Saturday, August 01, 2009

Any Techno-Geeks Out There (Downloading Advice: TTS)?

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I'm trying to obtain a text-to-speech (TTS) program at as low a cost as possible. One I keep running across (which is free and unrestricted) is called Festival Speech Synthesis System. I tried to download it but was unsuccessful. The demos of the voices were decent. Could be better, but for free . . . Then there is a GUI called Carnival that works with Festival. I couldn't figure that out, either. If I can somehow get this stuff, I may still have a shot at using computer-synthesized speech for free, in order to create some audio books. Otherwise, the best I've found is Cepstral: 50 voices for a license fee of $1200, allowing commercial selling (mp3 and wav files). Their license was $200 till a year and a half ago. But that was for only one chosen voice.

Any help in downloading Festival and Carnival or suggestions / recommendations for free or inexpensive TTS programs (i.e., for commercial purposes, not just private use) would be most appreciated.

9 comments:

Reginald de Piperno said...

Dave,

It looks like Festival is only available as source code. You would have to have a compiler in order to build it. If you've never done that before, or if you don't know what that means, you're probably better off finding something else. Sorry.

RdP

Shane said...

I don't have the time this moment, but I will try to compile everything and get it running. If I am able (which I should be), I can send it to you all set to go.

Dave Armstrong said...

Fantastic, Shane! I'm extremely grateful. If you can do this, I'll send you a set of e-books or a paperback if you like. And I can send you audiobooks for free as I get them up and running. Whatever you like, as a small token of appreciation for your invaluable help . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

Meanwhile I had a huge virus attack late last night. It's mostly under control now but I still have nuisances to overcome (Firefox browser, Windows Media Player, email, etc.).

Martin said...

Scary, virus attack. What's your virus program? Any idea of how it got past? I have AVG on my home network, but I am an interntet lightweight.

Dave Armstrong said...

I have AVG as of today. It was Avast. Both free programs . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

Actually, I found out today that I can get the license for $200 provided I sell CDs and don't offer downloading o the Internet. So it's quite do-able! The total cost would be $230-260. I have a program called text Aloud that switches text to mp3. May be also another $30 to buy a voice (not sure).

Any luck with that project, Shane?

The advantage there, if it works, would be the ability to offer the audiobooks on the Internet as well, which is a lot easier for me (no extra work, no postage, materials, time spent burning CDs, etc.).

Shane said...

Dave,

I've been working on it. Unfortunately, it's a little more complicated than compiling things from the internet often is. It's not a big deal, so much as it just takes longer for me to sort it all out.

The main thing that's taking the time is that I needed to download some stuff to proceed with the project (which I've got no problem with), but that this downloading is going *extremely* slowly. It's really a matter of how long it takes the stuff to download at this point.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks so much. Let me know if you'd like one of my books, or the set of e-books, etc.. for all your help.