One thing is certain about the trend in personal computing. It’s going to get a lot friendlier. Siri, the iPhone’s intelligent assistant, is a big hit with customers, and it’s just a matter of time before Siri shows up on your Mac.
In the meantime, your Mac has a few speech capabilities already built in and ready to use.
The free app SpeakToMe uses your Mac’s built-in voices to record an audio version of anything you can type.
SpeakToMe couldn’t be much easier to use. Open it up, start typing what you want the Mac’s voice to speak, select the voice to use, and save the audio.
SpeakToMe doesn’t come with all the voices available for the Mac. In OS X Lion you’ll need to open System Preferences, click on Speech, then Text to Speech, then System Voice, and select Customize to download more voices.
When you’re done, you’ll have dozens of new voices for your Mac, many in different language dialects. Either type directly into SpeakToMe or copy and paste text from another Mac app.
The audio file is saved as an AIFF file so you can import and edit and sweeten the audio in Garageband.