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Oct 02 2015

Windows 10: Big improvement with TTS Voices

TTS_to_audio_file_thumb Windows 10: Big improvement with TTS Voices

For those people for those people who use accessibility options in Windows 10, or in previous versions of Windows, you be glad to know that Windows 10 has upgraded their text-to-speech voices.

In Windows 7, the text-to-speech engine was better than previous versions, but still had this computer’y type dialect to it. In Windows 10, you can choose from David or Zira. The two different voices actually sound very good.


In my particular case, I like to use the text-to-speech voices for sometimes doing proofreading or to create audiobooks.

Here’s an example of each of the two different voices that are offered by Windows 10.

David

and

Zira

I like to use the text-to-speech voices with an application called “Balabolka”; it’s Russian for chatter. It’s a free application that allows you to use the text-to-speech engines that are built into Windows 10 to create audio files in an MP3 format. The free application also has a pronunciation option so that you can change the pronunciations of certain words when they’re exported or read back by the application. You can add custom words, change the rate of speech and change the pitch as well.

Here’s the link:

http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm

It also allows you to convert large swaths of text, into an audio file that you can put into your phone, MP3 player or something you might listen to on the way to work to keep yourself informed.

In comparison the text-to-speech voices sound very good. As everyone knows, Windows 10 Includes Cortana, but Cortana is not a voice that you can choose for TTS. Cortana’s responses come directly from the Internet and are not rendered locally.

With the inclusion of the TTS voices with Windows 10, I’m a little disappointed that Microsoft didn’t add more capabilities for proofreading and export to audio files.  Including the high quality voices with the operating system is great because normally you would not get quality TTS voices unless you purchased applications like Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Over the years, Google has improved their TTS voices as well, but they don’t offer a download option to put them into the operating system; it simply through the Internet in their web services— like Google Now and Google Maps.

At any rate, if you find yourself wanting to read a large amount of information, and you don’t have time, you can use the high quality TTS voices from Windows 10 in conjunction with Balabolka, you can listen to them anytime

If you have any suggestions, let me know.


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