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Keywords: text-to-speech software users TTS users of TTS software computer software text to speech software speech synthesis technology digital audio mp3 TextAloud converts text to spoken words MP3 WAV
TEXT-TO-SPEECH USERS - A text-to-speech "User" is anyone who uses text-to-speech (TTS) software in any way. This website is written for text-to-speech users.
TEXT-TO-SPEECH CONTENT DEVELOPERS - A text-to-speech "Content Developer" is anyone who creates or modifies the verbal content to be used in TTS input files. For example, if you write a text message to be read by TTS software, you are a "TTS Content Developer."
TEXT-TO-SPEECH INPUT FILE DEVELOPER - A text-to-speech "Input File Developer" is anyone who tries to improve the input files by adding or tweaking various controls, such as phonetic spelling or TTS tags and settings, so that the TTS output sounds better.
TTS Input, Output, and Software
Typically, the TTS Input is a digital text file obtained from an existing .txt file, an HTML page, a .PDF file, a WORD document, a scanned image from a printed page, or some other source. A TTS input file can be enhanced, or optimized, to work better with the TTS software, by various means, including phonetic spelling, pronunciation dictionaries, TTS control tags embedded within the text (like HTML tags), and other controls.
The TTS Output is some kind of electronic signal which can eventually be heard as spoken words by human ears. The output can be either digital or analog, played through speakers or stored as computer files, such as .wav files or .MP3 files.
The TTS Software receives the input file and processes it, to produce the output. The earliest TTS software simply looked at each word it encountered, and analyzed the word into its component sounds. Then it generated a synthetic digital approximation of each sound and strung the approximations together to pronounce the word. Then it plowed ahead onto the next word, and the next, until it had finished reading the input file. The result was a robotic monotone output. Today, TTS software is much better developed, to the point where it can produce an acceptable, pleasant near-duplicate of human speech. Tomorrow's TTS software, working together with optimized input files, will produce output whose every sound is exactly what the input file developer intended: perfect in pitch, intensity, duration, emphasis, voice qualities, pronunciation, diction, and and all other nuances of the spoken word.
A person who works to create optimized TTS input files can be known as a "TTS input file developer." I am starting to become one of these people. I already have good experience as a MIDI music input file developer. (In MIDI, the file developer is called a "MIDI author," and the input file itself is called a "MIDI sequence," because the MIDI input file is nothing more than a long sequence of detailed commands issued to music synthesizers and other devices.) I have a website full of MIDI sequences I have written, located at Christmusic.ws All of these sequences are perfectly legal, and all are in the Public Domain.
Benefits And Uses Of TTSGenerally, the benefit of TTS is that it can provide high-quality spoken words where they might not otherwise be available. TTS allows listening instead of reading. And the TTS software and input files can be honed and polished to perfection, so the output of TTS can be far better than what you might get if you just let somebody stand up and talk. The imperfections can be edited out, before the words are heard.
Specifically, the following uses come to mind . . .
1. The elderly patient wants to hear his favorite Bible verses, but nobody is available to read to him, and he is unable to see well enough, or turn the pages, to read for himself. The Caregiver turns on the TTS, and the computer reads to him, perfectly, whatever it is told to read, for as long as he desires.
2. The young adult student is trying to learn English as a second language. (ESL) Some of her friends think they know English, and they try to help teach her, but they just make things worse for her, because their English is no good to begin with, and they teach her their own mistakes. (The Bible calls this, "the blind leading the blind.") Her ESL instructor provides her with some well-chosen text files, and turns on the TTS. She now can see the words and hear the exact correct pronunciation, at the same time.
3. You have written a report, and all the words look okay, and the spell checker tells you that all the words are correct. But do they all make sense? You need to hear it out loud, to be sure. But you don't want to spend the half-hour reading it through once again to hear how it sounds. What do you do? Turn on the TTS, and let your computer read the report aloud to you, while you are getting ready for the meeting. You hear something wrong, and you discover you have left out a key, small word. You fix it! No problem. Otherwise, it's a typo, and it makes you look careless.
4. For some reason, you need to produce a message - some kind of announcement - for other people to hear. But you have voice like a frog, and a funny accent, and nobody ever seems to pay much attention to you when you speak. Guess what: You can produce an outstanding announcement, with perfect diction and a perfect voice , which will impress everyone - with TTS!
5. Maybe there are some words you want to hear, but nobody is available to speak them to you. If you write them yourself, your TTS software will speak them to you. Whatever you want to hear can be spoken to you, in your choice of pleasant voices.
