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Just think of the trouble they would have had with the authors' group if the voices sounded less robotic. They hav already dropped several books from their text to speech lists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
intinst said:
Just think of the trouble they would have had with the authors' group if the voices sounded less robotic. They hav already dropped several books from their text to speech lists.
You know? I didn't think of it that way. You're so right. That sucks though because the voices sound so good, especially in the other languages. What's so cool about it is that you could actually use English in the other languages and they will speak with accents. It's kinda funny.
 

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Yeah, it's a problem. I'd love to see Amazon expand the technology and make the voices more realistic, but they have absolutely no incentive to do so. Making it better will just make more publishers shun it. It's a real shame because it's something we really need. It's not often that technology makes a leap like that. Sometimes outmoded conventions need to make way for new things, I think this is one of them. Until they can make these voices sound like the actors and authors who read the audio books, though, I still think there's a market.

Ironically I think they're most concerned about losing the business of people who have no choice but to buy audiobooks. This kind of stinks because it's basically profiting off of a disability. I can't imagine most people who buy them just to enjoy the reading by their favorite author or award winning celebrity would be content with even a realistic TTS.

And they still can't say Barack Obama <snicker> It does seem smoother, but I definitely hear the roboticness and the odd inflections here and there. It sounds almost exactly like the Kindle in the way it says words, it just has a much smoother voice I think.

Sadly I have a 3 or 4 year old GPS with TTS that does all the different accents and male and female speakers and I would almost say it's better or at least on par with this site and my Kindle. I love having a British gentleman give me directions, but sometimes it's fun to have an Aussie do it too!
 

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Okay... I recant a bit.  I just played with some of the other voices more.  Peter is absolutely amazing.
 

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I'm a little confused, why would they want it to sound like a robot?  You would think more publishers would want their books with the text to speech mode if it sounded better.  ???
 

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The publishers sell audio books.  If the free text-to-speech sounds too good, they lose a potential audience for their books on tape/CD.  Not to mention these ebooks sell even cheaper than normal books, so they stand to lose a lot of money.  Right now it's not even in the same ballpark and there's already publishers refusing to support it because of this.  Imagine if the technology were improved and the TTS actually sounded like a real person.
 

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actually, if there was a way to add voices from third parties, an after market product might be a good way to improve on the system. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You see? I told you. I can't stop using it either. When I need help with pronunciations in other languages, I resort to this website. I love it!

Actually, there's a way to purchase these voices for your computer through this website. As a language aficionado, I'm seriously tempted. Okay, here you go:

http://www.nextup.com/
 

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Scheherazade said:
The publishers sell audio books. If the free text-to-speech sounds too good, they lose a potential audience for their books on tape/CD. Not to mention these ebooks sell even cheaper than normal books, so they stand to lose a lot of money. Right now it's not even in the same ballpark and there's already publishers refusing to support it because of this. Imagine if the technology were improved and the TTS actually sounded like a real person.
Thanks for the explanation that makes sense from a business point of view...although I would like to think publishers wouldn't be so greedy.
 

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fuzzykno said:
Thanks for the explanation that makes sense from a business point of view...although I would like to think publishers wouldn't be so greedy.
The Author's Guild has already proved that they are that greedy and the publishers are not far behind, considering their complaints about Amazon's pricing of ebooks.
 

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ElLector said:
I seriously think Amazon should have joined forces with the Acapela-group for text-to-speech. So far, I think they're the best. The voices are so crisp and much less robotic. Actually, I can't even find the robot-ism in their voices. Here's the link:

http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html (Enjoy! And don't use any swear words!)
Love it, LOVE it. I had 'em all say the opening sentence of Wysard (among other things) and Peter was fabulous, with Rachel a very close second. Heather's Valley Girl intonations had me laughing. :D Thanks!!! I'm sending this one around.

CK
 

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ElLector said:
Actually, there's a way to purchase these voices for your computer through this website. As a language aficionado, I'm seriously tempted. Okay, here you go:

http://www.nextup.com/
If someone comes up with a TTS hack I'll be all over Peter. $35 is really cheap, I was afraid the voices would be hundreds each.
 
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