Alien Speech is a free and simple text-to-speech software tool that uses a synthetic voice engine installed in your system to read aloud text files or text passages you type in directly. It can read a whole document or just a selected fragment. Its basic functionality will allow you to perform simple editing tasks and customize the pitch and speed of the synthetic voice.
This program is basically a notepad with additional text-to-speech functionality. Actually, notepads offer much more functionality than what you find in Alien Speech. This tool will merely let you cut, copy, paste, and delete text, thus making it more of a note-taking tool than a text editor. The possibility of reading aloud any typed-in text may help you proof-read your own writings before sharing them or sending them out. As for existing text files, plain ASCII is the preferred format, though it does support HTML files too. Note, however, that if you open an HTML file directly from Alien Speech, it will read both the text and the HTML tags. Thus, unless you are interested in how HTML files are coded, it is advisable to copy the text from your browser and paste it into the program’s window.
As for the audio functionality itself, you can only control the speed and the pitch of the synthetic voice. These are normally enough to ensure an acceptable reading experience, but regrettably all settings are reset every time you close the program. Thus, every time you use it, you will need to adjust both the speed and the pitch to fit your preferences. Another notable limitation is that the program will not give you the opportunity to select different voices for different texts (provided you have more than one installed in your system).
Regardless of its limitations, this free text-to-speech tool may certainly prove to be very useful when you just need to have a small portion of plain text read aloud, such as notes, addresses, memos, e-mails, and so on.