Friday, January 1, 2010

Mobile Text to Speech

Scenario – Mobile Text-to-Speech

Although desktop software such as Flame Reader and iSpeak It! provide more features, control, and organization of text-to-speech recordings, they typically require a three-step process: convert text to speech, copy the recording to iTunes, and copy the spoken text to an iPod touch. Apps that directly convert text to speech as it appears on the iPod screen can provide advantages over desktop conversion and copying depending on how they are used. In addition to enhancing comprehension and listening at the same time, mobile text-to-speech also enables people who are unable to speak to communicate in person or by phone (iPod users can play the audio over a telephone handset).

Software: iPod touch Apps such as Speak It, Web Talk, and Read 2 Me

Hardware: iPod Touch

Resources: http://teachlearntechblog.blogspot.com - under Menu click Assistive Mobile Technology to Help Students Succeed.

Process
  • Run the app Web Talk, which has a built in browser and open the web page you want to read.
  • In preferences adjust the voice, volume, and speed controls.
  • Press the Play button to listen to page's spoken text.
  • Use the app Speak-It! to read typed or copied text in the text to say window. Two American and two British voices. Spoken text can be saved but not exported.
  • Read 2 Me allows importing of text files, although they must be in URL format.
Description of Speak-It!
Type or copy and paste text in the "text to say" window and have a synthesized voice speak back to you. You can choose from two American voices (good quality) and two British voices (better quality), increase or lower the volume, and adjust the playback speed. There are a number of application for Speak It! including hands-free listening of online news, playing back text for those who are unable to speak, and assisting auditory learning with reading text. The app currently cannot upload files nor export spoken text as mp3 files. Speak It! lacks the ability to remember current playback position and does not allow scrolling of recorded spoken text. For long text such as chapters and books, I recommend a solution such as iSpeak It and iTunes.

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