Text2Go Gets a New Voice or 30July 22, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Posted in text to speech, Text2Go | Comments Off on Text2Go Gets a New Voice or 30
A text-to-speech product is only as good as the computerized voices it uses, so it’s with great excitement that I can announce that the RealSpeak™ voices from Nuance Communications, Inc have been integrated with Text2Go. RealSpeak™ voices are some of the best available, and support 22 languages and over 30 voices.
A modern computerized voice is a very complex piece of technology. A computerized voice is first created by employing a professional voice actor to record a large set of phrases. These phrases are then sliced and diced into numerous small segments of speech and stored in a database. To give you some idea of how much data is used, a typical RealSpeak™ voice uses around 100MB of hard disk space.
During text to speech playback, the text to speech engine has to perform a number of steps. Firstly it must convert ordinary text into its phonetic representation. This is a complex operation that requires the speech engine to correctly handle special cases such as numbers, dates, addresses, acronyms, punctuation marks and pronuciation ambiguities (e.g read: to read a book, the book had been read).
Finally it must choose the correct speech segments and concatenate them together to produce the desired phonemes. During this process, the speech engine must create the correct intonation in order to produce natural sounding speech. This includes identifying which words to emphasize and the type of sentence (e.g. declarative versus interrogative, WH-questions versus yes/no-questions).
RealSpeak™ voices are not free and must be purchased on a voice by voice basis.
When Text2Go is released for sale, customers will be able to purchase Text2Go by itself or with one or more RealSpeak™ voices. I will be encouraging all customers to purchase at least one RealSpeak™ voice as they are so much clearer and more natural than the free or built in voices that are available. I will be doing this by providing discounted bundles that include one or more RealSpeak™ voices.
To listen to some samples of the RealSpeak™ voices for yourself, visit the Text2Go Voices page. Leave a comment here to let me know what you think of the voices.