Text to speech software

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WilliamMJones
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Text to speech software

Post by WilliamMJones » July 23rd, 2010, 2:58 pm

While going through my manuscript over and over...and over......and over, I started skimming over parts, knowing the words by heart. I'm sure it happens to all of us (at least I hope it's not just me). I found it really helpful to use a program called Natural Reader. It turns text into speech, and makes it easier to find things that don't sound right.

The program can be found here: http://www.naturalreaders.com/

Does anyone know of other programs that can be used to make editting easier?

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 24th, 2010, 6:19 pm

What a hoot! Listening to my WIP being read to me is a thrill! Like having my novel on audio book, or Kindle.

I downloaded the free version, which has a pretty generic Microsoft synth voice that gets some of the word-sounds wrong. I liked better the various "natural" voices I could sample at 200 characters per (about 2 sentences). Some of them sound almost normal and have really decent inflection.

I can see myself paying to get the next-level upgrade to get a couple of those better voices, or even paying for a voice upgrade a la carte (I think "Heather" reads my stuff really well!)

Main thing, I think it's a great editing tool. I'm thinking it is more useful to have "somebody" else reading my work to me than for me to read it myself aloud. But right now I'm lovin' the downright shock of it, hearing my words read to me; it's like looking at myself in the mirror for the first time. Scary-exciting-cool.

Thanks for posting this on your blog and here, William.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 24th, 2010, 7:05 pm

not sure about special programs, but word can read my papers to me. its voice is terrible but it's good for helping me to check over papers before i submit to the teacher. haven't actually used it to proofread stories.

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 24th, 2010, 7:37 pm

Plain old MS Word can do text to audio? How do you get into that function?

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 24th, 2010, 8:12 pm

depends on which version you have. word 03 has it under tools and speech, as far as i remember. word 07 doesn't, but if you have vista and up, you will need to use narrator (its in the control panel. a search will turn it up easier) to read aloud. or you can use a vb macro. if you have xp and word 07, i think you are out of luck.

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 25th, 2010, 1:34 pm

All right, I'm running Vista with Word 07. I found "narrator" and have gotten it to read it's own display box (many times) as well as announce which Word doc I have opened, but it will not read the Word file itself, i.e. the chapter of my WIP. Bah, I hit control-enter-space and it won't do it.

Anyway, it's the same Microsoft "Annie" voice that's on the free Natural Reader software, which I consider not too useful. I know it is best to read one's manuscript without tons of inflection, but I don't want it sounding robotic. So, again, I may purchase the upgrade, to get the two more natural-sounding voices ("Paul" is pretty decent reading my stuff). Purchasing "Heather" a la carte after that would be even better but I'm not sure it's worth the extra bucks.

Thanks, wetair.

Does anyone out there rely on reading aloud to test one's material? It is a step highly recommended by numerous professionals blogging and in writing-books. Considered crucial by some. But I've never read about having the work read to one. Is it because that has been too rare an option for most of us? I would think this would be even better.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 25th, 2010, 2:46 pm

yeah the narrator software is a big buggy. a workaround i found is to put the text in notepad. the 03 read aloud thing was so easy to use and worked too . . . my brother used it all the time to proof read his work for school. i would use the roll eye smilie here . . . anyway, for myself, i have been considering putting a document on my kindle and having it read aloud. it reads better. if the software version reads aloud . . . i am not sure it does. it probably should.

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 25th, 2010, 2:58 pm

I'm pretty sure I read that the Kindle does have the read-aloud function. I wonder how the voice is. How would you put your Word document on Kindle? Didn't know it would allow that. If so, there's another reason to buy one.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 25th, 2010, 3:17 pm

it can read txt documents so i would need to convert it first, than connect it to the computer and just transfer the file like normal. i haven't had it read txt documents outloud, but i've had it read its own stories outloud. its a lot better than the microsoft's voice, i can tell you that. but the last time i did that was before it got the firmware was updated . . .

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 25th, 2010, 3:33 pm

By "txt documents" do you mean PDF?

I see on Amazon's Kindle page that it has a PDF reader so you can "carry and read all your personal and professional documents on the go."

So one would need to convert Word docs to PDF, transfer to Kindle, and then switch to audio and presto, one's work-in-progress as a decent-voiced audio book?

Cool.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 25th, 2010, 4:09 pm

Quill wrote:By "txt documents" do you mean PDF?

I see on Amazon's Kindle page that it has a PDF reader so you can "carry and read all your personal and professional documents on the go."

So one would need to convert Word docs to PDF, transfer to Kindle, and then switch to audio and presto, one's work-in-progress as a decent-voiced audio book?

Cool.
lol no. though it can read pdf documents. I meant notepad documents, the ones with a .txt ending. Word processing at its simplest.

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 25th, 2010, 4:22 pm

Hmm. But the Kindle page SAYS it can handle personal PDF docs. Wouldn't those be easier to read along to, being totally formatted like the Word doc? What's the advantage of converting Word docs to Text docs? Those are downloadable into Kindle, too?

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » July 25th, 2010, 4:51 pm

Quill wrote:Hmm. But the Kindle page SAYS it can handle personal PDF docs. Wouldn't those be easier to read along to, being totally formatted like the Word doc? What's the advantage of converting Word docs to Text docs? Those are downloadable into Kindle, too?
it can but the font on the single documeant i tried it was too tiny and i couldn't increase the font when i could increase it for normal stuff. it was better landscape, but still . . . this was about one update back. i am pretty sure the sony reader has the same issue for pdf documeants - at least, that is what the person at the store told me. i went to j & r, near city hall in the city

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CharleeVale
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by CharleeVale » July 26th, 2010, 1:25 pm

Does this work for Mac users?

CV

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 26th, 2010, 1:34 pm

The Natural Reader software? Yes. Scroll down.

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