Thanks to a handy little guide on Dane Carlson’s Weblog, I’ve added speech capability to my weblog. Simply click on the button at the end of each post and the first 45 words of the post will be spoken. Given my gift for gab in both verbal and text mediums, I don’t think you’ll ever have a chance to hear an entire post. Also, I’d recommend that only broadband users choose this option because the resulting file size can reach in excess of 500k.
How does this work? Well, AT&T has a product called “Natural Voices” that allows developers to add voice capability to their applications. The provide an online demo and so via a web form I’m can submit a post to the demo and have the results streamed back to you. Pretty cool huh? There’s a variety of voices and languages that can be used and Chris Pirillio has taken it to the limit by randomizing both the language and the voice, so you never know what you’re going to hear when you click his “Speak” button. 😀
Although I prefer the sound of Audrey’s voice, I figured that it made only sense to use the Mike voice, otherwise what would you think of me? 😉 After playing with this a little while, I have to admit a secret desire. I’d jump at the chance to install a plugin for Outlook that would read my mail in a female French accent. Although that may be a dangerous mix of my love for technology and my weakness for French accents. LOL
Edit 04/03/2004: I have removed the “Speak” feature from the weblog. Although the idea was cool, most of my entries are more than 500 characters so it seemed rather pointless. In addition, I found that in order to keep the site 100% validated, I had to edit my entries quite a bit due to the way the “Speak” feature functioned.
Not to mention that Holly might not approve of that sexy French email reader….
Rachel – Good point!
BTW, I added the speak capability to the photolog as well. This application actually works better since the entries are smaller.