Text 2 Speech on Android and Web (Update)
I love audiobooks, because they can utilize brain-time, which would otherwise be lost e.g. time when walking, running or hiking. Problem of audiobooks however used to be their scarcity, which I always struggled with especially in case of technical books. I used to generate the books to audio files. Since then may real-time text-to-speech software is available, especially on my mobile device where it matters the most:
I mostly play text I need either via:
- Voice Aloud Android app can read any text shared to it even emails
- Talkify Website read any other website or document aloud
Linux Tools for Text-to-Speech
Flite in comparison to Festival has:
- pleasant voices
- samely comprehensible voices
- big problems when combination with ffmpeg streaming encoding over bash pipes (This is why I don’t use it for audiobook generation.)
- designed for embedded devices (see docs )
pico2wave in comparison to Festival has:
- similarly pleasant voice
- less comprehensible voice
- problems when one needs to be piping text into it and resolvable problems when one needs to be piping from it:
ln -sf /dev/fd/1 /tmp/stdout.wav; while IFS= read -r line; do pico2wave -w /tmp/stdout.wav "$line"; done | ...
- designed for embedded devices
I’ve put together a simplistic tool for generating audiobooks from plain text that works! I call it text2gsm as it converts plain text file into GSM WAV compression format optimal for voice.
I used above scripts to compress Hammings lectures for download - read more here.