New software lets people listen to their emails and Word documents

Busy executives and other people on the go can now turn all of their emails and Word documents into mp3s with MagneticTime's MT1 program. The text is 'audioized' by MT1 and then read by the program's female voice "Heather". MT1 synchronizes the files to the user's mobile device and even hooks into iTunes.

After installation, an extra MT toolbar is placed on top of the user's Outlook, Outlook Express or Word program. With the added toolbar users can convert the file or email an mp3 file. Multiple emails can be converted by selecting many emails with the shift key and then clicking the conversion icon. Karen Thomas, a PR agency rep for MagneticTime, told us that each email takes a fraction of a second to convert.

Thomas converted and played one email over the phone for us. Unlike other voice conversion programs with robotic sounding voices, MT1's "Heather" is understandable and usually gets pronunciation right. While no one will mistake Heather for a real human voice, it is a marked improvement over what we have heard in the past.

The MP3s are placed into a library and can then be transferred over to a mobile device or played directly from the desktop computer. The program currently handles only English language text, but the website hints that future versions could support other languages.

Buyers can purchase the version that is appropriate for their device: iPod, cellular phone or PDA. MT1 costs about $40.