I am looking for some easy to install text to speech software for Ubuntu that sounds natural. I've installed Festival, Gespeaker, etc., but nothing sounds very natural. All very synthetic and hard to understand.
Any recommendations out there?
In addition to all the above:
A very minimalistic tts, with a better sounding than espeak or mbrola (to my mind).
I don't understand that pico2wave is, compared to espeak or mbrola, rarely discussed. It s so mini, but sounds realy good (natural). Without modification you'll hear a natural sounding female voice.
AND ... compared to Mbrola, it recognise Units und speaks it the right way!
After installation I use it in a script:
pico2wave -l=de-DE -w=/tmp/test.wav "$1"
That s all to have a small weight, stable working tts on Ubuntu.
best regards :o)
I have looked high and low for text to speech for Ubuntu that is high quality. There is none. My vocal cords are paralyzed so I needed TTS to add voice instructions to my Ubuntu videos. You can get commercial high quality Linux text to speech software here: http://wizzardsoftware.com/att_desktop_overview.php It's just really expensive. I ended up buying Natural Reader for Windows (doesn't work in Ubuntu under Wine) for $40. Maybe later I will get the Linux one.
I hope that helps.
I believe Ive found the best TTS software for free using a Google Chrome extension called "SpeakIt". This only works in the Chrome browser for me on Ubuntu. It doesnt work with Chromium for some reason. SpeakIt comes with two female voices which both sound very realistic compared to everything else out there. There are at least four more male & female voices listed s Chrome extensions if you search the Chrome Web Store using "TTS" as your query.
For use on a website. you highlight the text you want to be read and either right click and "SpeakIt" or click the SpeakIt icon docked on the Chrome top bar.
Firefox users also have two options. Within Firefox addons, do a search for TTS and you should find "Click Speak" and also "Text to Voice". The voices are not as good as the Chrome SpeakIt voices, but are definitely usable.
The SpeakIt extension uses iSpeech technology and for a price of $20 a year, the site can convert text to MP3 audio files. You can input text, URLs, RSS feeds, as well as documents such as TXT, DOC, and PDF and output to MP3. You can make podcast, embed audio, etc. Here is a link...
and a sample of their audio (dont know how long the link will last)...
I have been conducting research on the best sounding and easily tuned text to speech voices. Below is a listing of what I thought were the top 5 products in order of sound quality. Most of the websites associated with these product have an interactive demo that will allow for you to make your own determination.
I find Nitech HTS voices on festival very natural and comforting over any other voices I have heard. See this link on how to set up Nitech and other sounds with festival. I have not found a good gui which I can use to configure those voices but setting them via festival.scm still works. That post is very old and you might want to find the actual installation directory using
"locate festival" command
My favorite text-to-speech program is called Magic English, but like Natural Reader mentioned by Joe Steiger, it is a Windows program and I'm not sure if it will run under Wine.
AT&T Labs Natural Voices is available online as a demo, but that's more of a work-around than a solution...
Still with festival, you can install this female voice as described here that sounds much better than default voice.
Use Spokentext.net. That is what I use nowadays. It is only $30 per year. It can be used on any operating system, pc, tablet, phone.
Here's a great blog post on how to configure festival to have a more realistic voice for free. It also describes how to change the speed of the voice and make it read the clipboard.
I want to convert text to an audio file containing synthesised speech that reads out that text. What free (libre+gratis) software is available for this and how do I install and use it?
I don't need to use it as an accessibility tool - I just want to be able to listen back to my revision notes while doing other things, like playing games.
espeak is a nice little tool.
I just like playing around with it in a command line. You might find it conflicts with Pulseaudio so I'm using a long-winded version that negates having to set it up properly.
sudo apt-get install espeak
espeak --stdout "this is a test" | paplay
espeak --help will show you the options to calibrate reading speed, pitch, voice, etc.
When you're doing your notes, save them as a text file and then:
echo "these are my notes" > text.txt
espeak --stdout -f text.txt > text.wav
paplay text.wav # you should hear "these are my notes"
You can then play around with ffmeg et al to compress this down from PCM to something more manageable like MP3 or OGG. But that's a different story.
And yet another espeak gui: gespeaker. It uses both espeak and mbrola engines. Also, it has more options than espeak-gui.
Even though you've already accepted an answer, I wanted to mention festival, which I like quite a lot too. This post on the Ubuntu forums has a lot of information on getting very nice voices set up for it.
The following is not a FLOSS solution, but you may find it worthwhile. (it is a wine solution),
I'm personally very keen on TTS, I use it quite often... eg. listening to a rambling discourse which I would never bother to stick with otherise (because I need to get another cup of coffee... :)
A few things I've discovered along the way.. or should I say, things I haven't discovered along the way... To put it bluntly: Every piece of FOSS TTS voice software I've tried is under par and therefore unsuitable for any semi-protracted listening...
I currently use ATnT's NaturalVoices. It is only available for Windows (maybe the Mac), but it does run under wine in Ubuntu .. (it has minor glytch, where I sometimes need to click on the panel when I move away from the reader... It is a minor issue when compared to the advantage gained by quality of speech from NatualVoices.
Some other things I've found to be virtually essential for a half-sensible listening experience, are;...
These TTS progamas are not intelligent (well maybe as intelligent as a young baboon) .. so they need every bit of help they can get. and there is one (and only one Reader program I've found which helps greatly in this.. The app is called ReadPlease (2003 Pro)... It allowd you to specially modify words and groups of word to be pronounced as you want them... It is by no means perfect, but for me, it made the difference between the entire process being usable and not usable...
ReadPlease (2003 Pro)
The speech in Natural Voices is "okay", but it is a bit boring. There are other good products too, but they are all for Windows, unfortunately)..
It infeclts surprisingl well sometimes .. but OMG, initially it is a pain! .. so #2 is *patience... and lots of updating of your "special words" list ... By patience, I mean you(I) actually became accustomed to my particular baboon's speech patterns :)... and by the way, I currently have about 3000 words that now sound "Human" enough that I no longer cringe when I hear them.
3.. "Follow the Bouncing Ball" ... Again because the voice is never as good as a real speaker, things sometimes need to be clarified .. . The Reader program I use has one feature for which I even put up with its clunky looking interface.... Is has a "select the currently being read" word option.. Many readers have this, but ReadPlease keeps the current line bang on center of the screen .. This is invaluable to be able to see ahead and behind to quickly re-read what you just missed (so auto-centering the curent line is good)...
Well that's my experience.. I'm going to make a coffee now, and while I'm doing it, I'll be listening to this, to see how it "reads".... TTS is surprisingl good for picking up typos (I make lots of typos)...
If something as good as ATnT NaturalVoices turns up on the Ubuntu repository, I'll jump at it.
Here is a link to some samples of Natural Voices: I use "MIke"
that s what I use. And it sounds natural, it s easy to understand, it recognise Units (m, °C,kg, ...)
Here is my first post to pico2wave
Natural Sounding Text to Speech?
All you have todo is:
Go to Ubuntu Software Center and search for "pico". You ll find 4 or 5 entries with "Small Footprint Ling...". Install them.
A possible use of pico2wave is described in my first posting (follow the link above).