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Re: New Java-based software speech synthesizer available

This is very interesting. As it is an open source software synth, it
may be a good replacement for ViaVoice. I like ViaVoice very much, but
because we have to rely on a binary only distribution and as it seems
new versions are not being released, I fear it may get difficult to
support over time. For example, when I wanted to get viavoice running
on a debian system recently, I had to install extra C++ libraries
which were not part of the standard install because the ones
originally installed were a later version and Via Voice needed the
earlier version. 

Of course, the problem with the Java based TTS under linux is
identifying the best JVM to use. Its been a while since I have done
any java, but the last time I looked, you had JVMs from Java,
Blackdown and IBM as well as some open source interpreters etc. This
may make things a bit confusing for the novice user. However, it would
be great if I could use emacspeak on my windows machine at work. 

It looks like I may have found an interesting project to tackle when I
take my holidays in March!

Jason White writes:
> 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
>               synthesizer
> Date:         Wed, 19 Dec 2001 17:25:17 -0500
> Greetings!
> 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:
>     http://java.sun.com/features/2001/12/flite.html
> 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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Tim Cross
mailto: tcross@northnet.com.au
phone: +61 2 6772 5973
mobile: 0412 969193

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