mAloud UWP flawed but worth watching - or listening to!

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'mAloud' (reading the Web out loud) has been a longstanding app in the Windows Phone world and this is a full Windows 10 UWP version, including Continuum support - but what is it, why might you want it, and why might you want to wait until the developer has (cough) actually finished it?

From the Store description:

  • Listen to the web with mAloud: articles, news, blogs, web email, product reviews, wikipedia, etc. you name it.
  • Tap on a paragraph and click play to start listening. Play, fast forward, pause and rewind between paragraphs so you have absolute control of how you listen to the web.
  • Play, fast forward, pause and rewind between paragraphs so you have absolute control of how you listen to the web.

As mAloud has always done, the basics work fine here. Open a web page or (in recent versions) a PDF document and then tap the play icon. You're off and listening. Or at least you are until the phone screen goes off - see the note below!


Bringing up a web page, mAloud is a regular browser at heart, but with audio playback controls at the bottom. Text to speech, at the speed of your choice, is used to read the page out loud, complete with auto-scroll when the reading gets to the bottom of the screen....


The same is true for PDF files (open it via 'Document Properties'), find the page you want and then start mAloud reading (this PDF is from David Wood's book, by the way), I found the text easy to understand at the 'Fast' reading speed, though some words kept tripping it up.

The biggest flaw in all this is that reading stops when the phone screen powers down, i.e. the usual lockscreen timeout - so if you want to use mAloud properly then you'll want to set a long display timeout. Which may be an issue for some people in terms of power saving, not least because the screen is on and drawing power all the while reading is taking place - there's no background mode because of the compute-intensive text-to-speech process.

Secondly, this is a commercial application, only a couple of dollars, but still - what the heck are the intrusive top-of-screen ads doing there? As the usual colloquialism goes, WTF? The developer either needs to go full-on commercial, with a $5 (say) price or else be free and with ads. He can't have his cake and eat it too!

And while mAloud is being tweaked, put in an over-ride for the lockscreen time-out - it's trivial to do.

Source / Credit: Buy from the Store