Text-To-Speech (TTS) Software
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TextAloud (Latest Version) BUY NOW - FREE TRIAL - HOME PAGE
Here is some information about TextAloud, from their press release . . .
For Release Tuesday, October 12, 2004 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org NextUp.com Announces TextAloud 2.0! Leading text-to-speech software provider announces immediate availability of latest release for consumers and businesses worldwide CLEMMONS, NC — NextUp.com, the leading provider of innovative Text-to-Speech (TTS) software for consumers, educators and business customers, today announces the release of TextAloud™ 2.0, the latest version of the company's popular Text-to-Speech tool for Windows. TextAloud uses the power of voice synthesis to "speak aloud" documents, web pages, email and more. Text is seamlessly converted into spoken audio for listening on a PC, or to create MP3 or Windows Media files ready for playback on portables like the iPod®, PocketPC®, or even the Home Media Option from TiVo®. TextAloud 2.0 provides a variety of upgraded features, including an improved and redesigned user interface, direct support for Word, PDF and HTML formats, a proofreading feature, a batch file converter covering a multitude of popular formats, advanced font controls, advanced pronunciation tools, an Internet Explorer Plug-In for easy listening of your favorite web pages - and more. TextAloud's improved interface now allows users to handle multiple documents with ease, and includes voice, pitch and volume adjustments on the main window - an innovation that means users can now customize voices or options even while TextAloud is speaking. "The new features offered in version 2.0 further enhance TextAloud's appeal for the wide range of users who find it an essential tool they use daily," says Ken White, CEO of NextUp.com. "TextAloud 2.0 not only has an improved interface, it also gives users more and better control over the tasks they use most. And with our expanded offerings for premium voices, it all sounds better than ever." Key Features and Benefits of TextAloud 2.0 include: • A streamlined, more powerful interface with support for skins to allow personalization • Direct support for Word, PDF, and HTML files • A unique new Proofread function to eliminate errors • A Batch File Converter to convert audio files quickly from any number of documents • A new Internet Explorer Plug-In makes listening to web pages easier than ever • The ability to change voices within a single document to simulate conversation or multiple speakers • Advanced Font Controls to improve readability for the vision impaired • Bookmarks for easy navigation of large texts • Advanced pronunciation tools to teach computer voices unusual words such as technical or medical terms • Configurable pauses between sentences and paragraphs make text more understandable - especially useful for those learning a new language • Listen aloud or create WAV, MP3 and WMA files for later listening • Improved word highlighting assists dyslexics in reading and proofreading TextAloud allows listening instead of reading, and is used by business people, students, educators, writers, medical and legal professionals, and busy individuals from all walks of life. NextUp currently offers TextAloud with optional premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices™, NeoSpeech™ and Cepstral, for outstanding speech quality on a personal computer or for playing on portable MP3 players such as the iPod®. TextAloud 2.0 is priced at just $29.95, and is for Windows® 98, NT, 2000 and XP. It is available for fast, safe and secure purchase via http://www.NextUp.com. TextAloud allows listening instead of reading, and is used by business people, students, educators, writers, medical and legal professionals, and busy individuals from all walks of life. NextUp currently offers TextAloud with optional premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices™, NeoSpeech™ and Cepstral, for outstanding speech quality on a personal computer or for playing on portable MP3 players such as the iPod®. About NextUp.com NextUp.com is a division of NextUp Technologies, LLC. In addition to TextAloud, NextUp.com markets other innovative Windows software designed to save time and deliver vital information. NewsAloud™ is a talking personal news agent that finds the stories users want, and then reads them aloud or to portable MP3 files. WeatherAloud™ is a weather application that lets users select and listen to personalized weather forecasts, while StocksAloud™ reads stock updates and related news headlines aloud for specific companies of interest. For more information, contact NextUp.com, 2668 Lewisville-Clemmons Road, Clemmons, NC 27012. Email: email@example.com. Internet: http://www.nextup.com. Note to Editors: Evaluation copies of TextAloud 2.0 are currently available upon request. To receive a review copy, or for more information on NextUp.com or TextAloud, please contact Rick Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, for images, logos, box shots, or other information or artwork on TextAloud 2.0, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043 or Paramitch@aol.com. All companies and products referenced in this press release, including TextAloud™, iPod®, TiVo®, PocketPC®, Windows®, and more are the trademarks of their respective owners. # # #Source: http://www.nextup.com/press/101204.html
You can hear this press release at HERE, by means of an MP3 file I produced directly from my copy of TextAloud!
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