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New Java-based software speech synthesizer available

The following announcement appeared on the java-access mailing list. I
am forwarding it to the Emacspeak list because, on the FreeTTS web
site at Sourceforge, the authors mention an Emacspeak demo (there
appears to be an Emacspeak speech server available). I haven't
downloaded any of the software yet, so these remarks are based purely
on the web page.

Forwarded message

From: Willie Walker <william.walker@SUN.COM>
Subject:      Sun Microsystems Laboratories releases an open source speech
Date:         Wed, 19 Dec 2001 17:25:17 -0500


It is my pleasure to announce that the Sun Microsystems Laboratories
Speech Group has made its FreeTTS (http://freetts.sourceforge.net/)
speech synthesis engine available via open source through a BSD-style
license.  The engine is written entirely in the Java(tm) programming
language and provides partial support for the synthesis portion
of the Java Speech API 1.0 specification.

You can read more about this project in an article on http://java.sun.com:


An excerpt from the article is as follows:

  "Researchers from Sun Microsystems Laboratories in Burlington,
   Massachusetts have created an open source speech synthesis engine
   written entirely in the Java(tm) programming language. This
   high-performance software converts text to speech. You type it;
   your workstation speaks it. And the whole world benefits.

   Willie Walker, Paul Lamere, and Philip Kwok combined the Festival
   Speech Synthesis System, with its robust architecture, and the Flite
   engine, with its succinct algorithms, to create FreeTTS, a synthesizer
   that delivers both power and flexibility.

   The team ported Flite, programmed in C, and Festival, written in C++
   and Scheme, to the Java programming language. FreeTTS generated
   intelligible speech four weeks after researchers wrote the first line
   of code. But even with such a short development time, the team did not
   compromise results. FreeTTS outperforms both original applications,
   executing nearly four times faster than Flite in some environments."

For the Sun Labs Speech Group,

Willie Walker,
Manager and Principal Investigator

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