eSpeak is a software speech synthesizer for English, and potentially other languages.
eSpeak produces good quality English speech. It uses a different synthesis method from other open source TTS engines, and sounds quite different. It's perhaps not as natural or "smooth", but I find the articulation clearer and easier to listen to for long periods.
eSpeak project can run as a command line program to speak text from a file or from stdin. It works well as a "Talker" with the KDE text to speech system (KTTS), as an alternative to Festival for example. As such, it can speak text which has been selected into the clipboard, or directly from the Konquerer browser or the Kate editor.
· Includes different Voices, whose characteristics can be altered.
· Can produce speech output as a WAV file.
· Can translate text to phoneme codes, so it could be adapted as a front end for another speech synthesis engine.
· Potential for other languages. Rudimentary (and probably humourous) attempts at German and Esperanto are included.
· Compact size. The program and its data total about 350 kbytes.
· Written in C++.
I regularly use it to listen to blogs and news sites. I prefer the sound through a domestic stereo system rather than my small computer speakers.
· Place the "speak" executable file in the command path, eg in /usr/local/bin
· Place the "speak-data" directory in /usr/share as /usr/share/speak-data.
Alternatively if it is placed in the user's home directory (i.e. /home//speak-data) then that will be used instead.
speak uses the PortAudio sound library, so you will need to have the libportaudio0 library package installed. It may be already, since it's used by other software, such as OpenOffice.org and the Audacity sound editor.
To use at the command line, type:
speak -f < text file >
Or just type
followed by text on subsequent lines. Each line is spoken when RETURN is pressed. Use speak -p to see the corresponding phonemes codes.
echo "This is a test" | speak
Speaking from a single line command.
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Fix: Version 1.44.04 had wrong versions of espeak-data/phondata,phontab,phonindex files.