First-class and free AI speech synthesis for your emails and IMs in any Linux environment.
If you’re dyslexic or even just a bad speler, a top-notch TTS or Text-to-Speech synthesis engine can really make all the difference to a daily writing workflow.
You get the obvious benefits that come with having any text on the screen selectively read aloud, but you also get the proof-reading benefit of hearing a realistic human approach to reading your writing with the correct grammar, inflections and everything else.
You may already be used to this type of thing on Apple macOS. The Apple
say application. Even Windows has a less than wonderful TTS too.
However the native Linux TTS systems were always underwhelming, robotic and had little regard for pronunciation. They could never pick up on the nuances of grammar in the spoken text.
There are some great Firefox extensions out there, even if they are limited to the web-browser only. You can simply highlight the text you’d like to read aloud, and then tap on the little megaphone icon that was added to your toolbar by the plugin…
But, this means that all your written communication is being processed by the plugin, and although they tend to use the usual large cloud providers for the actual speech synthesis, they also use their own backend to limit executions for their API quotas.
That’s the scary part. All your emails and IMs bring reading aloud are being collected and processed by a private individual’s server before being sent off to the TSS API and then relayed back to you as audio - they could be doing anything with this potentially sensitive information.
So, although sending your data straight to Google Clouds API for Text-to-Speech processing is arguably still not private, it is certainly more secure.
The key take-away when it comes to privacy vs security is that privacy is always weakened by poor security.
I’m unfortunately yet to find any other powerful alternate to Google Cloud that’s works for both privacy and security when it comes to TTS in a day-to-day workflow.
Think of it this way:
“At least it’s only a highly-trusted and relatively secure mega corporation with a whole cyber-security department that can take advantage of your droplet of information in a sea of other peoples data, rather than relying on whatever standards or mistakes a solo-plugin developer with a small user base may or may not be focused on.”
For more information on how to setup the script and activate a free tier of Google Clouds TTS API on your Linux desktop system follow along with my original blog post about text-to-Speech for Linux.
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