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Basic eLearning, Technology & Devices

Text-to-Speech, the Software I Use


In my last post, I discussed the pros and cons of using text-to-speech (TTS) in your eLearning modules. In this article, I will discuss the kinds of software available and why I am using what I use.

Let’s start out with the software that creates the audio.

A number of companies specializing in creating TTS audio and some that create animated characters/avatars and use TTS as part of the programming. If audio is all you need then the following are some suggestions. This is not an exhaustive list but just representative of what’s out there.

Here are some Text-to-speech options:

  • NeoSpeech
  • NaturalReader
  • Text2Speech

If you want the ability to create an avatar or illustrated talking person, then animator software is the way to go. There are numerous companies with easy to use avatar creation components, here are just a few:

  • SitePal
  • Character Builder
  • CrazyTalk7

SAPI5 Voices

The final component to using TTS and having good voices is the voice engines. These are usually specialized companies who sell their voice engines for personal, single corporations and multi-use licences.

These voice engines can seem expensive but when you consider the amount of use you can get versus the cost of a professional voice over person, the ROI is great! Voice engines range from $750 to $1500 per voice for single commercial use. I have used all of these companies at one time or another.

  • Ceroproc
  • NeoSpeech
  • Loquendo

What I Use

I have tried a good deal of TTS and avatar creation software in the last 4 – 5 years, and have come up with my favourites. This is software I use every time a client is OK with me using TTS. Remember every Instructional designer will need to try out and determine which software works best for them and their clients.

I use:

Character Builder by Media semantics

Ceroproc and NeoSpeech voice engines


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