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Author Topic: Text-To-Speech Freeware?  (Read 5872 times)
siouxdax
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« on: June 30, 2009, 11:20:07 PM »

Hello all:
Does anyone know of a good text-to-speech freeware app? I sometimes find myself having a hard time concentrating when reading news articles online, and thought that maybe such a program would help...

As usual, any input is very much appreciated!
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Daniel in Tulsa
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Ampa
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 05:13:12 AM »

Having tried many, I settled upon Balabolka.

It is free, regularly updated (though I must confess that I am not quite sure what changes each time!), there is a portable version, will follow along in the text, and export mp3s.

Note that the quality of output has a great deal to do with the voice pack you are using, Microsoft Sam will always sound rough, where the AT&T Natural Voices are probably the best quality, but are expensive and take a lot of space.
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lanux128
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 09:32:38 AM »

you can also try Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader. the freeware has only computerized voices while the paid version bundles the high-quality AT&T Natural Voices (as noted by Ampa).

http://www.zabaware.com/reader/
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lanux128
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 09:39:01 AM »

just found this thread which has much more recommendations in it..

Searching for the best read-aloud software
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widgewunner
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2009, 09:02:47 AM »

Opera has native built-in voice. It will speak to you. You do need to go to Tools->Preferences->Advanced->Voice and turn it on (it requires an additional download that is not installed by default).

I use it all the time.

It can also listen, and do what you tell it to do! (although setting that up to work right is a bit tricky)
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siouxdax
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2009, 07:34:12 PM »

Thanks again for the suggestions! You guys never steer me wrong!

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sajman99
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2009, 04:12:19 PM »

Long ago I used a freeware named ReadPlease. Looks like it's now taken the commercial route at http://www.readplease.com but maybe an older free version is still out there.
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yutyrew
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 04:36:41 AM »

You can use this freeware named panopreter, it reads text-based files such as txt, rtf, doc files and others,  and converts the speech into wave and mp3 files, all for free. It reads very well on my Windows Vista computer.
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brahman
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 10:34:22 AM »

DSpeech by Dimio here:

http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/

as well as other neat tools (dtaskmanager, dshutdown ...).
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Jimdoria
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2009, 11:24:28 PM »

I've used Speakonia (http://www.cfs-technologies.com/home/?id=1.4) for this, but I'll take a look at some of these others, now that I know about them!
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eschen
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 01:36:43 AM »

Maybe not as comfortable but pretty flexible with quality voices from the reasearch community and totally free is MaryTTS:

Online Demo

Download

It is based on Java. So, you need a Java runtime on your machine. The installation is done on the command line in the folder of the download by:

java -jar mary-standalone-install-3.6.0.jar

The installer allows to install additional voices for different languages on demand during installation.

This stuff is a real client-server solution. So, you have to start the server process before the client is started. But, this also allows to use it in a Web environment to create audio files on demand. I use it to create cost-free commercially usable TTS audio files for projects like this:

Snowman Joe (Details how to create this)

But, not all voices are allowed to use for this in the MaryTTS package. Have a look at the copyright notes for details.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 01:39:59 AM by eschen » Logged
AHMalik
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 08:08:56 PM »

Regards.
Text Aloud from nextup.com; offered free by giveawayoftheday.com is also a good SW & have the option for recorded vioces

Have a fine day !
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 08:47:17 PM »

Opera has native built-in voice. It will speak to you. You do need to go to Tools->Preferences->Advanced->Voice and turn it on (it requires an additional download that is not installed by default).

I use it all the time.

It can also listen, and do what you tell it to do! (although setting that up to work right is a bit tricky)

Is there any shortcut to get to the reading aloud setup?  Everything in the help seems to bog down into controlling the browser with voice.  All I'm curious about is having it read the page(some pages the color contrast makes text almost invisible.)

It would be cool if I could do that instead of using Readability. smiley

Edit: hmmm I wonder if this only works in XP?  Every time I click the checkbox to enable voice, it asks me to download the binary.  It downloads, then nothing happens.  If I check the option again, it asks to download again. Looks like yet another Vista-ism?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 09:01:04 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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