Voice Dream Reader

Last modified
Friday, March 6, 2020
Category

Description of App

Featured as Best New App in 81 countries including the United States and Apple App Store Permanent Collections in Education. “This app is one of the best educational finds of my entire career.” - Forbes “As a user myself and as a mother of a child with dyslexia, I am blown away by the features of Voice Dream.” - Quartz “Voice Dream Reader is hailed by many as the best mobile text-to-speech (TTS) app.” - Examiner Supported Document Formats - PDF, Plain text, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, RTF, and Google Docs. - Web articles. - EPUB eBooks. (DRM-free books only. Kindle and iBooks are not supported.) - Bookshare Books. - DAISY text-based books and audiobook. - Audiobooks in MP3, MP4 or zipped MP3 format. - Experimental rich text and image support for all documents. Text-to-Speech - One premium Acapela voice of your choice free with the purchase of the app. - 36 built-in iOS voices in 27 languages are also available for free. - 200+ additional premium voices in 30 languages from Acapela, NeoSpeech and Ivona available through in-app purchases. - Correct pronunciation with your own pronunciation dictionary. - All voices work offline and play in the background even with the screen locked. Reading Styles - Tee-up a list of articles and play while you drive, walk or run. - Spoken word is highlighted to improve comprehension and retention. - Auto-scrolling and full screen, distraction-free mode to help reader focus. - Finger reading. For beginners to read by at running a finger under each word. - Pac-Man. Harvard and MIT developed speed-reading method for everyone to read at 2x speed with no loss of comprehension. - High contrast and large font size for low vision readers. - Optimized for VoiceOver, Braille and switch control. Tools - Bookmarking, text highlighting and annotation. Highlights and notes can be exported as text. - Full-text search. - Built-in dictionary. - Skip text in PDF header and footer. Content Sources - Native support for Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote. - Native access to Bookshare. - Safari extension to save Web pages and Web addresses. - Support for Box and OneDrive via iOS Document Picker. Library Synchronization - Your entire library, including folders, reading locations, bookmarks and annotations are synchronized across all your devices using iCloud Drive. *IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not possible to load DRM protected ebooks. All books purchased on iBooks, Kindle and other commercial eBook platforms have DRM.

Version

4.10.2

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

This is a very accessible app, and the developers seem truly committed to improving it. Organizing content is somewhat difficult and may require sighted assistance, but downloading and reading content works very well. As of the latest release, 2.7.2, the developer has fixed the issues noted below with regards to the inaccessibility of the text box. It is now possible to read by words, characters and lines through the text with voiceOver.

iOS Version

13.3.1

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

The samples for peter (happy) and peter (sad) which previously did not play are now working properly.

Developer's Twitter Username

@voicedreamapp

Recommendations

28 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Lit Xuan 5 days 22 hours ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Monday, September 16, 2013

The developer of Voice Dream Reader has posted the following warning on their Facebook page:

Bad news, good news and great news! Bad news: current version of Voice Dream Reader does not work on iOS 7. Apple dropped a few things that will break many apps. Good news: I just submitted a new release to Apple that will support iOS 7. Hopefully it'll be out in 1 week. Great news: The new release will make all 36 iOS 7 built-in VoiceOver voices available in Voice Dream Reader, for free. By the way, in iOS 7, you can "enhance" any VoiceOver voice. The quality is much better. But please, do not upgrade to iOS 7 until after you download next release, 2.8.3!

Submitted by Tangela on Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's new in v. 2.3.8 Sep 16, 2013, - iOS 7 support. - All VoiceOver voices in all languages, including enhanced voice, are available for free. IOS 7 only.

Just to clarify, Voiceover does *not* use Siri's new voices in iOS7. So, VDR cannot access them either, it can only use the usual HQ voices that have been around for a few years. When I read the changelog a few days ago, I got all excited, thinking we could read with the new Siri voice, but that is not the case. I'm not blaming the developer, I'm just clarifying things so others are not surprised. I guess I'm back to waiting on Ivona voices to arrive...

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Saturday, September 28, 2013

I don't know how to get the built-in voices to show up. If there is a setting I have to enable, it's very well hidden. When I click the "voice settings" button, only Heather is in there for English and Spanish and Chinese are not in the language list. How do I enable this?

