If you’ve used Windows computers for awhile, I’m sure most of you (if not all of you) have heard of Microsoft Sam. The text to speech engine that shipped with Windows was atrociously bad at pronouncing words you could recognize, but nevertheless it pretty much laid down the foundation of things to come. It’s been many years since Microsoft Sam was introduced, and breakthroughs in technology has allowed better text to speech to develop. Panopreter has just released a new version of their award winning dictation software – Panopreter Plus. Their text to speech software is touted to read text aloud with natural sounding voices and convert text to spoken files in mp3 and wave file formats, giving users the ability to bring their documents with them wherever they go in audio form. A definite boon for the visually-impaired yet literature-fond crowd. Panopreter Plus also makes surfing a breeze with its Internet Explorer toolbar to offer text to speech conversion on the fly. Panopreter are offering a free 30-day trial on their website for Panopreter Plus ($29.95 to buy) though they also have a Panopreter Basic version for free if you’re not interested in all the extra bells and whistles. If you’ve ever needed a text to speech program that does better than Microsoft Sam, you can do no harm to give it a shot. Head here for more details.