I’ve written previously about two low cost apps that provide text-to-speech for PDF files on Apple’s iDevices–vBookz PDF Voice Reader, which retains the formatting of the original material, and VoiceReader, which does not retain formatting. This post is about another excellent option that provides text-to-speech for PDF files, as well as for several other file formats.
Voice Dream is a low cost ($4.99) app that provides text-to-speech, with a high quality voice, for files that are opened in it on an iDevice. The app has been optimized for both the iPad and the smaller iPhone or iPod Touch.
Voice Dream reads PDF files well, but its developers say that it will also handle ePub, eBook, MS Word, plain text, Apple Pages, MS PowerPoint, RTF and HTML. I’ve tried it with PDF, .txt, PowerPoint, and HTML, and it handled them all well. It is important to note, however, that all formatting on the original file is lost when the file is brought into Voice Dream.
This app offers additional features that can be helpful. First, each word is highlighted in one color as it is read aloud, while the line is highlighted in another color. The user is able to select white text on a dark background, and text size can be adjusted. Finally, Voice Dream works well with DropBox for importing desired reading material.
Here’s what text looks like as it is being read aloud in Voice Dream.