ElevenLabs Launches Reader, A Text-to-Audio App

ElevenLabs Launches Reader, A Text-to-Audio App

ElevenLabs has launched a new Reader app that turns written content into audio using AI-generated voices. The startup is selling the app as a way to safely access articles, books, and documents in situations where reading from a screen is impractical or unsafe, such as during a commute.

ElevenLabs is the state-of-the-art when it comes to synthetic voices—they sound incredible and are virtually indistinguishable from real human voices. It makes sense that the company is touting its AI voice library as a key differentiator. In the app you can choose from a diverse selection of options (I stopped counting at 100) to customize your listening experience. Thankfully, you can filter voices by gender, age or use case and sort by different categories.

The app is free to download and free to use for the first 3 months. It's currently only available in English for iOS users in the US, UK, and Canada (Android is coming soon). ElevenLabs says they will be adding support for 29+ languages soon followed by a global rollout.

Beta testers have responded positively to the app. Many noted the quality and consistency of the voices, especially for longer texts. Some visually impaired users found the app particularly useful, with one describing it as very helpful for accessing print material.

However, did ElevenLabs really need to launch its own app? Popular apps like Pocket, Matter, and Instapaper already offer similar text-to-speech capabilities. Moreover, Apple now provides native support for "Listen to Page" in Safari.

We'll see whether their standalone app will gain traction in a crowded market. Yes, their focus on voice quality and selection may appeal to some users, but it will need to offer significant advantages over existing solutions to stand out.

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