Microsoft’s Jay Waltmunson sent me “Text-to-Speech” samples from the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.
Click to listen to:
SAMPLE #1 – Windows Vista “Anna”
SAMPLE #2 – Windows XP “Sam” (for comparison)
SAMPLE #3 – Research Project: "Whistler" has Mark SINGING Penny Lane and a duet with Melanie SINGING Unexpected Song.
PREVIOUSLY there were only a few “Text-to-Speech” options:
Windows – Turn-On Narrator and have Windows Announce Various Events.
Office – Unfortunately, only previous versions of Excel could “talk to you” – as well as “force” the other Office programs to speak.
TODAY there are many (easy to use) solutions available:
OFFICE 2003’s built-in Language Toolbar allows all Office programs to easily use “Text-to-Speech” technology.
- on the Window’s Toolbar, from Toolbars, select Language Bar
- From now on: simply highlight the text you wish read, then from the Language Bar click on the “Speak Text” icon! (Great when proofing a Word document, or you want an Outlook email read aloud.)
WINDOWS SPEECH TOOLS (GOODIES)
MS-Agents components provide animated characters to appear during specific help or instruction. (Support FAQ)
eBooks Reader offers a digital version of printed (text-to-speech) books offered by many book publishers and sold by popular online retailers.
NEW & TOO COOL! DeskBot (based upon MS-Agents) can read text in ANY application (even with Internet Explorer!). Just highlight the text and double click the MS-Agent character. Additional Microsoft SAPI 4.0 Voices. (Thanks again Jay)
Microsoft Speech Server is the only speech platform to comprehensively support Web-based touchtone (DTMF) and speech-enabled IVR applications, as well as multimodal applications, and includes speech application development tools, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) engine, the ScanSoft® Speechify™ Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine, a prompt engine, a SALT Interpreter (voice browser), and telephony services. (Support Blog: Speech Server Coffeehouse)
Order a FREE 180 Day Evaluation CD
Microsoft Speech API SDK is used to develop applications for Microsoft Speech Server with Visual Basic or JScript. (Support Document: Speech API SDK Help File)
Microsoft Speech SDK is used to develop desktop applications for speech with C++ or Visual Basic. (Support Document: SAPI) Note: The bundled TTSapp.exe program allows you to save TTS to a wave file!
NEW! Voice Prompt Vocabularies for Microsoft Speech Application SDK – 500 Reusable number, date, time and navigation prompts recorded with professional voice talent in recording studio.
Microsoft’s Speech API guru Robert Brown, has a great blog and must-see interview & demonstration on Channel 9.
Microsoft Speech Technology Bloggers
Coding4Fun – Giving Computers a Voice (programming tutorial)
WikiPedia – "Speech Synthesis"
NEW! GotSpeech.NET – The online community for Microsoft Speech Server developers
(Remember this development is not trivial; it must work for multiple languages!)
How about Firefox addon Text to voice. Simple yet powerful. I’ve been using it since a long time and I’m a happy user.https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/91405/