Dejal, a Mac software vendor specializing in utility products, is serving up a new beta version (1.0b1) of Narrator, a Mac OS X application for reading out stories in multiple voices.
The app uses speech synthesis to read out the contents of a text document, using different voices for different parts. You have a range of “actors” that can portray any number of “characters,” so various passages of a document are spoken with differing voices, pitches, inflections, etc. You can have it read out a play or story with appropriate voices and the words are highlighted on-screen. There’s also a silent read-along option for stage directions, or for you to read out your own parts.
Version 1.0b1 is a free download. Narrator requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.