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Thread: Text to Speech

  1. #1
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Text to Speech

    Howdy,
    I just installed Ubuntu 7.04 and I really like it, especially its speed compared to XP. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get any text to speech software to work yet. If I could get a speech synthesiser to read text for me like I can with windows (using "TextAloud MP3"), I could abandon that other OS altogether, as 'reading' news is what I do most with this PC.
    Is there any good text-to-speech software that will run in Ubuntu? I've read about and downloaded something called "Festival" but I don't know what to do with all those files and I've read that it doesn't have a GUI. Any tips to have me listening to my text would be very welcome.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Text to Speech

    Ubuntu Feisty ships with a screenreader named Orca.

    Have a look at the menu System->Preferencs->Accessibility->Assistive Technology Preferences.

    That might help you.

    Francesco

  3. #3
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    Re: Text to Speech

    Thanks. That's a great start... but ideally I want something that only reads what I tell it to read, not every window that comes to the foreground.

  4. #4
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    Re: Text to Speech

    I am visually impaired and often find it nice to have software read for me as an addition to my screen magnification software. So I do understand the desire to have software that will read what I tell it to read.

    There are several programs that may help you

    Here is a small list of useful programs and add-ons. The links have more details about the programs and how to install them...

    Emacspeak- this is a talking extension to the emacs editor
    <http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net/>
    This can be installed easily using the synaptic package manager or 'apt-get install emacspeak'. but make sure that all of the dependencies are satisfied prior to installing emacspeak other wise it will not function properly.
    KTTS- KDE text to speech system
    This works well with KDE, and allows items on the clipboard to be spoken.
    <http://accessibility.kde.org/developer/kttsd/>
    I think this should be installed by default, maybe. But if it not, you can install it using synaptic package manager. The website will have a more information.

    Read Out Loud- This is for the Adobe PDF reader, it allows for pdfs to be spoken. Very nice when you just want to listen to a PDF document.
    This link has information on how to set up Read Out Loud
    <http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/8.0/Standard/help.html?content=WS58a04a822e3e50102bd61510979419 5ff-7d15.html>
    And this link has the software ...
    <http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/>

    ClickSpeak- This is an exension for firefox. It will speak web pages for you, and highlight the text while it reads. (I realy like this alot! It can also be used with or without Orca for speech which is realy nifty)
    <http://clickspeak.clcworld.net/>
    Click on installation guide, and follow the directions to install the extension.

    Hope that you find this useful.
    Have a wonderful day.

    -Joann

  5. #5
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    Re: Text to Speech

    Thanks for the info Joann. I think KTTSD (along with KTTSMGR and KSAYIT) are exactly what I'm looking for... but I can't figure out for the life of me how to install KTTSD or Festival or its voices. What am I missing?

  6. #6
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    Re: Text to Speech

    Robotman,

    Lets see the easiest way to check is to see what software you have installed. So, if you open synaptic package manager, and do a quick search for "speech" a whole bunch of neat stuff should appear off to the upper left hand corner with a description in the lower left portion of the window. If you scroll through the list, at around the letter K you should see kmouth, ksayit, and kttsd. Make sure these have all been checked. Also, at around the letter F there should be festival too, so make sure it is installed as well.

    The search results should list a bunch of goodies, including other speech synthesis software which will produce other voices. You may find these useful ... "eflite", "espeak", "flite". (Commercial software is also available to provide even more voices).

    After apply the changes and installing the software you should be able to open KTTSD, by going to Applications->Accesbility->kttsmgr. First K you should see kmouth, ksayit, and kttsd. Make sure these have all been checked. Also, at around the letter F there should be festival too, so make sure it is installed as well.

    Hope that this helps
    - Joann

  7. #7
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    Re: Text to Speech

    Thanks Joann, that worked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Re: Text to Speech

    Here's a quick question about this. Will this work even though I am using gnome and not kde. In a more general sense, can I install any kde program in the add/remove program list or do I actually have to install the whole kde desktop (probably not the right term) to be able to use these programs?

    Btw, I realize that many of you probably think I should just install it, try it out and uninstall it if it doesn't work but I have dial-up and downloading is slow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Text to Speech

    If you type

    Code:
    sudo apt-get --simulate install kttsd
    you'll get to see which packages will be installed.

    If you type
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install kttsd
    you'll be told how many MB of space the packages will consume, and you'll be asked if you want to do this. (Note, if kttsd is the only package that needs to be downloaded, then you won't be asked. Only if there are dependencies that need to be downloaded first.)
    Last edited by unutbu; May 10th, 2008 at 12:28 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Text to Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by xzcallaway View Post
    The Ubuntu Text Reader can read any text that you paste into it and you can customize it with different voices.

    You can download the latest version at:

    http://xzcallaway.synthasite.com/
    This is exactly what I've been looking for. I always wonder why so many Linux apps just don't work out-of-the-box and have simple GUIs, like KTTS/Kmouth and Festival.

    This should be integrated into the next Ubuntu as a default app. Its small and very, very useful.

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