Text to Speech
CLR Consultants works extensively with organizations that employ or serve diverse groups of individuals. We have created learning programs for people with limited reading skills, different mother tongues, an aversion to text and even excellent readers who want audio assistance when trying to comprehend complex text.
To help serve these people, we created a server-based application that provides website visitors with text to speech capabilities without requiring any plug-ins or other browser modifications. Our text to speech tool (TTS), located in the sidebar, is still under development but is shaping up to be really interesting.
TTS is designed to:
- convert webpage text to audio. It will
- parse webpage text into phrases or sentences in accordance with specified criteria
- highlight each phrase as it is being read
- employ a lexicon to substitute phonetic spelling for specified words or symbols, such as "three" for "iii"
- automatically update when the underlying text is modified
- be controlled with a standard audio panel and allow the user to highlight specific text to be read
TTS works with Windows, OS X and Android devices. It is compatible with Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome, *Firefox, Opera and Safari. (Our next iteration of TTS will be compatible with IOS devices as well.)
*It takes longer for TTS audio to begin in Firefox than in other browsers and the play button must be pressed five to ten seconds after a red highlight appears. Once TTS audio begins playing, TTS functions in Firefox much the same as in other browsers. This difference is due to the way that Firefox handles cache.
You can try TTS on any page of this website. To use it, place your cursor in the lower right corner, then click the play button and wait a second or two. You can then click the play button again to begin reading content from the start or click the text where you wish TTS to begin reading.
TTS highlights the content being read with yellow. If the highlight is red when TTS starts, the server is getting an mp3 from a text to speech provider such as Google or Bing. Just click the play button again after a few seconds and TTS will begin reading.
Why the extra click? We want to ensure you really want to activate TTS on the page. I often leave my hand on my trackball as I read. Having TTS begin reading if I accidentally click the trackball or simply wish to highlight a phrase is distracting (at least for me). To avoid this situation, we programmed in the extra click.
Your feedback matters! Let us know what you think of TTS or whether you have any questions. To do so, contact
|John Elias, MBA, CPA, CA|
|CLR Consultants Inc.
228 Ronning Close NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6R 1Z4