[arm-allstar] TTS translation options

Chris Zenchenko wb9rsq at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 16:07:35 EST 2015

Not to beat a dead horse but the loss of tts for the weather scripts has
been a major frustration for me.
I spoke with Doug, Wa3DSP the other evening and mentioned I had been digging
in to options.
The bottom line for distribution is free but as a blind user of speech
synthesizers for as much as 16 hours per day I know quality matters.
I can live with poor but people in my office freak out when hearing even the
better voices I have available.
I can think of several options but none of them are cheap or easy since
you'd be looking at a Windows machine running to serve the speech.
Not really an option.
There are only a few voices that might run on the PI2 or the BBB.
We all know of them and none really match the Google output we got use to.
However I think that as Doug mentioned it might be possible to support
options in any new scripts with the understanding that users would have to
decide if a given service was worth paying for.
To that end I have located info on pricing for Google Translate:
I have not calculated how many characters a weather script might send in a
month but I'd be surprised if it hit one million.
Still $20.00 is a bit much.
The other option is the Microsoft translation api.
It appears if I heard this right you have to create an account but then you
could get up to two million characters per month free.
It might be possible for a club to set up an account and pay for more and
then allow users to access the service with the club key.
I'm no expert on scripts or how this might work but I think it might be
worth trying the MS route.
I can say that the voices with W7 and up are quite good and in W10 close to
the best of my Voiceware reading voices.
VW's newest, James, is better than anything I've ever heard but it has
issues for screen reader use.
Keeping in mind that a screen reader user expects a completely different set
of parameters for quality speech if all you want is great output for average
listeners over a node clearly MS or Google could handle it.
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