Use Narrator to read interviews

My German localizer, Ulf Dunkel of DSD.net, recently suggested an excellent use for Dejal Narrator. The app was designed with reading out stories using multiple voices in mind, but it's certainly not limited to that. Any text that includes multiple people is a good candidate.

One common case when people are conversing is a web interview. The format is pretty standard: each paragraph represents something one of the participants said, and is prefixed with their name or initials. Narrator's Casting Assistant feature recognizes this format, making it very easy to mark up the text.

When you find an interview you'd prefer to listen to, rather than read — perhaps just so you can rest your eyes, or maybe you want to listen to it on an iPod — you can easily use Narrator to read it out, with different voices for each of of the participants.

Here's how:

  1. Select the interview text in the web browser (e.g. this Macworld interview on iPhone gaming, or this Phorum interview).
  2. Choose Services ▶ Narrator ▶ New Document with Selection from the web browser's application menu.
  3. In Narrator, edit the names at the start of paragraphs, if necessary, to make them consistent (sometimes the first usage is a longer name).
  4. Choose Director ▶ Casting Assistant... (or click the toolbar button).
  5. Click Cast to have Narrator add Characters for the participants.
  6. Change the Actors' voice attributes, if desired.

That's it! You can then export to iTunes if desired, or listen directly in Narrator. A great way to enjoy an interview while doing other activities.