Google Chrome now includes a Text-to-Speech (TTS) API that’s simple to use, powerful, and flexible for users. The TTS API enables developers to implement a speech engine in an extension for Chrome. Already a couple of extensions are available for download from Chrome Web Store that utilizes the TTS API. Among them SpeakIt is an interesting one.
The SpeakIt extension allows Chrome users to select text on a webpage and convert it to speech. The extension uses the Google Network TTS (Text-to-Speech) with language auto-detection, enabling it to read aloud all languages that are supported by Google, with the ability to expand Chrome’s speech capabilities by adding new TTS engines.
SpeakIt can be configured to use either the default SpeakIt voice or the Native voice engine of your operating system. The voice is crisp and very human like. A couple of additional voices are also available. You can adjust the default volume, and some voices also let you adjust pitch and speaking rate
To read aloud text on a page, first select the text you want it to read and then click the SpeakIt icon. When it is ready to read, the number of sentences is shown on the icon and the selected text will be read aloud. To stop listening at any time click pause.