Submitted by mehgcap on Saturday, September 28, 2013

To enable the built-in iOS7 voices, just go to settings, the Voice Store (NOT Manage My Voices). There are tabs along the bottom; double tap iOS Built In and you should find all the voices.

Does this mean that with these built in voices they can be used across the whole OS? Just not restrictive to the app itself. Please if I'm wrong, someone correct me. Thanks Daniel

The HQ voices can be used by Voiceover, of course. Apps can also use them, as of iOS7, but any app wishing to do so must build that support in, it will not be automatically enabled by iOS.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, October 24, 2013

I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet, but it sounds pretty neat. What's New in Version 2.9.0 This major release significantly improves usability for VoiceOver users: - Incredibly easy-to-use text selection mechanism. Copy to clipboard, lookup words in the dictionary, highlight, and add your own notes. - Extensive use of new and innovative "swipe-enabled" buttons for VoiceOver users. Swipe the Voice Settings button to change the speed rate. Rewind and Fast Forward are built into the Play-Pause button as up and down swipes. - The text slider that moves the speech cursor by 5% has been modified so that swiping up moves toward the beginning of the text. The directions have been reversed from previous releases so that it now behaves the same way as the other swipe-enabled controls. For iOS 7, you can double tap the slider to enter a percent value. Plus delicious goodies for everyone: - Experimental support for MP3 audio books. Yes, it remembers where you leave off just like text. And you make add bookmarks. - Pronunciation dictionary import and export. View the entire pronunciation dictionary in an editable text window, allowing editing, copying, and pasting, plus exporting to another app like Dropbox and share it with others via email. - Launching Voice Dream Reader from Mobile Safari. Create a bookmark with the following URL. Next time you select this bookmark, it'll open the current web page in Voice Dream Reader: javascript:window.location="com.voicedream.reader://open?url="+window.location - Change speech rate on the fly with two-finger up or down swipes. (Not for VoiceOver users). - Fixed several problems with using iOS 7 built-in voices. - A lot of the minor improvements and bug fixes. Thanks for spreading the word on Voice Dream Reader so that we can continue to develop new features and release them to you for free.

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yet more shiny new features for us all to enjoy: What's New in Version 2.9.2 
  • Support for DAISY 2.02 audiobooks.
  • Support for audiobooks as zipped MP3 files. (1)
  • Support for large library of books. (2)
  • Improved PDF text extraction with better detection of spaces.
  • Fixed problem with using remote control with iOS 7 voices.
Notes: 
  1. Zipped MP3s create a single book item in Voice Dream. The name of the ZIP file becomes the title, and each MP3 file becomes a chapter with the name of the file as chapter name. Please make sure the MP3 file names are sorted in the same order as it appears in the book.
  2. Many people use Voice Dream as their library with thousands of books, resulting very large databases. This release changes how the content is stored so that future database updates will be smooth and trouble-free.

Hi. You said the accessibility features of iOS are not well documented. Try this link: www.applevis.com/information-app-developers

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hi all, just to say I asked Winston about adding ivona voices to voice dream reader, and he said that ivona wouldn't talk to him about adding them to his app, and that he thought that ivona weren't supporting adding voices to ios apps. I contacted ivona and found out that they are still definitely supporting ios as they replied to me in a few minutes and even sent me information about there sdk. I told Winston over twitter that ivona were still supporting ios, just thought people might want to know so if they feel like it they could drop Winston a polite email or twitter message so he knows there is still demand for more voices in voice dream reader. Ivona can be a bit hit and miss about replying to messages, so I think he just needs to try to contact them again. I contacted them using there business contact form, I also offered to send him the information ivona sent to me.

That's good. I think you should just forward the info ivona sent to you to the app dev nd see where that ties you. good luck. and let us know as ivona would be cool, I just hope they don't charge $100 or even $20 as that's a bit tight for me. $2 or $3 would be fair.

Submitted by Winston Chen on Saturday, November 30, 2013

I appreciate your help on Ivona. Rest assured that I've done all I can. I spent almost 6 months working with them on a contract. Finally with a contract acceptable to their legal team, they stopped responding to my emails. Regardless of what's said on their website or that you got a robo response, Clearly someone high up there is for practical purposes stopping iOS support. Remember they're owned by Amazon now and is a competitive advantage for Kindle.

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, November 30, 2013

In reply to by Winston Chen

Aah, I see, that is a real shame, I guess perhaps ivona still support ios directly but don't support apps that would be a direct competitor to kindle. As you say the fact they stop replying after 6 months does suggest that someone high up decided they didn't want ivona in the app.

