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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now System
Apple has an impressive preview of the new voice that will premier in Leopard. However, we don't have to wait for Leopard to get better voice quality than what is offered in Tiger. I have no affiliation with the company I'm going to mention. The Cepstral William voice is the best voice I've ever heard for OS X. I've been using it for several months, and it is the first voice that I actually like enough to use all the time. You'll actually want speech alerts with this voice. It's not free, but if you're into text-to-speech, it's well worth the price.

Apple's Alex voice sounds pretty darn good and I may switch to that with Leopard. But for now, Cepstral William is the way to go.

[kirkmc adds: Note that these voices are not free, but judging from the samples on the site, they do sound pretty good...]
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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: doneitner on Oct 26, '06 07:53:23AM

AT&T (I think) also has some very, very good text-to-speech technology,with a preview online where you can type in anything you want it to say and get a sample back. They even do accents (British and I think German). Unfortunately it's not available for OSX but they're seriously the best computer generated voices I have ever heard, including Apple's Leopard voice.



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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: Morwen on Oct 26, '06 08:12:04AM

They are great, I'll give you that. But $30 for _one_ voice is a lot steep. I'd pay $30 for the whole package of voices, but not one. :(



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But will Apple fix OS X's real flaw
Authored by: Mike Perry on Oct 26, '06 09:13:34AM

Having a better voice is marvelous, but the current ones are not only good enough that virtually everything is understandable, when I'm proofing they're good enough that I even can spot most punctuation errors. With a bit of practice, you can tell there's a period where there should be a comma.

But is Apple correcting the number one problem with its speech engine. Currently, they make it easy to read aloud an entire document starting at the beginning or to read a selected block of text. But's that's like having a car that can only do 70 MPH or poke along in stop-go traffic. What we need is the ability to start reading at the cursor point and keep reading until the end or until we stop the reading. That's how text to speech ought to be done.

And unfortunately, because Apple cripples text-to-speech this way, every application I've found but Tex-Edit Plus also cripples their text-to-speech feature, if they have one, the same way. Only Tex-Edit Plus lets us start reading at the cursor and read until we hit Command-period. That's text-to-speech done right. For the rest, the feature is so poorly implemented, it might as well be a bug.



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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: comodin on Oct 26, '06 09:39:22AM

yes, i use Cepstral Voice too, cause it will speak in GERMAN !
very very cool :)

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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: woodstone on Oct 26, '06 01:40:59PM
I checked out a lot of TTS engines, but the ones offered by Loquendo.com [link:www.loquendo.com] put all the others to shame ;-)


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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: WhiteHawk77 on Oct 26, '06 05:51:53PM

Checked out both the Cepstral William and Loquendo demo's, the Loquendo one's are better but neither is as good as what Steve demoed for Leopard.

---
Gavin



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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: balthisar on Oct 27, '06 04:58:58AM

Back in pre-OS X days there was Latin American Spanish as part of the Mac OS. Any news on that coming back? It was great for learning Spanish, and now having learnt it I'd still like to have it.

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--Jim (me)



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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: CJYetman on Oct 27, '06 05:01:41PM
I actually paid for Cepstral Callie I liked it so much.
http://www.cepstral.com/

The Acapela voices in Infovox iVox are even better, but prohibitively expensive.
http://www.assistiveware.com/infovox_ivox.php

The voices at Loquendo are pretty impressive as well.
http://www.loquendo.com/en/index.htm

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Get Leopard quality text-to-speech voices now
Authored by: zeichensprecher on Jul 21, '07 05:06:25AM

The problem with Cepstral is, that they do not support Apple's Speech Commands!

If you're surfing on a mac right now, please select the following text and choose from the "Services" Menu (It's in the Application Menu, so when you're browsing with Safari it's: Safari > Services > Speech > Start Reading Text:

[[inpt TEXT]]
hello

[[cmnt PITCH 0..127]]
[[pbas 10]]
hello [[slnc 200]]
[[pbas 100]]
hello
[[pbas 43]]

[[cmnt TUNE]]
[[inpt TUNE]]
~
2EH {D 2000; P 400.0:0 400.0:40 200.0:60 200:100}

[[cmnt EMPHASIS +/-]]
[[inpt PHON]]
[[emph +]] EH
[[slnc 100]]
[[emph -]] EH

[[cmnt ACCENT]]
[[inpt PHON]]
@1AEplIHk2EYSIXn. [[slnc 100]]
@2AEplIHk1EYSIXn.

[[inpt TEXT]]

This is one of the coolest features of the Mac OS Voice System!
If you try this with a Cepstral Voice it won't work :(

I guess from the online demos that the same is the case for iVox and loquendo voices; I really wonder, why Apple hasn't opened its Speech Technology, so that Developers are able to add more voices based on the OSX Speech Engine (or does anyone know if this is possible?)



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