nick
+0

Sorry for the confusion! The listing has been fixed.

Maakumu Member IconReview+0
Maakumu
+0

It's a nice concept and has been useful to me for making iTunes tracks to listen to in the car and so I can memorize scenes. Unfortunately it's a buggy and unpolished piece of crap that I have to fight with every time I use it. Sample issues:

* It hangs randomly.
* If you cut or copy, and paste, the tags specifying the characters disappear from the pasted text. So you can't easily do something as simple as create a new chapter with a subscene involving your character. Or add character tags by pasting them in.
* To insert a character tag you have to double click on a tiny icon. If you double-click on the (much larger) name, you start editing the name. And the focus then stays in the character pane rather than reverting to the text pane, so you waste a click continuing.
* You can't rearrange chapters, but if you close and reopen the document, they reappear sorted in alphabetical order.
* Whole blocks of text sometimes get omitted from the sound files exported to iTunes.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.2.0
ABANDONED_ACCOUNT Member IconComment+72
ABANDONED_ACCOUNT
+1

Reminder: This program uses OS X's built-in voice engine.

If your text-to-speech needs don't require separate voices for separate passages, you can get the EXACT SAME voice quality FOR FREE.

Open TextEdit. Write something. Go to Edit > Speech > Start Speaking.

If you require more than 1 voice for different lines, get this or GhostReader.

Reply2 replies
Version 2.2.0
ABANDONED_ACCOUNT
+1

TextEdit was just an example, but you can use your own favorite writing application. This tip works in EVERY Mac application that has an Edit menu. Edit > Speech > Start Speaking is built-in into Mac OS. Enjoy!

ABANDONED_ACCOUNT
+1

Two final tips regarding the built-in speech ability: The speech engine will start reading from the cursor location, so you have control over what Mac OS X reads by simply placing the text cursor at your desired start location.

Also, if you only want it to read a certain part, you can highlight the text you want it to read and it'll read just that portion.

Dalahast Member IconComment+139
Dalahast
+0

Doesn't work with any of Lion's multilingual voices—hangs for a moment, then quits.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1.0
Dochoz Member IconReview+14
Dochoz
+1

Gave it try to decide between GhostReader and this app. Too bad it cannot read PDF files.

Reply2 replies
Version 2.1.0
Istra
+2

can't you just copy the text out of the pdf-file and paste it?

Espiridion
+0

Good point Istra.
I'll just add that the quality of the voices is considerably better in GhostReader. I don't know if this changed under OS X 10.7 though.

Wheninrome Member IconReview+8
Wheninrome
+4

It's hard to see, at first, what a product like Narrator can do for you. But once you play around a bit, the uses become clear. Narrator is kind of like Shrek, who equates an ogre like an onion - there's lots of layers.
So, for one layer, if you're like me, when you write a letter for a business purpose, you need to read it out loud. A lot. Yes, you can read it yourself, but in order to be effective - you really need another voice. Narrator cleanly fills that role. As a small business owner, Narrator sure has come in handy.
Another layer of Narrator that again, isn't as apparent - is as a study buddy. Now, I am a visual learner, so I really appreciate things like diagrams and videos. I need to see what I am learning. So knowing that a product like Narrator can act as a study buddy for those who need to listen in order to really learn their material - well, let's just say that I can sympathize and wish that there was something like that for us visual learners when we were in school.
Lastly, as someone who is going to have to be on the lookout for AMD (for the uninformed, that's Age-related Macular Degeneration)and who already has a family member with it - in addition to books on tape and the like, a person with low-vision now has Narrator which is one more way to enhance their quality of life. And that's no small thing.
I haven't gone through all the layers of this product, but if what I've uncovered so far is any indication of all that's inside Narrator, I know that I will not be disappointed.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1.0
Dejmac Member IconComment+62
Dejmac
+4

I apologize to Mariner Software and to all consumers of Narrator 2.1.
I was wrong - I got (although a little bit late - but I assume it is because large number of customers) both letters from MS and now I am a proud owner of Narrator 2.1!
Thank you guys, you've teach me a lesson! And I am a quick learner.
Thank you.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1.0
Bill Ellenberger Member IconComment+2
Bill Ellenberger
+2

I use Narrator as a useful tool on my newspaper column. It is the last step I take before sending to the publisher.

Kind regards,

Bill Ellenberger
President
Faithful Path

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.7
Jayce Member IconReview+17
Jayce
+2

Because I have a lot of downloaded short stories and other printed material, I use Narrator to read me a short story so I can rest my eyes, to read a short story to add to iTunes so I can listen to it later on an iPod, and increasingly often to read me a page of how-to or tutorial when I am working on something like photo development where it really helps to have an audio walk-thru of a new process for a time or two. I enjoy having Narrator for those read-alongs because I can change both the actor and the quality of the actor's voice, or for long pieces have parts read as paragraph-dialogs.

Narrator has a lot more flexibility than I have ever used, but it is so well developed and so clearly explained that I have never spent frustrating time trying to get it to do what it claims to do. I know that if I spent more time with the program I could do more with it but . . . the program makes it so easy just to Go.

This is a wonderful program.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.6
ZenZenPup Member IconReview+7
ZenZenPup
+2

This is just the type of application which has been missing from the Mac OS X arsenal for far too long.

Being able to open and read Word .docx files is a major upside.

I would ask though, for some sort of "Import URL" capability for people with low/restricted vision to be able to read web pages without having to select text which they cannot see on the first place...

Services>Narrator>New Document With Selection
does NOT work with Flock...

OCR needed to parse PDF files...

When words of a title of a poem use small caps, Narrator enunciates each individual letter, not the words....

Needs a "rewind" button. Being able to scrub through text, and have the program highlight the currently spoken word would be a big addition for low-vision users.

Again, this application is a big step in the right direfction. But it still needs a lot of fit-and-finish polishing.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.3
user icon+0
Mcloy
Version 2.2.0
> 4 8

Ratings

Overall
(8)
Current Version (2.x)
(8)

Details

Downloads 16,447
Version Downloads 1,829
License Demo
Date 21 Oct 2012
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price $39.95
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