Moving away from Text to Speech… but other great folks are still here

I’m no longer blogging on text to speech; however, there are still a lot of great people blogging on speech at Microsoft. Your best contact is going to be Chuck Opperman who has a blog related to TTS and Speech API content: Also, the Speech team participates on newsgroups and on a Yahoo Speech forum if you…


Model Talker will allow individuals to create their own custom TTS voice

It was only a matter of time…. AgoraNet, Inc. appears to be in the process of introducing the Model Talker system of TTS, allowing an individual to create a TTS engine based on her voice to be used with any Sapi 5.0 compliant system (Windows XP/Vista). The technology is targeted towards individuals loosing their ability to…


The Blizzard Challenge: Rate text to speech samples

What’s the Blizzard Challenge? In a shell’s nut, it’s a competition that provides researchers and speech labs with the same set of originally recorded waves (i.e., 5 hours of a male speaker), and then challenges teams to create the “best” (i.e., most natural and intelligible) TTS voice. If it were an architecture challenge, it would…


Vista Beta 2 Screen Reader and Text to Speech

If you are running Vista Beta 2, check out the new text to speech functionality using the Narrator screen reader program. (Narrator is also enabled in Windows XP; however, the Vista TTS voice is way better in terms of naturalness and intelligibility IMO compared to MS Sam). You can start Narrator in one of two ways….


Text to Speech in Mission Impossible 3: A Dissection

Besides being the best of the three MI movies, there were 2 instances of TTS in the movie that deserve some discussion (and clarification). One of the scenes was simple and plausable, while the second was a definite stretch (i.e., not doable by today’s technology). In the first scene with TTS, one of the “good”…


Problems with French Liason in TTS – "A thread is a happy husband?"

Recently I was talking to a colleague who is a native French speaker (hey, that’s the great benefit of working here at Microsoft – lots of non-English speakers around) and she pointed out an interesting occurance of mispronunciation in French TTS that she found while casually taking advantage of speech technology (she knows I dig…


Shakespeare video with text to speech

Egads, it’s quite clear that Shakespeare wasn’t meant to be read with a text to speech voice… or at least not with the Micorosoft Mary and Microsoft Mike which are representative of older MS technology (old in terms of what users will get with Vista). At any rate, check out this video if you want…


What is TTS? How does it work?

I recently went over the entry in Wikipedia on text-to-speech, and it turns out to be a really good overview of the technolgogy. If you are interested in its history and the various components that would have to be handled by any TTS system, I highly recommend this site. There are also a number of helpful…


Another blogger on TTS

Check out Blake’s blog here and you can see some of the enthusiasm around text to speech. Blake’s site, The Road to Know Where, is loaded with all sorts of tips for Windows users. I’ll know where to send my mom the next time she is looking for helpful user hints. 🙂


Get El Mundo in podcast in Spanish

El Mundo is one of the more well known newspapers in Spain. And they are now offering an MP3 podcast download of the daily news. It appears that the voice of Rosa is the very same Rosa of AT&T Natural Voices. I found it interesting that the podcast actually caveats its TTSness on start-up. That is,…