I started using the Capti Voice Narrator app several years ago when looking for a way to listen to files or Bookshare books on a more portable device. While I prefer to read materials in large print whenever possible, I was interested in finding a way to listen to documents on an iPod Touch either with headphones or by connecting it to a smart speaker, and one of the assistive technology specialists at my college recommended I try out Capti to see if it would work well for my needs. Here is my review of how I use the Capti Voice Narrator app with low vision, and how it compares to other reading applications.
Capti Voice Narrator app description
Capti Voice Narrator allows users to import documents, websites, and eBooks to be read out loud with text-to-speech and/or displayed in large print. It requires a free account to use, though there is also a premium plan available for $18 USD per year that allows users to create additional playlists and store larger files. Capti Voice Narrator is available for iOS devices, as a web browser application, and as a Chrome web browser extension (which can be used with Chromebooks) and has integration with Bookshare, various cloud storage providers, Pocket, and Instapaper.
- Capti Voice on the App Store (apple.com)
- Fast Facts About Bookshare
- Pocket App Accessibility For Visual Impairment
- Capti Voice – Chrome Web Store (google.com)
Loading books and documents into Capti
To add content to Capti:
- Open the Capti app and select the “Add Track” icon, which is a green plus sign on the bottom of the screen
- Choose the desired file source- this can be a website, copied link, content already saved to the device, or an item from a connected cloud storage drive/library
- The item will be added to the end of the current playlist
Capti supports the following file types:
- PDF (.pdf)
- Word (.doc, .docx)
- PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
- Plain text/rich text (.txt, .rtf)
- EPUB (.epub)
- OpenDocument (.odt, .odp)
- DAISY books (.zip)
- HTML/website articles (.html)
- Bookshare titles
The maximum file size is 10MB with the free plan, while the paid plan supports files up to 100MB.
- Common File Types For Vision Impairment and Print Disabilities
- How I Organize Digital Files For My Classes
- How I Document Accessibility Preferences With Low Vision
Capti Voice Narrator organizes text content into playlists that can be listened to one track at a time or played continuously, similar to chapters in an audiobook. Users have the option to listen to a text-to-speech synthesized voice read the text, or to read content with a simplified reading display.
While the app supports large print text within the reading display window, the Capti app itself does not support Dynamic Text and does not have large print sizes for menus, which is frustrating for users that prefer to use large print. However, text menus can be enlarged with Magnifier and are fully accessible with VoiceOver.
Capti text and audio settings
Capti supports the following audio settings, which can be configured either on the device homescreen or by opening a track in the playlist:
- Speech rate with words per minute listed (up to 500 WPM)
- Built-in TTS voices for multiple languages/regions
- Additional voices available for download from Acapela Group, NeoSpeech, and Ivona Software
Capti also supports the following text settings, which can be configured by opening a track in the playlist:
- Eight text sizes, including large font sizes
- Seven different fonts, including OpenDyslexic
- Wide text spacing
- Color themes/tinted backgrounds
- In addition, the pinch-to-zoom gesture also works for enlarging text
- Word tracking/highlight
- My Eight Favorite Free Fonts For Print Disabilities
- Choosing High Contrast Color Schemes For Low Vision
How I configure Capti Voice Narrator for my own use
I primarily use Capti Voice Narrator to listen to articles on an iPod Touch or iPad that is connected either to headphones or to an Amazon Echo Dot speaker via Bluetooth. I prefer to copy articles from the web browser on my device using the “copied link” feature and use the colorful buttons on the bottom of the screen to navigate between tracks/documents, as I cannot read any of the text labels.
My favorite features of Capti include:
- The length of the audio track is displayed on the playlist, so I can plan for how long it will take me to read something at my preferred reading speed
- I can load articles or other text content from any website and follow along with the text on a simplified display that’s easier to read
- Documents can be navigated by sections or easily deleted when finished
Due to the lack of Dynamic Text support, I don’t use Capti as my default reading application as I prefer the larger display sizes of other reading apps, but on days where I am relying heavily on VoiceOver or want to load several articles onto a portable device, I find the Capti app works well for my needs.
Summary of Capti Voice Narrator app for low vision
- Capti Voice Narrator is an iOS app for listening to documents, books, and web articles. The app offers a fully functional free version with a required account, as well as an $18/year paid plan for larger file sizes and multiple playlists
- Capti supports multiple popular file types including PDF, Word, HTML, DAISY, and others.
- Text content is read out loud with a voice synthesizer and can also be displayed with a simplified reading display so users can follow along as they listen to the audio
- Capti supports VoiceOver and Zoom magnifier, but not Dynamic Text
- Reading speed, TTS voice, font size/style, and line tracking/spacing can be customized to fit user needs
- The Capti app is a great solution for users who prefer to listen to documents and follow along with text while reading.