Archive for the ‘Text-To-Speech’ Category

Using TTS & Microsoft SAPI on Clear Helper Home Page

2009/12/02

Today, on the “Clear Helper” home page, I replaced the “Chilled US/Canadian Male” voice font, which I had obtained from Cognable’s speech demo, with the Microsoft Anna voice font.   Though also obviously a computer-generated, text-to-speech (TTS) voice, it sounds a little better than the male voice I first used.  (See Post: “A Beginning for the Clear Helper Web Site“.)

I used a different tool this time to generate a MP3 recording of the home page text.  Balabolka is a freeware TTS program that provides access to computer voices installed on Windows PCs.  Using the Microsoft Speech API, Balabolka enables alteration of a voice’s rate and pitch, among other properties.

The rate of Anna’s voice seemed fine to me, but I did lower its pitch.  Check out the results by playing the MP3 file embedded on the “Clear Helper” home page.  I will continue to try other voices and TTS tools as I find them.

Note: Once again, I did not set up closed captioning for the MP3 file because the entire text of it is right on the home page.  If anyone objects to this, please let me know why.  Thanks.

Web Browsers for People with Cognitive Disabilities

2009/11/12

So far, I have found three Web browsers intended for use by people with cognitive disabilities.  Each use text-to-speech (TTS) technology, display of Web sites in a simplified format, and/or the conversion of Web site text into a symbolic representation.

  • WWAAC is the result of a Pan-European effort funded in part by the European Commission.
  • EdWeb was developed by The School of Informatics, University of Manchester, England.
  • Communicate: Webwide is a commercial product produced by Widget Software.  Of the three Web browsers, this is the most up-to-date product.

I expect that these Web browsers work best with Web sites that adhere to accessibility standards.  Their conversion of Web site text into a symbol-based alternative will be the subject of the next blog post.

Note: No endorsement is intended or implied for any of these products.


%d bloggers like this: