Thursday, October 9, 2014

OS X Text to Speech inhalations

A beautiful detail of OS X’s Text to Speech: “Alex,” by far the most natural sounding of the six Text to Speech voice choices, begins sentences of eight or more words with a slight inhalation. Seven words, no inhaling. Eight or more, he inhales.

If you listen to radio or television commercials closely, it’s easy to notice missing inhalations. Omit needless breaths: that’s the logic, to cram in as many words as possible. The result of course sounds highly unnatural. That someone or ones at Apple took the time to work out a logic of breathing for Text to Speech is deeply impressive. Hey, Apple: I noticed.

[My favorite use for Text to Speech: proofreading text I’ve transcribed.]

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