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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:07 am 
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I downloaded a more 'human' voice (South African female) and slowed down her rate of speaking to a comfortable level for me. Generally it is a positive experience but...

...why is it that the only punctuation it is competent at is a comma? There is a brief pause, which is what you'd expect, but the pause for a full stop - which should be noticeably longer - is the same length. And there is absolutely no extra pause for a new paragraph, so you have no idea while listening, how the text is broken up into its natural chunks.

It would not be difficult to program at all considering the sophistication already required for text-to-speech. I'd suggest nearly half a second for a comma, twice that for a full stop, and at least a second-and-a-half (or even 2) for a new paragraph. Colons and hyphens could be treated as commas, and semi-colons as full stops.

If the software could also somehow recognise a new chapter - e.g. by the word "Chapter" or a new heading - the pause could be extended even further.

Right now, text-to-speech is merely tolerable. With punctuation recognition (so so simple) it could be really good.

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:27 am 
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Totally agree, Apple have not addressed this for ages. With a little more effort they could make it much, much better. I don't think text-to-speech is significantly better in Sierra, over Mavericks. (Haven't tested Sierra a lot).

Try a different voice, some of them are better than others.

I've set up some keyboard combinations to speak text in different voices, by adding them as different Services. They all use the Option-Command keys as a base and then a convenient character nearby so that each can be done with three fingers on one hand without difficulty. I've got English voices on the left hand side of the keyboard and French voices on the right hand side. It can be very handy if you are learning to speak French!

Image

You can also set the computer up to dictate in multiple languages, you just select the one you want in the dictation cursor and it stays selected in that language until you change it for the other. I've got French and English as two possibilities; if you were multilingual - you could add any you choose of course.

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......................1952
...............Effie Madge Mabel Biddie
...................See them on the beach
......................Or in New York City

.............Tina Louise & Hazel & Mavis
Can you name, name, name, name them all today
Can you name, name, name, name them all today

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:53 am 
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Yeah. The voice I've picked is not the problem (I find a female South African a good pick for me) - it's the punctuation. For example, I just heard the following text

She didn’t want to disappoint this lady by explaining that she wasn’t talking to someone quite famous after all, so she packed away her books and left.

Chapter 5

On the way home, trying not to think of herself as having failed


spoken as

She didn’t want to disappoint this lady by explaining that she wasn’t talking to someone quite famous after all, so she packed away her books and left Chapter 5 On the way home, trying not to think of herself as having failed

_________________
"If it ain't broke, we can fix it" (© Tim Cook, Jonny Ive)

Core i5 2011 21.5" iMac 12,1 2.5 GHz 12GB RAM OS X 10.9.5


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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:23 pm 
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It could be so much better if they put a bit of effort into fixing it since it is almost there, this is a text to speech file for those paragraphs spoken by the Irish lady Moira, it treats a new paragraph as a full stop, it seems.

There should be longer pauses between paragraphs, and the inflection at the end of sentences is always downbeat, it should be a bit more intelligent. On the whole it's not bad, but I agree it could be a lot better.

Spoken by Moira (Irish)

Spoken by Amelie (French)

Spoken by Tessa (the South African lady)

_________________
......................1952
...............Effie Madge Mabel Biddie
...................See them on the beach
......................Or in New York City

.............Tina Louise & Hazel & Mavis
Can you name, name, name, name them all today
Can you name, name, name, name them all today

......................


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