Useful Text-to-Speech Downloadable Software and Online Services

There’s a big problem here,  I had to find a way to work on the listening exercises with my students without using a CD, because, apparently, our Mexican Ministry of Education sent the books to our schools, but they totally“forgot” about sending the CDs as well. This is not new to Mexican teachers, or at leas to the ones of our State, since they ALWAYS forget to do things like this; that is why we receive the wrong amount of books, they are always either too many or not enough to cover the school enrolment, the books are not the ones we asked for or we get them after the 2nd or 3rd Period, which is really annoying. Anyhow, I was sort of ready for that, and thought that the Text-to-Speech sites I already knew, and had my students working on, were okay to solve the problem, but I was wronnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg, very much! lol

The thing is that, I happily started typing the conversations and downloading them from those websites, but at a certain point I couldn’t download anymore of them (logically since they mean a business for the developers); besides that, the voice sounded too robotized to my very personal point of view, so I realized it was time to do some more searching on the Internet and find new options, and that’s how I found the ones I’ll talk to you about this time.

As in previous posts I have already described the differences between iSpeech and Vozme, this time I will just add the URLS and images here.

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http://ispeech.org/ 

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http://vozme.com

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http://www.zero2000.com/

It converts any text into natural-sounding speech or even MP3 audio files. The 2nd Speech Center is an award winning Text To Speech software that lets you listen to Word Documents, Emails, Web Pages, PDF Files and any other text files instead of viewing on screen. You can listen on your PC or create audio files for use on portable devices like iPods, PocketPCs and CD players.

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http://www.ivona.com/us/

It’s one of the most popular software on sale I think since I’ve read reviews about it in many people’s Blogs and Forums, I personally like it very much because of the quality of the service, voices sound very natural, and that’s why I think it’s worth paying for, but there are other softwares, such as FLAMEREADER, that use IVONA’s voices; however, FLAMEREADER has other very interesting features and it’s not as expensive.

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http://www.flamereader.com/

This software has many differen variants and uses, but I really like the fact you can create conversations with different voices (male and female), accents and even add pauses and sounds or songs on the background to the conversations. The only thing I didn’t like (about the trial version at least) is that I can’t have more than one tab open at the same time, maybe it doesn’t happen to the ones who bought it indeed, but IVONA does let you have many tabs open at the same time and the voices (in the trial version) sound the same way.

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http://www.yakitome.com

YAKiToMe converts text to speech for free. Some of things you can do with it are:

-choose your reader’s voice, speed and pronunciation, to suit your preferences

– upload electronic text and convert to spoken audio files,
– listen online,
– download audio to your portable audio player for mobility, and
– share audio podcasts with other YAKs to create classrooms and private libraries.

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http://codewelt.com/proj/speak

This online application converts text into speech.
Choose one of many different languages and accents but I didn’t really hear a BIG difference between them since the voice is TOO robotized compared to the other sites.  You can download  an mp3 file, quickly share the sound and text you entered by copying the generated link and pasting it somewhere. Another feature allows you to directly take the link to the URL Obfuscator and hide the text spoken from the URL you share and you can also have it repeating the sound as many times as you want too.

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http://www.spokentext.net

This one offers better quality, you can also download your recordings and have them all saved and organized on the website. Besides you can share your audio files with others by giving them the link of the recordings so that they can listen to them online or they can also download them.

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http://imtranslator.net/translate-and-speak/

In my opinion, this one is the best free  text to speech online translator. The quality of the sound is unbelievably good, you can translate what you type to other languages and from those languages to English, you can embed your audio on a website and even send it to someone else through email. The only bad thing about it is that you can’t download the audio, which is a shame, so you can just use it as a webtool.

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http://www.acapela-group.com/

Last but not least, I will talk about a site I just found a couple of hours ago, Acapela.com

Acapela offers a wide range of products & services such as:

  • Develop with text to speech
  • Produce sound files. Easy generation of sound files in many languages, free from any technical knowledge or hardware equipement
  • Voice solutions for visually and print impaired users, to give a voice to content and interfaces.
  • Specific creation of voice personas to build your audio brand personality

But what I loved about it was its widget creator. It allows you to make your own one and embed it on your website, choosing the colors, its width and even the voice and accent of the speaker.

I’ve gotta say that there are HUNDREDS of text-to-speech software and online service choices, I actually found many good ones, but I preferred to mention only the ones I would use, so I hope you find this post useful. Anyway, if you find any other better, please SHARE 🙂

All comments and suggestions are always welcome!

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