Text to speech software

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craig
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by craig » July 26th, 2010, 4:17 pm

This function is part of the Mac OSX software -- it's in System Preferences. It's not the most handy feature -- you have to set a keyboard shortcut to use it, then highlight what you want read aloud, key in the shortcut, and listen. It doesn't allow for pausing playback or anything like that. (I think anyway...)

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polymath
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by polymath » July 26th, 2010, 5:22 pm

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred for text to speech, voice recognition speech to text, and audio voice recording to text. The text to speech read back function has two machine voice selections, a U.S. female voice and a British female voice. The audio recording transcription function transcribes from a recording so it can be played back in the application during revision. Dictation can also be played back or read back for revision. I also have a digital recorder the size of a Bic lighter for notetaking Dragon transcribes from. The program handles all of my aural typewriting and read back needs. The learning and training curves are a little steep, but it's a godsend. In fact, I typed this message using Dragon.
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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 26th, 2010, 10:31 pm

Wow, polymath, Dragon Preferred is taking it another step further, doing speech to text. Like you say, the learning curve would be steep, just getting into the habit of thinking in terms of speech first. Of course, it would be the nuts for transcribing live interviews, talks, and any type of audio file. That would be especially useful for the research phase of writing a book.

Didn't know that type of software existed, so thanks! Something for me to mull and dream about for the future.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Username » July 26th, 2010, 10:35 pm

I've been doing this for years.

I first head about this on Grammar Girl's podcast.

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

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Quill
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by Quill » July 26th, 2010, 10:38 pm

craig wrote:This function is part of the Mac OSX software -- it's in System Preferences. It's not the most handy feature -- you have to set a keyboard shortcut to use it, then highlight what you want read aloud, key in the shortcut, and listen. It doesn't allow for pausing playback or anything like that. (I think anyway...)
Sounds like the Microsoft version. Is the Mac voice any good?

Anyway, seems like the free Natural Reader is easier to use than either of those, and can be upgraded at reasonable cost any time to sport pretty fine voicing. I'm looking forward to testing it more in earnest when I begin final revisions on my WIP this winter.

craig
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by craig » July 26th, 2010, 10:44 pm

Quill wrote:
craig wrote:This function is part of the Mac OSX software -- it's in System Preferences. It's not the most handy feature -- you have to set a keyboard shortcut to use it, then highlight what you want read aloud, key in the shortcut, and listen. It doesn't allow for pausing playback or anything like that. (I think anyway...)
Sounds like the Microsoft version. Is the Mac voice any good?
Depends...

I'm hard of hearing, so with my hearing aids, I have a difficult enough time keeping up with normal conversation. The computer generated voice doesn't follow natural speaking patterns and rhythms or pronounce all the words correctly -- so I lose a ton of it since I've spent a lifetime training myself to listen to people around me who all speak similarly and the computer voice just doesn't match up. And, obviously, there is no lip-reading opportunity for me.

Mac has something like nine voices built in -- only one of them do I have a hope in hell of understanding.

A more polished program might be better for me -- but even then I'd still have trouble. (I can't watch TV or movies without captioning, so sometimes a perfectly natural voice is no good to me.)

But, if you have normal hearing, it should be okay. I think.

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polymath
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by polymath » July 26th, 2010, 11:31 pm

Quill wrote:Wow, polymath, Dragon Preferred is taking it another step further, doing speech to text. Like you say, the learning curve would be steep, just getting into the habit of thinking in terms of speech first. Of course, it would be the nuts for transcribing live interviews, talks, and any type of audio file. That would be especially useful for the research phase of writing a book.

Didn't know that type of software existed, so thanks! Something for me to mull and dream about for the future.
The program has to be trained to recognize a user voice. It's not very good for transcribing someone who's not a user, who's not been through the training phase, dictation or audio transcription. The text output reads as gibberish. I have other software for second party transcription. I type at best seventy words a minute. Average speaking rate is one hundred fifty words per minute. I can slow down playback in the transcription softwares to about my typing speed. I've done a few transciption projects for writers who prefer to dictate.
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JayceeEA
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Re: Text to speech software

Post by JayceeEA » August 2nd, 2010, 9:15 am

Thank you so much for sharing this tool. It's made my day.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by WilliamMJones » August 2nd, 2010, 10:12 am

I don't know which versions of windows has it, but I know my laptop comes with a program called "windows speech recognition". It trains itself to listen to a specific users voice, and allows speech to text, as well as controlling everything else on your computer. Plus it's free. It's pretty cool to switch windows with a single word.

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Re: Text to speech software

Post by wetair » August 2nd, 2010, 1:15 pm

vista and 07 have that. i think you can install it in xp. vista and 07 have handwriting recognition, too.

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