What a shame. When did ivona get bought by amazon? and that is a shame as amazon loves to brake things in terms of accessibility. Just my not so humble opinion and thoughts. Tc and be blessed.

Submitted by falcon wings on Sunday, December 1, 2013

In reply to by Winston Chen

I would like to second alex on what a shame it is that they haven't replyed,but as for IOS support a app called capti narrator has ivona voices so a ios sdk does exists or at least they are willing to support some apps. Voice dream reader is awesome,I am sure you already know, but the only reason I at least haven't bought this app are the voices. I guess its a matter of preference but I just can't stand the voiceover voices and the akapela ones when it comes to reading books,and since this app is for reading books and such... Anyway,enough of my rambleings,alas for ivona or this would've been a perfect app for me. falcon wings

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Sunday, December 1, 2013

In reply to by falcon wings

didn't I read some ware in this thread that they also have the neo speech voices. I also like those as well. Good luck and be blessed.

I only bought the app because it was suggested that ivona was coming to it. I actually don't use the app at all because of the lack of ivona voices, I just don't like any of the other options for reading text with it which is a shame. I guess it looks like I will have to stick to converting my books electronically to mp3 read by ivona. It just seems a shame that this is the situation we find ourselves in, I wonder if ivona got enough emails from app users if that might make them reconsider, just seems a shame to give up given that a deal had practically been worked out, I know that the company is now owned by amazon etc, but actually I don't see voice dream reader as being a direct threat to the kindle as unless you remove drm from amazon purchased kindle books they can't be read in the app anyway and have to be read with amazons official kindle app or on a kindle device, also of course its not like voices would be being given away for free, capti narrator charges £3.99 for its ivona voices I would be happy to pay a bit more than that for ivona voices if that's what it took to have them in voice dream reader.

Actually the kindle e reader can read more then kindle books, but pdfs and other formats including I believe text files so it would be like a competitor and amazon apparently would not like this which makes sense from a business stand point. take care and I don't think emails would help as 6 months ago they decided not support that many iOS devices. Tc.

I've just updated this app, and one of the new features is the James voice from NeoSpeech. I'm really liking this voice; previously, I'd been using Heather from Acapela, just because I loved Voice Dream and Heather seemed like the best option. But with the James voice, I'm completely comfortable with the app now.

MM I like James as a voice, the sample in voice dream reader sounds nice and smooth, I found allot of the other neo speech voices sounded pretty bad, but I may have to buy James just to see what he's like reding books. I still like my ivona voices, but James does sound quite good, though I have a feeling I might find the strong American accent a little annoying after a while. I have been hunting for a windows demo of the James voice that I could try on my computer, but can't find one, the neo speech site really doesn't seem to make it easy to buy windows voices, anyone know where I can get trial versions of there voices?

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's New in Version 2.9.3

- New voice: James from NeoSpeech. It's now our favorite US male voice.
- Collapse or expand DAISY hierarchies by selecting a level.
- Support for encrypted DAISY audiobooks. In the previous version, the chapters were ordered incorrectly.
- Fixed: Edited text is now immediately visible.
- Fixed: Pausing issues with iOS 7 built-in voices. Please upgrade to iOS 7.0.4.
- Fixed: Problems handling audio interruptions.
- Minor bug fixes and improvements.

 

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Monday, January 13, 2014

What's New in Version 2.9.4 Happy New Year from Voice Dream! We're working hard on some awesome new features. Please join us on Twitter, Facebook, or just send us an email to stay informed. This release contains minor enhancements and bug fixes: - Enabled social media sharing options for audiobooks. - Voice download is more reliable. - Fixed: iOS voices couldn't be paused using remote control. - Fixed: iOS built-in voices couldn't be set as preferred voices. - Fixed: After stopping at the end of document, Play-Pause button remained as Pause. - Fixed: Saving dictionary entries in text mode removed entries in other languages. - Fixed: Incomplete In-App purchases could result in crashing.

Submitted by alex wallis on Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hi, just a heads up, it has been announced that 4 Ivona voices will be available in the next version, Salli, Joey, Amy, and Brian. Hopefully we will get a full set eventually.

