Microsoft Bob

Just a short, simple blog for Bob to share some tips and tricks.

Be sure to check out my non-technical blog at www.bobsbasement.net.

Month List

Follow Up: Converting Text Files to Audio Files

A couple of days ago I posted a blog which I titled Creating an HTML Application to Convert Text Files to Audio Files, in which I showed how to create an HTML Application that will convert a text file to an audio file. I thought that I would follow up that article with a quick demonstration which compares some of the built-in text-to-speech voices that ship with Windows 7 and Windows 8.

For the text in this demonstration I will use Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem titled The Raven, which is one of my personal favorites. (I used to have the poem memorized as a teenager... that might have been when I was going through a Fahrenheit 451 phase.)

Click the above image
to download the text file.

Microsoft Anna (Windows 7)

For the first demo we will take a look at the poem as read by the Microsoft Anna text-to-speech voice, which ships with Windows 7. This voice is acceptable, and certainly better than the text-to-speech voices which shipped before Windows 7 was released. But still, it has a few odd quirks to it, and as a result this voice typically sounds unnatural to me.

Click the above image
to download the MP3 file.

Microsoft David (Windows 8)

For the second demo we will take a look at the poem as read by the Microsoft David text-to-speech voice, which ships with Windows 8. This voice is considerably more acceptable that Microsoft Anna, and it sounds very natural to me. It is obviously a male voice, and several people with whom I have discussed this subject seem to prefer the Microsoft David voice over all the others.

Click the above image
to download the MP3 file.

Microsoft Hazel (Windows 8)

For the third demo we will take a look at the poem as read by the Microsoft Hazel text-to-speech voice, which also ships with Windows 8. This also much better than the text-to-speech voices which shipped before Windows 7, and it has an English accent which makes it fun for converting literary works.

Click the above image
to download the MP3 file.

Microsoft Zira (Windows 8)

For the fourth and final demo we will take a look at the poem as read by the Microsoft Zira text-to-speech voice, which also ships with Windows 8. This voice is my personal favorite, as I find it the most-natural sounding of all the text-to-speech voices which ship with Windows 7; this is the voice that I used for all of my textbook reading assignments.

Click the above image
to download the MP3 file.

In Closing

As a parting thought, the text-to-speech voices which ship with Windows 8 are extremely good in my opinion; they sound very natural, and they are very easy to understand. As a result, I have a tendency to speed up the playback a little when I am using the script which I shared in my previous blog. That being said, I hope these samples help to demonstrate the various text-to-speech voices that are available in the recent versions of Windows.

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: May 28 2015, 19:59 by Bob | Comments (0)
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