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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Convert your Text Files into Speech

Spoken Text

Spoken Text (found via Stephen Downes) lets you create speech files from ordinary text files. The recordings can be created from plain text files, Acrobat PDF, Word files, PowerPoint files, emails, web pages or text entered directly. File upload size is restricted to 981KB so large files must be split and recorded separately.

At present two voices are available - Dave (high quality) and Bob (low quality). Spoken Text is currently working on providing a female voice option. The final recording is made available at Spoken Text for seven days. You can, however, download your own copy of the file in MP3 or m4b (iPod) format.

There is quite a difference between the quality of Bob and Dave as you can judge from the two snippets below (taken from a recording of a four page PDF file). The Dave recording used the default speed of 170wpm.

Here's Bob.......

Here's Dave........

vozMe LogoAlso came across vozMe (thanks to Judy O'Connell). In vozMe, you simply type in the text (or copy and paste) and select the 'Create mp3' button. You can then download the resulting mp3 file to your computer!

vozMe also enables you to add voice to your website through the use of plugins and scripting.

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Ron Starc said...

The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. A great tool if you don't have a mic. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. It is great for learning languages as it highlights the words as they are being read. 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.

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