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Old 02-02-2006, 02:49 AM   #1
rschow
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Festival or other Speech Synthesis


Does anyone use a program called "Festival" (see Centre for Speech Technology Research at the University of Edinburgh) as a screen reader? It does text-to-speech very well and works with most sound card.
I'd like to use it to make a linux box that speaks, so he can stick to the command line and use the internet. He's currently stuck in W98 with JAWS, which finds the Internet and GUI's quite inhospitable.
I understand that it can be used in server mode with applications as clients, reading the text of anything, translating it into speech and out the sound card.
Any ideas?
 
Old 02-04-2006, 05:25 AM   #2
guysoft
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i personally really like the idea of speech synthesis.. when i hear a document i remember it much better.

i found that speech synthesis in Linux is a little problematic. festival is very strong on commands, but i can't understand what it says, it sounds like a child that doesn't know yes where to breath in a sentence.

i do know of people that have to use festival, because they have no other choice, you can visit speak up at: http://www.linux-speakup.org/
this is a project made, as they say in the site, by a bunch of blind people that like to mess around with Linux. but i personally never made contact with them.

another direction i thought towards is KDE, finally on version 3.5 the KTTD (text to speech daemon) started working out of the box, and kaysayit might be a widely used tool.

that is my experience with festival
 
Old 03-04-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
Harp00
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I just installed Festival on my Slackware 10.2, but the voice is bad, metallic and it remembers me an old Commodore 64 speech synthesis program.
Is it possible to obtain better results?
 
Old 03-04-2006, 10:33 PM   #4
rschow
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Well, I can't say, Harp00. I'm just a novice at it myself. Hopefully, others more experienced will reply to your post.
 
Old 03-06-2006, 06:41 AM   #5
guysoft
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i had a little progress.

festival lite seems to have better result than the full festival package. (ie flite)

its not as good as systems like readplease (i find that the be the best reader i have seen out there). but its pretty functinal.

i think we we really miss in linux is a speech program tha highlights the text as it reads it.
 
Old 03-06-2006, 09:55 PM   #6
rschow
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I want to compare Festival (on Linux) to JAWS for Windows. You probably know that JAWS turns on with Windows and speaks everything (almost) on the focus screens. No cut and paste that totally blind people can't do.
Can Festival, or Festival Lite, be made to perform like that? ...could it if companion utilities helped it?
 
Old 03-07-2006, 01:29 AM   #7
crouse
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You might try yasr
 
Old 03-07-2006, 01:30 AM   #8
crouse
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opps.... here is the url:
http://yasr.sourceforge.net/
I haven't used it, but I have used festival.

Another interesting project is
http://oralux.org/

Festival and Lynx can be made to work together.... a quick bashscript that I wrote.
Code:
#/!bin/bash
# Visit specific url with lynx and have festival read it back.
# Works best with pages that are text only, without hyperlinks. 
# NOTE: Could create menu system and use sed/awk/grep to clean up pages before reading
# and allow for the script to loop.
# 
# Very basic bash script that combines the use of lynx and festival
#
#
echo "Please enter a url to visit" > enterurlmsg.txt
festival --tts enterurlmsg.txt
read -p "Please enter a url to visit" urltovisit;
lynx -dump $urltovisit > urltemp.txt
festival --tts urltemp.txt
# Remove temp files
rm urltemp.txt
rm enterurlmsg.txt
exit
an interesting link for festival users... http://leb.net/pub/blinux/doc/blinux/my-tts-linux.txt
 
Old 03-08-2006, 09:55 PM   #9
rschow
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Great info on programs and sites! Thanks very much.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 10:35 PM   #10
crouse
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Glad I could help
 
  


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