RSVPReaderComparison

RSVP Reader Software Comparison

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I've been strangely fascinated by the concept of Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) for a while. RSVP is a method of reading in which words are flashed on a screen in rapid succession in order to boost reading speeds.

This page hasn't been updated in quite a while, but I'm leaving it up as a reference for anyone interested in the subject. I've personally started using text-to-speech instead of RSVP for a lot of my reading. However, since I wrote up this comparison, I've been very impressed by an open source RSVP reader called Dictator. It has an excellent feature set, runs on multiple platorms, and it's free. I highly recommend giving it a try.

I tested lots of the RSVP programs available trying to find one with all the features that I'd like. Here are the results of some of that testing along with links to a few programs that I haven't yet tested.

Program NameOSpricebrowser integ-
ration
version comparedspeed adjust while readingspeed incre-
ment (words per minute)
multi-word displaysame time document viewsmall windowgood interface *adjustable pausestachisto-
scopic view
exercises or tutorialsnotes
FastReaderWin32freeN1.0Y100NNYYNNNvery basic feature set
RapidReaderWin32$24.95Y4.0gY25NNNNNNNbottom of screen cut off in text view mode when using a double height task bar
WinBlitWin32$20Y2.4N1 (fixations per minute)YYYNYYNdemo has limited features; very good browser integration; sometimes doesn't display apostropheses correctly
AceReaderWin32$50NPro 2.3Y1 or 100YNYYYYYdemo is slightly crippled
RocketReaderWin32$60           not yet tested
Universal ReaderWin32$20N2.3 (demo)Y YNYNY Ybuggy; causes other programs to flash in the background when not running in full screen mode
Letter Chase Speed ReaderWin32$21         Y not yet tested
Program NameOSpricebrowser integ-
ration
version comparedspeed adjust while readingspeed incre-
ment (words per minute)
multi-word displaysame time document viewsmall windowgood interface *adjustable pausestachisto-
scopic view
exercises or tutorialsnotes
Rapid Reader PalmPalm$25N/A1.3 (for Palm OS 3.0-3.3)Y25NNN/AYNNNversion 3.5 (for Palm OS 3.5 +) is also available, but I have not reviewed it
Quartus RSVPpalmfree?, but requires Quartus Forth ($69.95)           not yet tested
RSVP for OS XMac OS Xfree?Nalpha 2003-06-21Y7-8NNNNNNNvery minimal interface
Speed Reader PlusPocket PC$20N/A    YN/A YY not yet tested; data from screenshots online
GnomeRSVPgnome (linux)free           not yet tested
GNU sviewgnome (linux)free           not yet tested
FlashReaderjavascript (multi-OS)freeY?Y100NY & NYYNNNvery small portable javascript to include in web pages for RSVP view
GutenFlashpython (multi-OS?)free           not yet tested
Program NameOSpricebrowser integ-
ration
version comparedspeed adjust while readingspeed incre-
ment (words per minute)
multi-word displaysame time document viewsmall windowgood interface *adjustable pausestachisto-
scopic view
exercises or tutorialsnotes
jRSVPjava (multi-OS)freeN1.1.5Y1 (MS delay)NNYNNNNcan read PDFs; to run, try the command line below**
MindFireLinux
Windows
OS X
freeNN/AY1-100YYYN/AYNNinformation supplied by program's author; I haven't tested MindFire myself

* yes, it's subjective


** to run jRVSP, try the following command line:

 java -cp c:\YOURPATH\jrsvp;Multivalent.jar;JFontChooser.jar;jrsvp_1_1_5.jar net.jpmdesign.rsvp.Rsvp

(replace YOURPATH with the path where jrsvp is stored)


TO ADD


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Page last modified on March 11, 2007, at 11:33 PM EST