As a high-school student, I was very fond of reading literature books both fiction and non-fiction. But after school was over, life makes you so busy that you seldom find any spare time to read any new books. You read about the new and upcoming books in newspapers or magazines, but you cannot find time to read them yourself. Last year I managed to read only one book and that too during the vacations.
This is why people are turning towards audiobooks more and more. You do not have read them yourself, just put earphones in your ears and listen to any audiobook when you are commuting everyday. Microsoft has realized this changing trend and this is why they have added a “Read Aloud” feature in their Edge web browser using which you can make it read any webpage aloud.
Edge is installed by default in Windows 10 and all you have to do is open any webpage and use this new feature to start listening to webpages. It used the built-in text-to-speech engine voices David, Hazel and Zira to read any text for your listening pleasure (I like Zira’s voice myself). So now you can sit back on your couch and let Edge do all the reading for you.
After opening a webpage that contains a lot of text in Edge web browser, you can select “Read Aloud” from the Edge browser menu. You can find a treasure cove of ebooks that you can make Edge read easily on the Project Gutenberg site. They have hundreds of thousands of ebooks in a number of formats – for Edge Read Aloud, you can choose plain text format.
By default, Edge will read all the text on a webpage from beginning to end. If you want it to read aloud text from a particular point on, then you can select and right-click on that part and then choose “Read Aloud” from the context-menu. But even if you select some text, it continues to read-aloud everything starting from there to the end of the webpage.
When Edge is reading text aloud, an additional bar appears in your web browser using which you can pause, skip ahead or go back in the text. You can also select a voice for reading your text aloud and change the reading speed (make it slow or fast).
Read Aloud feature is a welcome addition to the Edge browser, but it would be wonderful if Microsoft added more natural voices and the ability to save the text into audio format like MP3 for later listening.