ReadMeTheText

Extension

What is it?

ReadMeTheText is a chrome extension that uses Google's latest Wavenet text-to-speech technology to read text from a webpage.

Google offers their excellent quality text-to-speech engine used by their assistant apps (like Google Home and Android assistant) as a service.

You can install the extension from the Chrome Store and see source on Github


Common Uses:

  • Read back emails you've typed before you send.

  • Read long articles in the background while you work

  • Select from different languages and voices. Want to hear your text read with an Australian accent? Done.

  • Read text in your clipboard (for pages that prevent right-clicking context menus).

  • Keep track of your usage to help keep you from going over limit.

How it works

You need to sign up for a Google Cloud account to use this extension.

Heavy use of it (currently > 1 million character/month) will incur fees from Google.

This extension uses Google's API service (BETA) to read text out loud.

Google's service is BETA and requires users register for a key to use it. The first 1 million characters per month are free.

Costs

While this extension is free, Google's Text-to-Speech service starts charging when you exceed the monthly limit, so to help you keep under the maximum, it offers basic APPROXIMATE quota tracking.


Instructions for getting your own key from Google Cloud are shown when you first use the extension. They can also be found here:

https://readmethetext.com/helpgettingkey

Privacy

This extension protects your privacy. While it does require text that's converted to speech to be sent to Google's API to do the conversion, this extension has no other mechanism to save/record this text.

Extension permissions explained:

• Context Menu: this allows you to select text in a webpage, then right-click to see a menu. In that menu, you'll see a ReadMeTheText item that will send JUST THE SELECTED TEXT to this extension to be sent over https to Google's text-to-speech service. No other access to page is granted to the extension.

NOTE: You will be using your own Text-to-Speech API key that logs activity, but it's your Google Cloud account.

• Read Clipboard (Optional): if you ever get a page that takes over the right-click context menu, you can simply copy the text into your clipboard, then use a button in the extension to read it. You will be prompted to grant permissions before the extension can read your clipboard.

• Network communications ONLY to <https://texttospeech.googleapis.com>

• If you have chrome settings syncing enabled, your quota and settings will be synced across multiple machines when you're logged into google chrome on all of them. This feature is to help track your usage of the text-to-speech since Google will charge if you go over the free limit.