Anyone know of computer software which can convert written text - such as online Polish newspaper articles - TO AUDIO.Anyone running OS X Lion (10.7):
I just noticed the multi-language text-to-speech converter, which includes one Polish voice "Agata". If anyone can live with the default system voice "Alex" so she/he can live with "Agata" as well. Objectively, this is not as good as voices from ivona.com but this is free for Apple users and can be used off line.
Installation. Go to System Preferences. Select the Speech icon. Make sure that you are in the "Text to Speech" tab. You should see the default system voice "Alex". Select "Customize" instead. A dialog box opens up. Scroll to the Polish language, and then to the single voice "Agata" (at the time of this writing). This will starts downloading of 147 MB file and beginning of the installation procedure.
To test it: close and re-open all applications you wish to test: TextEdit, Safari, etc. Keep your System Preferences => Speech => Text-to-Speech open to be able to quickly switch between various voices installed, including Polish "Agata". Useful for multi-language texts.
Select some text, and from the top menu EDIT or right button pop-up menu select Speech=>Start Speaking.How to use the Terminal to test various installed voices.
There are many more installed voices than those recognized as System voices (7 on my system, including Agata). Most of them are just for fun or to impress you friends. To get the entire list of voices type in the Terminal:
[Comments (example samples) start with the # sign]
To test any of the voices type something like this:
say -v Bruce I sure like being inside this fancy computer
say -v Deranged I need to go on a really long vacation
To obtain other options type: man say
I forgot to add that the OS X Multi-Language pack provides for several English varieties, other than the built in and add-on American ones and various other world voices: Australia 2 voices, India 1, Ireland 1, Scottish Standard English 1, South Africa 1, United Kingdom 3.
The samples like this "Hello, my name is Sangeeta, I am an Indian English voice" can be listen to before downloading.
Here is a video demonstrating quality of Agata, a text-to-speech synthetic Polish voice, which I described in two previous posts. Agata is being tested on a bunch of known Polish tongue twisters. As far as I can see Agata is making only one mistake by stressing the wrong syllable in the word "podskoczyła". I set the tempo of Agata voice to about 25% of its maximum speed (normally she speaks rather fast, with 50% tempo) to slow her down and make her more intelligible at those really tough tongue twisters. The images with text of the twisters have been borrowed from some old source, which I have trouble finding it now - in order to give their author a proper acknowledgement.
The video was prepared in iMovie, on OS X platform. The final product is an Apple MPEG-4 Quick Time movie file, with extension m4v. The default application for these files is QuickTime Player but it can be also played by iTunes. There are two audio channels: the Agata's voice reading the text synchronized with pictures and the background music - added to make your viewing experience more palatable. Uploading it to YouTube was a non-brainer. But this is my first venture in the world of video making and youtube publishing, so some mistakes are unavoidable, for which I apologize in advance.