As an experiment, I’ve begun to translate the posts on this weblog into audio files, using the Festival text-to-speech system.
Festival is a free, open project of The Centre for Speech Technology Research at the University of Edinburgh. The system makes it easy to translate text — like the words in this post — into speech — like that which you’ll hear if you click on the little speaker icon beside the post title, or the “listen” link at the bottom of the post.
The speech isn’t quite “human,” but I’ve found it clear enough to allow me to understand posts. And because I’ve converted the audio files to MP3, it’s possible to dump them onto an audio player, or anything else that one might do with an MP3 file. I’m not intending the audio files to replace the text, simply to offer new ways to manipulate it.
As an aid to experimentation, I’ve also added a new RSS feed that links directly to the audio versions of posts.
I welcome comments.