[Bookreader] Text to Speech readers for XO
mccabe at archive.org
Thu Oct 29 18:30:12 EDT 2009
I'll chime in -
I also think this is a great idea. I've worked with several
text-to-speech readers recently, as part of my effort to make the
Internet Archive books available to print disabled people.
They're very useful, and I think that this mode of reading could be of
use to a very broad range of users. I suspect we'll see more of it soon.
I'm also curious to hear about specific experiences with
linux-compatible free TTS, as we may be producing audio books with this
to work with the new Library of Congress audio players.
Best regards -
Gregor Kervina wrote:
> Hi Sayamindu,
> thanks for quick reply!
> There is a lot of text to speech software out there - I use
> http://www.bytecool.com/coolspch.htm that you can try trial and download
> additional voices, just to get a feeling, but it is not free and not for
> linux. Many other programs are more complex and complicated and some of
> them use very complex voice engines that in my opinion doesn't sound
> very good. (I use Mary voice with cool speech)
> OK I spent some time to find all TTS software that is free for linux and
> here are some links:
> http://larswiki.atrc.utoronto.ca/wiki/Software - see the links under
> Speech section
> http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/onlinedemo.html - listen to
> some demo voices
> http://sourceforge.net/projects/dhvani/ - this one not english
> http://www.speech.cs.cmu.edu/hephaestus.html - click the links in Speech
> Synthesis section
> http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/122197 - two readers - plug-ins for
> I can not test them because I'm not a linux user. Maybe you can modify
> some of these software (probably Festival) for more user friendly
> reading and maybe program a specific button on XO keyboard that will
> automatically read the selected text no matter what program is used for
> opening the text.
> Judging from google search result for DTBooks, this technology is not
> spread at all. The other problem is that it uses somtimes recorded audio
> and the size of that is too large for XO... I think the most important
> is that TTS works with reader that will open 1.6M e-books from internet
> you in this team?).
> Also one important thing is to add cheap headphones with laptop so
> children could listen to reading without desturbing others and in the
> noisy environments ... another advantage of audio reading is much longer
> battery life because you can turn off LCD monitor and audio alone does
> not consume much energy.
> Let me know what you think.
> All the best,
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 4:08 PM, Sayamindu Dasgupta <sayamindu at gmail.com
> <mailto:sayamindu at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi Gregor,
> Thanks a lot for jumping in :-)
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 2:38 AM, Gregor Kervina
> <gregor.kervina at gmail.com <mailto:gregor.kervina at gmail.com>> wrote:
> > Dear Sayamindu Dasgupta, SJ Klein and other members of this list,
> > I'm a student of electrical engineering from Europe and would
> like to share
> > with you my very positive experience with text to speech
> technology that can
> > in my opinion significantly increase the educational potential of
> XO if used
> > in the right way.
> > For the past 12 years (since I was 15 years old) I'm daily
> learning from
> > e-books and internet using text to speech software. I know this
> software is
> > unpopular in developed world, many people don't even know that it
> exists. On
> > the other hand many people (including me) don't like reading long
> texts on
> > the LCD screens - that's why e-books are also not very popular.
> > But unlike my friends I read 50+ e-books every ear and also daily
> news on
> > the internet - I just select the text, copy it, and CoolSpeech
> > (using Mary voice) reads me all the text with speeds 300 to 500
> words per
> > minute. In this way I can browse other sites or look at photos or
> just lay
> > down and listen while my laptop is reading to me.
> > Other people don't understand what I'm reading because it is too
> fast for
> > them but it can be learned quickly with slower speeds at beginning.
> > I think XO laptops should definitely have such software
> pre-installed and a
> > video introduction how to use it and what reading speeds can they
> > after some time of practicing.
> > It is also ideal for children with poor eye sight.
> This sounds awesome. Could you let us know if the text to speech
> software you have in mind is free/opensource and if it works on Linux
> I am also looking at DTBooks specifications for digital talking books
> - do you know how useful/widespread this technology is ?
> Sayamindu Dasgupta
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