Read Aloud – The single most important Chrome Extension you must have

If you google “most important Chrome extensions” you will arrive at articles providing a list that include extensions such as ad block, awesome screenshot, grammarly and several similar extensions that you will still live comfortably without ever knowing. Sadly, Read Aloud is not one of them.

Ad blocker for example is an extension that no right minded human should use. This is an extension that is meant to deprive those of us who provide free content from ever earning money from the content you do not want to pay for. So why be selfish twice? Despite your ability to live comfortably without the over 180K extensions available for Chrome web browser as of today, Read Aloud Extension is the one extension that once you use, you’ll never want to go without.

Ever since I discovered singularityhub.com which provides a voice option that reads to you their articles, I have wanted to use the same voice in every other article I come across. I tried using some web based text to voice readers but their performance were way below expectation, so I gave up.

Then last night when sleep decided I do not deserve her company I told myself that probably reading an article or two could help bring the sleep home. But when I sat on the couch, fired up the laptop, and opened up an article on AI, I felt tired. I just wanted someone to read for me the damn article. Then I remembered the woman at singularityhub and instantly thought of Chrome extensions. When I searched for a voice reader on Chrome extension I found the Read Aloud Extension, reluctantly installed it thinking it won’t be any different from the web options I had tried earlier, then it surprised me.

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Turning Read Aloud on, the extension immediately highlighted a chuck of text that it would read, then I realised these chunks were blocks of text that the female voice would be reading one at a time. The major criteria for demarcating the texts into blocks is by use of full stop, though I realised there are those blocks that were demarcated by comma, or just arbitrarily. Read Aloud however knows where to make comma pauses, period pauses and a number of other punctuation marks pauses. Sometimes though the pauses may be too long even within sentences that don’t have any punctuation. That together with the over emphasized robotic voice are the downsides I have found with the extension.

Go ahead, Click on the three dots at the extreme upper right of your Chrome browser where usually get settings, go to More tools, Go to extension, click on the three lines at the extreme left within the Extension window, Find Chrome Store at the bottom of that left pane that pops up, search for Read Aloud, install it, then activate it. Let it read for you this article.

Then from there on you may never want to read articles by yourself ever again. To add to its beauty, you can even let it start reading then close the tab, and it will still read all the way to the end.

Note, the extension will read every text including add texts, so you should be ready to skip those simply by clicking at a sentence you want it to start reading from.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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