January 26, 2006

Natural Reader

I've been putting together a tutorial on the set-up and use of some test equipment for a client, which precipitated the purchase of a piece of software which creates AVI movies out of screen actions. Pretty slick.

Said client wanted some voice-over on the presentation. He has a fairly thick accent, my voice is always questionable, a voice-over artist is not in the budget, and I am not set up for quality audio recording in any case. So, I started looking around for text-to-voice software, which led me to this demo page (AT&T / Bell Labs) and this fairly low cost consumer software based on the same technology.

Needless to say, I've been having fun with the technology. I'm recording an outgoing answering machine message. I'm typing the various silly things we say to get the computer voice to say them. I am typing calling friends and having the computer say odd or mildly offensive things to them or their machines.

These are the times I love being a self employed engineering geekette. I get to play around with stuff like this and call it work, and at the end of the month I get to bill for it.

1 comment:

Ron Starc said...

The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Voices are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and more. Easily converts blogs, email, e-books, and more to MP3 or for listening instantly.