About TTS - Text To Speech
TTS or Text To Speech allows the computer to read
selected text to you. The quality of TTS depends on what voice files you
have on your computer. Microsoft Mary and Microsoft Sam are standard on
Microsoft XP computers. Microsoft Anna is standard on Microsoft Vista
To use the interactive activities in My Breakfast
Reading Program, you will need to download/install a TTS application. The
good news is, most TTS applications are free. Some of the TTS applications
come with free voices.
You can also purchase voices to provide better quality.
The good news is that purchased voices will work with most, if not all, of the
Recommendations for TTS in My Breakfast Reading
- Use TTSReader from
SpheNet. This is a free download
and comes with several free low to medium quality voices. If you are
downloading for a school PC, please work with your Technical Coordinator.
- If you have Vista, you can use Microsoft Anna as a
very good quality voice.
If you have XP and want to use Microsoft Anna, you will need to go to
Microsoft's site for Street and Trips
Microsoft Anna is a part of the Street and Trips software. Once the
trial version of Street and Trips expires, Microsoft Anna is still active.
You have two choice for getting the Trial Version. Follow the
Microsoft links for one copy by downloading or getting 1-5 CDs in the mail
(good for schools) for a shipping cost of approximately $6.00.
- If you have XP or want higher quality voices, you
may purchase voices from the following options:
- Option 1:
Reader - Personal Version (Approximately $50.00 for a
selection of two voices). This provides many additional tools that
you may use outside of My Breakfast Reading Program, such as reading
Microsoft Word documents, PDF files and even text within a web page.
Samples of each voice are provided before you purchase.
Note: These voices will play in the TTSReader software recommended
above. If you use the TTS software provided with NaturalReader,
you will need to click on the play button each time. That is, you
have to switch back and forth between the two applications.
TTSReader from SpheNet, the Natural Reader voices will play automatically
when you select the text and copy text or click on the provided buttons, if you use the proper
settings illustrated below in Steps 1 - 3.
- Option 2:
NextUp.com ($35 bundled for Crystal and Mike or $35 for other separate
voices.) These voices will also play in TTSReader.
- Option 3:
Cepstral.com (Each voice is
$29.99). These voices will also play in TTSReader. The
"Robin" voice is close to a young girl's voice. Samples of each
voice are provided before you purchase.
- Option 4: Do a search on TTS Voices and
research your options for both voices and TTS software.
Following are screen shot settings for TTSReader from
needed to integrate with My Breakfast Reading Program.
Step 1: From the main menu, select the Clipboard
and the voice you want to use (a list of standard, free downloads and/or
purchased voices that you have installed will display).
Step 2: From the Tools menu, select
Watch Clipboard. In the My Breakfast Reading Program activities using TTS,
when you click on a word or to hear the word, it will copy the text (word,
phrase, sentence) to the clipboard. Make sure the Checkmark appears for it
to be active.
Step 3: From the options menu, select
the Start reading immediately option and uncheck the Ignore irrelevant clipboard