Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Text to speech (in MP3 format)

Techlearning blog has an article on a site that apparently uses text to speech software that allows you to upload a document and it will give it back to you in an audio file that you can download and put on an MP3 player or ipod. Documents can be in a variety of formats including Word, pdf or html.

ReadtheWords.com is a free site and can read English as well as Spanish and french (though you must choose the reader that is "fluent" in that language.) There are 15 computerized voices to choose from. The English voices include US English, UK English and Nina, "US Female/ Indian Accent". At first listen, the voices are amazingly clear, and have a greater variety than the straight speech to text software available. For a list of free versions of text to speech software, visit the MaineVRC site.

This site could be a great tool for users with learning disabilities, allowing them to convert materials to audio versions for use on the fly. Though available in some commercial products, the ability to convert text to audio files for download (or stream from the site) is boosted by the fact that its web based and FREE.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the article does reference the http:\\MaineVRC.googlepages.com site affiliated with this blog, though did not impact the opinions of this author. )

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