58 Replies
Jonathon Casterline

I get it... not taking a jab at you.  sometimes you have to use what you can and get by with it (we all do).

I  frequently see people discuss "robot voice" and it is usually followed with "not too bad" or "pretty natural sounding". Robot voice makes my ears hurt (as do poor voice overs) and I completely shut out the audio of courses when it is used. I would rather just read the text on screen if given the option (and think learners should have that option).

As training professionals we spend so much time trying to make a course "engaging" or "interactive" and in some cases we end up just giving the learner a headache with poor audio or visual quality.

It is just a general observation. A quality "human" voice-over can really make a difference in the learners experience and can be worth the extra effort and even cost.

I worry that people think "robot voice" is a good choice for a quality course. My opinion is it should be the last choice.

I get that in your situation it is the necessary option, and you are tyring to get the best robot voice possible, which I commend you for.

Harry Rose

Hi,

As I understand it there are a couple components in a TTS reader. A
speech synthesiser that does the voice and the software that you put the
text into. (The reader if you will) I am using Zabaware TTS reader with MS
Anna. It's not as good as the Naturally Speaking voices, but it's free.

If you are creating a course, you might have to read the license on the
software you use. My understanding is the if you are selling the resulting
product you have to get a different license then if you are using it for
your own reading.

Good luck hope this helps.

Harry

Harry Rose

Hi,

     I agree a human voice is the best option if the speaker is fluent. I use Audacity with a USB mic for my podcast. I didn't spend much I think it was all of $20. I believe the post was originally from a non-native speaker, so they wanted to use the computer. Earlier in the thread there was a suggestion of using an external service. that might be a good way to go if there is a budget for it.

Jim Zap

There's a free software, "TextToWav".  It lets me convert to either Wav or Mp3. Also It give my the option change voices. I compare it to other converter and this one save it to a small size with great quality. However, make sure you have virus protection at all times when you dowload.  Here's the link:  or you can search for it at cnet.com

http://download.cnet.com/windows/smart-butler-com/3260-20_4-86370.html?tag=rb_content;contentBody

Works great with me because I had bought the voices, Kate and Paul, a few years back. And most of all,  it's time saving. Don't have to record, edit and so on...