What Makes A Good Text-to-Speech?
Text-to-speech (TTS) software helps users read aloud. It’s useful for users with hearing problems, blind users, and anybody who wants to listen to someone speak. TTS software reads out loud any written text, whether it’s displayed on screen or printed, and converts it into audible speech. There are two main categories of TTS software: professional grade and free. Professional grade software costs thousands of dollars per year and is designed specifically for businesses. Free software is available for most platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Voice quality: When looking for the best TTS software, one of the first things to check is voice quality. Is the voice clear and understandable? Will it sound robotic, stilted or muffled? Do you hear background noise? Does the voice match the gender of the speaker? The better the voice quality, the easier it will be for users to understand and remember what was said.
Natural sounding voices: Users often prefer natural sounding voices over synthetic ones. Natural sounding voices seem less mechanical than synthetic ones and tend to sound more human. Some people find the difference between natural and synthetic voices hard to distinguish. Others say they prefer the artificiality of synthetic voices.
Accessibility: Accessibility is another factor to consider when choosing a TTS program. Many TTS programs are not fully accessible. They might offer basic accessibility options such as changing the speed at which the text is spoken, changing the pitch and volume, and adding pauses. In some cases, the user interface is not accessible at all. To be truly accessible, a TTS system must provide full accessibility for both the screen reader and braille output. A few popular choices include Jaws 4, Dragon Naturally Speaking 8, and VoiceOver 3.
Other features: Other features to consider when choosing a good TTS software include voice recognition capabilities, text-to-speech syncing, and text editing tools. Voice recognition capabilities can help users create and edit documents using only voice commands. Syncing lets users sync their text files across computers, allowing them to work on the same document simultaneously on different machines. Editing tools let users change text, insert headings, bold text, italicize text, and indent paragraphs.
What Is Text-to-Speech Software Text-to-speech (TTS) technology is the process of converting text to audio so that it can be read aloud. TTS software helps people with hearing impairments read text on screen.