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NC #620 Apple Watch Swimming, Standard Mac Apps, BrainPort Visualization Through the Tongue, eSight Low Vision Glasses, Non-tech Podcasts, GhostReader, BeatsX

Allister here standing in for Allison this week. I have a miniature review of using the Apple Watch Series 2 for swim workouts, I’ll quickly review 26 Mac Apps you didn’t know you already had, Allison will pop by with two more videos from the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, I’ll make some recommendations for podcasts you might want to listen to that aren’t about technology, Terry delivers on his callout from Allison with a review of GhostReader text to speech software, and I’ll finish up with a review of the BeatsX Bluetooth earbuds with Apple W1 chip.


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GhostReader Text to Speech – Guest Review by Terry Vogelaar

GhostReader screenshotI am Terry from Holland and I would like to do a review of GhostReader from ConvenienceWare. Let me start by the problem to be solved. As a graphic designer, I am often the last person to see a text before it is multiplied in a huge quantity. So I need to be very good in proofreading. But whenever I just want to read, I am still scanning for typo’s, punctuation errors and grammar mistakes. It takes forever for me to finish a book. Fortunately, many books are available as audiobooks. But many other books are not. Of course my Mac comes with text-to-speech capability. For example, Pages can read its text out loud. But it is not easy to pause a long text and continue the next day. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn longer texts into an audiobook? Continue reading “GhostReader Text to Speech – Guest Review by Terry Vogelaar”

1Writer Might Convince Me to Write on an iPad (In Markdown!)

1writer logo sloganYou might have noticed that I write a lot. I write blog posts all week long (in theory publishing them during the week but they seem to pile up towards the end of the week). I also write a monthly column in Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online Magazine. Today I write all of my articles using either my MacBook Pro at my desk with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that I love, or on my MacBook when I’m on the go with the less wonderful but still adequate keyboard.

For the blog I use an app called MarsEdit from red-sweater.com which has long been a favorite amongst bloggers. I write in HTML in MarsEdit and when I’m done I can whoosh the posts up to my blog and publish from there. One advantage of this workflow is that I can partially write a post on one device, whoosh it up as a Draft, and then refresh on MarsEdit on the other Mac and keep writing. I do have to remember to refresh each time to make sure I’m working on the same version but 90% of the time it works for me.

Problem to be solved

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Magically Turn Text Into Podcasts with Narro

Narro in podcasts appI’m going to call this next subject the “Professor Maryanne Problem”. Do you find that you have lots of time where you can listen to podcasts (driving, exercising, vacuuming) but very little time to simply sit still and read long form articles? Or do you find, like me, that you’ve lost the ability to pay attention while reading long form articles? I remember years ago Leo Laporte putting it perfectly when he said, “I’ve lost the will to pay attention. I don’t even want to any more.” That’s me for sure.

Professor Maryanne Garry (you remember her, she ruined everything you believed about your memories) often sends me articles to read that are well beyond my capacity or desire to pay attention. I think my brain is so trained by reading 140 characters that my mind wanders partway through the first paragraph. She mocks me for this. The last article she sent me was 5960 words. Seriously. Who, other than a research professor, has that kind of mental stamina?

Well Jason Goff aka @eske on Twitter found the solution for me. It’s a freemium service called Narro.
Continue reading “Magically Turn Text Into Podcasts with Narro”

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