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Re: New Java-based software speech synthesizer available

I have no problems what so ever in paying a *reasonable* amount for a
software synthesizer. In fact, I believe the only way open source will
survive in any real sense is if users accept the need to pay an
acceptable amount for the development. The main issue I was talking
about was the need for the software to be open source so that we don't
get locked into using a binary distribution which requires shared
libraries which become outdated in time or one which is only available
in a specific package format which requires conversion to an
alternative package type (especially when the conversion is not always
100% accurate). 

I totally agree that open source does not equal free software and I do
believe that those that develop packages are entitled to some
renumeration for their time, effort and expenses. What I don't agree
with is monolithic bullies like microsoft who charge way too much for
their software, especially as most of this software in my view is
flakey, overpriced and outdated with respect to current technology.


T. V. Raman writes:
> You're confusing two tangled issues when you correctly state
> your preference for an open source implementation, and 
> the fact that the Viavoice RPMs have not been updated in a
> while.
> On the other hand, so long as the free-loaders of the world
> insist on not paying for anything --and that by the way *was
> not* what the Free Software movement is about--
> you'll continue to see  the present status quo.
> Festival and Festival Lite exist because of years of speech
> research by Alan Black and his team at Edinburgh and CMU.
> >>>>> "tcross" == tcross  <tcross@northnet.com.au> writes:
>     tcross> This is very interesting. As it is an open
>     tcross> source software synth, it may be a good
>     tcross> replacement for ViaVoice. I like ViaVoice very
>     tcross> much, but because we have to rely on a binary
>     tcross> only distribution and as it seems new versions
>     tcross> are not being released, I fear it may get
>     tcross> difficult to support over time. For example,
>     tcross> when I wanted to get viavoice running on a
>     tcross> debian system recently, I had to install extra
>     tcross> C++ libraries which were not part of the
>     tcross> standard install because the ones originally
>     tcross> installed were a later version and Via Voice
>     tcross> needed the earlier version.
>     tcross> Of course, the problem with the Java based TTS
>     tcross> under linux is identifying the best JVM to
>     tcross> use. Its been a while since I have done any
>     tcross> java, but the last time I looked, you had JVMs
>     tcross> from Java, Blackdown and IBM as well as some
>     tcross> open source interpreters etc. This may make
>     tcross> things a bit confusing for the novice
>     tcross> user. However, it would be great if I could use
>     tcross> emacspeak on my windows machine at work.
>     tcross> It looks like I may have found an interesting
>     tcross> project to tackle when I take my holidays in
>     tcross> March!
>     tcross> Tim 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> To:
>     >> JAVA-ACCESS@JAVA.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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>     >> "unsubscribe" or "help"
>     tcross> -- Tim Cross mailto: tcross@northnet.com.au
>     tcross> phone: +61 2 6772 5973 mobile: 0412 969193
>     tcross> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     tcross> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     tcross> To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change
>     tcross> your address on the emacspeak list send mail to
>     tcross> "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with a subject
>     tcross> of "unsubscribe" or "help"
> -- 
> Best Regards,
> --raman
> Email:  raman@cs.cornell.edu
> WWW: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman/             
> PGP:    http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman/raman.asc 

Tim Cross
mailto: tcross@northnet.com.au
phone: +61 2 6772 5973
mobile: 0412 969193

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