Do you love reading? I do. But when it comes to reading articles on the web, I prefer listening to them rather than reading. And there are a few reasons for it.
I spend most of my time looking at a screen for work. So if I listen to an article, I don’t have to look at a screen, and I can close my eyes and focus on listening to every word so that I can better understand what’s being said in the article.
Also, despite loving everything about reading, I am a slow reader. My speed is almost half of an average person’s reading speed would be. So, listening to the articles lets me read the article 2x. And if I choose to speed up the reading in these apps, I can read the article even faster, which can be helpful in many situations.
And there are the great thing about listening to articles; you don’t have to be on the same tab. You can be on the other tab, working on something, while listening to the article from the other tab.
Now that I have established why I love listening to articles more than I love to read them, let’s talk about the apps I use daily.
Voice Dream Reader
If you are on a Mac and want this feature. Voice Dream Reader is a nicely designed app that allows you to read web articles.
But it’s not free, and the subscription costs $6 per month. But they do offer a 14-day free trial before charging you a monthly subscription. So you are free to check it out for yourself.
Or move to the other alternatives.
Mac has an inbuilt text-to-speech functionality, and it is free of cost. If you want to use it, highlight the article paragraph, right-click, and click on ‘Start Speaking’ found in ‘Speech.’
But honestly, I wouldn’t say I like the robotic sound. So I have a better alternative which is also free.
Wavenet for Chrome
It is a google chrome extension, so you need to be using google chrome. But the good thing is is google chrome is available for every platform, be it Windows or Mac.
Once you have installed the chrome extension, you will have to generate an API from google cloud services, free. And there are instructions given in the chrome extension itself.
Once you get your API and put it into wavelet from chrome, it works similarly.
Just highlight the paragraph in the article, right-click, and then click on ‘Start Speaking’ found in Wavenet for Chrome.
Pocket App ( iOS and Android)
Suppose you are looking for a similar solution for mobile phones. The best service I have used so far is the pocket app, and it is a read it later app, which is even better.
The good thing is, is there is a chrome extension available for desktops, which lets you save articles in a single click, and it lands in your pocket app on your mobile phone.
So if you come across any article either on a mobile phone or desktop, you can save it in the pocket app. It gives you a clean interface for reading the article and an option of text to speech. The speech is pretty much like a natural human.
I love listening to long articles using this app, and it just feels like I am listening to a podcast. Also, this app is available on both platforms for free. Although there are subscription plans for more features, the ones we are talking about in this article are free.