That's very good news, as I had been led to believe that Voice Dream Reader was unlikely to get Ivona voices. I have both Amy and Brian on my PC, and I enjoy listening to both of them read text, so it'll be good to have them in a future version of Voice Dream Reader as well. Plus here's hoping that non-English Ivona voices will also make it to Voice Dream Reader eventually!

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, March 14, 2014

Version 3.0 of this app just came out. It offers full support for all Daisy versions, improved PDF rendering, braille display fixes, easier text selection, and more. One of the biggest new features is the four Ivona voices, two American and two British, now offered for $4.99 each - Sally, Joey, Brian, and Amy. It is a free update, so go get it, and happy reading!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, March 15, 2014

wow! Tha'ts cool they final added the ivona voices. I love those voices very much! As of now I don't need the app, but at least it is in my wish list should I need it later in my college career.

Submitted by Brooke on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm so excited to now have Salli as my primary voice for this app. Thank you to the developer for all his hard work and dedication!

Submitted by Jen on Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sally and Tracy are my favorite voices, but I can't say enough how glad I am that we have so many options! Huge thanks to the developer for creating such an amazing app with so many useful features!

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I was reading a file the other day with Ivona Brian, and noticed that large amounts of text were being skipped. Has anyone else noticed this problem? It does not seem to happen with the other voices I use, aka Neospeech James as an example.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In reply to by sockhopsinger

Have you tried this with several file formats of large size that voice dream reader supports to see if the bug still occurs with the ivona voice you use? I don't use the app but just trying to help here.

Take care.

Submitted by Winston Chen on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In reply to by sockhopsinger

Since the release, I found some issues with the Ivona voices when it encounter abnormal characters. After that, the highlight becomes off from the sound. Some of these characters are visible, like "à", sometimes it's not. I caught a bunch of them before release and now I'm finding more. These will be fixed in a future update. I also found that very old devices speaking at high speed could lead to skipping, but that has not been consistent. If you encounter skipping and can reliably reproduce where it starts to skip, please email me with the document and the location at support@voicedream.com

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hi Winston, I sent you a support email a few days ago but haven't heard from you, so posting my question hear in hopes of a response. My question is is there a folder I can copy and paste files to within the Voice dream reader app which will then automatically detect them and add them to the library? I don't like using iTunes to sync files to my iPhone and I also don't like using dropbox. I have a program called phone disk which will allow me to access the voice dream reader app folder on my iPhone so I can access the documents folder and several other folders as well. This program doesn't need a jailbreak and simply mounts the Voice dream reader folder as if it were a drive on my computer, so with it I can copy and paste files to various directories without having to use iTunes. I have tried doing this with several folders in the Voice dream reader app but the app hasn't detected files when I manually copy and paste them into different locations. If this is currently not a feature, would you please consider adding it as I hate iTunes and want to use it as little as possible for transferring files to apps.

Submitted by Winston Chen on Friday, March 21, 2014

Voice Dream does not automatically detect files you added. But you can add files to the main documents folder using whatever tool you like, and then go to Add - iTunes to add the files.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, March 21, 2014

Oh that's great, thanks for clearing that up. I avoid all apps that force me to use iTunes to sync files, very happy now. I have noticed that Voice downloads are very unstable, I am on an OK internet connection about 4 mbps, but whenever I download a voice I get errors at least two or three times during a download then I have to fiddle around with restarting the app until I can get the download button to work again then downloads usually resume, its definitely not an issue with my internet connection. I do have a question regarding importing of files, can I copy hole directory structures to the documents folder? or must all files simply be placed in the root of the documents folder? I have all my books neatly organised into folders so it would be quite simple for me to just copy a folder with lots of other folders inside it into documents. As an experiment I just tried adding an epub file to voice dream, I put it in documents then used the iTunes option, my file was detected so I pressed the load option. Voice dream then exited and restarted, and at that point everything that came bundled with the app had vanished and my book wasn't listed either. I tried tapping the refresh button and tried using the search option but neither helped, and when I tapped all items no results were returned, so I am assuming some sort of corruption has taken place?

