I’ve written a variety of small Scala apps that take advantage of the “text to speech” capabilities on Mac OS X (Sarah, Wikipedia Page Reader), and a few days ago I started thinking about consolidating these by creating a Mac “text-to-speech service.” I initially created that as an Akka server (here on Github), then thought to make it a little more generic as a REST web service.
text to speech
About a month ago I shared some code for my Wikipedia Reader application, which reads Wikipedia pages out loud to you. As I thought about what I want from that application, I thought, “Why limit it to reading Wikipedia pages? What if it could read a book?”
As I keep diving deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that is the Mac OS X text to speech (voice) capability, I'm reminded that one cool thing you can do is have your Mac OS X system read text to you. Here's a quick example of how to get your Mac to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to you.
One cool thing about Mac OS X systems is the built in "text to voice" functionality. I use this from time to time to have my Mac OS X system read a web page or eBook to me, and the voice technology has actually gotten very good.
One thing many people don't know is that you can choose which voice you want to hear on your Mac OS X system by default, so, here's a short tutorial demonstrating how to select a default Mac "text to speech" voice.
Mac text to speech software: Admittedly, every once in a while I go off the deep end, and today I'm experimenting with Apple's Mac OS X text to speech software. For example, as I type this blog post I'm also listening to this New York Times article being read by the Mac OS X Speech service.
Mac text to speech voices: What do you know about Mac OS X text to speech voice capabilities, including using AppleScript to convert text to speech?
I'm goofing around currently, using the very cool Mac text to speech capability. Okay, really, what I'm doing is writing an AppleScript iTunes alarm clock program to wake me up in the morning, and in the process I started digging into this Mac text to speech stuff, using AppleScript.