With very large files, even occasional issues with your internet connection can be a problem. So yes, it is with your connection, because I'm not doing anything special: I use Amazon's tools to download from Amazon S3 which hosts the voice files. You must copy individual files to the documents folder. But you can do a mass import in Voice Dream. I'm guessing that your crash has to do with a known bug for importing into a user folder rather than All Items. Use All Items for import for now. This bug will be fixed in an update coming out this weekend. Unless you believe your question is relevant to the many other people on Apple Vis, please write me at support@voicedream.com. Bare with me. I get a lot of emails everyday. I try to answer every email but occasionally one slips. And I'm sure you would prefer me to spend more time to make the app better.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, March 21, 2014

What's New in Version 3.0.1

- Fixed: Loading files directly into a folder
- Fixed: App exits running the first time after update
- Fixed: iOS voice responsiveness

 

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Friday, March 21, 2014

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Does that mean it is going to fix the issues with the Ivona voices skipping text? I, for one, haven't noticed any problems with the iOS responsiveness other than the Ivona voices, and that doesn't seem iOS related to me. Just curious.

Submitted by Winston Chen on Friday, March 21, 2014

The occasional skipping of Ivona voices will be fixed in the next release. Coming in about 1 week.

Submitted by John Gurd on Saturday, March 22, 2014

This app is amazing and makes reading a real pleasure. I use it every day and with the new voices it just gets better and better. I have an iPhone 5s but a friend has the 4S. Will the new Ivona voices work okay on her 4S?

Submitted by Jen on Sunday, March 23, 2014

I have a 4S, and the IVona voices seem to work fine. I don't have them all, but I imagine if one works well, the others will too.

Submitted by Steve Holmes on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I tried to use Voice Dream with my Refreshabraille 18 today with the latest version of the app on my iOS 7.1 iPad Mini. Unfortunately, the text box is always empty on the display but all the other controls and elements show up fine on the display and are spoken clearly. Do I need to configure something in order to use a Braille display in the text area?

Submitted by Sof on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hi, If the text box stays empty, it's certainly because you're trying to use your Braille display while the TTS is speaking. Having said that, even if it's not the case, the text box is not optimized to be used with a Braille display. You'll be able to read the portion of text displayed on the screen when the TTS is not speaking but after having read this text portion, you'll land on the interface controls. I don't think there's a way to scroll efficiently to the next portion of text and even though it was the case, those portions are too small to give the user a pleasant experience with a braille display. You may enlarge this portion by selecting the smallest font in the display settings but it is not definitely ideal. I guess the text box's container should be redesigned like the one used in iBooks and I don't know if it's even easily doable by the dev. Let us know if you find a way.

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, March 27, 2014

As the whole point of Voice Dream is that you can use it to listen to either TTS reading a text or an audio version of it being played, I can understand some of the text in this app not being readable by a braille display. If you'd rather use a braille display to read, you're better off with Kindle or iBooks: just my opinion! But, if Voice Dream's controls can be operated with a braille display, you could perhaps set the app to skip through the text by sentence or paragraph to make it easier to find your place in the text, otherwise you can skip by a length of time such as 15 seconds if you prefer that. As I have never used an i-device with a braille display, I have no idea whether you can work with those settings in braille, but it makes sense to me that the text you're reading with Voice Dream isn't readable with braille, as that's not the purpose of the app.

Submitted by Steve Holmes on Thursday, March 27, 2014

I see in a most recent change log that we can expand and collaps DAISY sections. I find that on the list of navigation unit choices, while reading a DAISY book from bookshare, chapter; I would have thought that I could some how collaps the list of chapters to just level 1 and so on. Is there a way to actually do this? I tried all the controls and can't find a way to do this. I think the only other app where this is remotely possible is with the NLS BARD app.

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's probably useful for some people to know that the Ivona voices are cheaper in Capti Narrator than in Voice Dream Reader, but, having just read the description of Capti Narrator on the AppleVis website, it seems to me that it has a lot less uses than Voice Dream, as Capti Narrator only reads web pages, whereas Voice Dream can read texts in several different formats, regardless of whether they come from the Internet, plus Voice Dream can handle some audio content where it plays the audio rather than using text-to-speech. I haven't used Capti Narrator myself so I wouldn't dare compare the two apps in general, but I personally don't feel the need to get Capti Narrator after reading its app description, I'll stick with Voice Dream Reader myself, even if that means I end up spending more money.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What's New in Version 3.0.3

All Ivona voices are now available:
-US English: Kendra, Ivy (Child), Kimberly, Jennifer, Eric, and Chipmunk
-British English: Emma
-Welsh English: Geraint and Gwyneth
-Australian English: Nicole and Russell
-Indian English: Reveeena
-Plus Ivona voices for Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Welsh, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish, Romanian and Icelandic.