Debian Accessibility Project
Summary
Speech synthesis
Debian Accessibility Speech Synthesis

This metapackage will install packages which are useful for Speech Synthesis and related APIs or applications.

Description

For a better overview of the project's availability as a Debian package, each head row has a color code according to this scheme:

If you discover a project which looks like a good candidate for Debian Accessibility to you, or if you have prepared an unofficial Debian package, please do not hesitate to send a description of that project to the Debian Accessibility mailing list

Links to other tasks

Debian Accessibility Speech synthesis packages

Official Debian packages with high relevance

Daisy-player
player for DAISY Digital Talking Books
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Daisy-player is a command-line player for talking books based on the Digital Accessible Information System protocol. It is comparable in functionality, features, and ease of use with commercial players, and has a simple user interface appropriate for Braille terminals.

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Eflite
Festival-Lite based emacspeak speech server
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EFlite is a speech server for Emacspeak and other screen readers that allows them to interface with Festival Lite, a free text-to-speech engine developed at the CMU Speech Center as an off-shoot of Festival.

Due to limitations inherited from its backend, EFlite does only provide support for the English language at the moment.

Espeak
Multi-lingual software speech synthesizer
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eSpeak is a software speech synthesizer for English, and some other languages.

eSpeak produces good quality English speech. It uses a different synthesis method from other open source text to speech (TTS) engines, and sounds quite different. It's perhaps not as natural or "smooth", but some find the articulation clearer and easier to listen to for long periods.

It can run as a command line program to speak text from a file or from stdin.

  • Includes different Voices, whose characteristics can be altered.
  • Can produce speech output as a WAV file.
  • Can translate text to phoneme codes, so it could be adapted as a front end for another speech synthesis engine.
  • Potential for other languages. More than 40 languages are included.
  • Compact size. The program and its data total about 350 kbytes.
  • Written in C++.
Flite
Small run-time speech synthesis engine
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Flite is a small fast run-time speech synthesis engine. It is the latest addition to the suite of free software synthesis tools including University of Edinburgh's Festival Speech Synthesis System and Carnegie Mellon University's FestVox project, tools, scripts and documentation for building synthetic voices. However, flite itself does not require either of these systems to run.

It currently only supports the English and Indic languages.

This package contains the executables and documentation.

Speech-dispatcher
Common interface to speech synthesizers
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Speech Dispatcher provides a device independent layer for speech synthesis. It supports various software and hardware speech synthesizers as backends and provides a generic layer for synthesizing speech and playing back PCM data via those different backends to applications.

Various high level concepts like enqueueing vs. interrupting speech and application specific user configurations are implemented in a device independent way, therefore freeing the application programmer from having to yet again reinvent the wheel.

This package contains Speech Dispatcher itself.

Speech-tools
Edinburgh Speech Tools - user binaries
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This package contains the various highly useful utility programs that use and accompany the Edinburgh Speech Tools Library. Audio software and some basic signal processing software is included in this package.

The following programs are available: na_play: generic playback program for use with net_audio and CSTR ao. ch_wave: Waveform file conversion program. ch_lab: label file conversion program. ch_track: Track file conversion program. wagon: a CART tree build and test program

See /usr/share/doc/speech-tools/README for detail list of programs available.

Official Debian packages with lower relevance

Festvox-ru
Russian male speaker for Festival
Maintainer: Sergey B Kirpichev
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This package provides Russian support to Festival speech synthesis system.

Freetts
speech synthesis system
Maintainer: Bdale Garbee
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FreeTTS is a speech synthesis system written entirely in the Java(TM) programming language. It is based upon Flite, a small run-time speech synthesis engine developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Flite in turn is derived from the Festival Speech Synthesis System from the University of Edinburgh and the FestVox project from Carnegie Mellon University.

Gespeaker
GTK+ front-end for eSpeak and mbrola
Maintainer: Fabio Castelli
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Gespeaker is a GTK+ frontend for eSpeak and mbrola. It allows one to play a text in many languages with settings for voice, pitch, volume, speed and word gap.

Since version 0.6 it can use mbrola package and voices to obtain a more realistic text reading experience.

Recite
English text speech synthesizer
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Recite is a program to do speech synthesis. The quality of sound produced is not terribly good, but it should be adequate for reporting the occasional error message verbally.

Given some English text, recite will convert it to a series of phonemes, then convert the phonemes to a sequence of vocal tract parameters, and then synthesise the sound a vocal tract would make to say the sentence. Recite can perform a subset of these operations, so it can be used to convert text into phonemes, or to produce an utterance based on vocal tract parameters computed by another program.

Saydate
speaks the current date through your sound card
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Says the current date and uptime through your sound card. Requires you have a sound output device available. Also includes au2raw, a sox wrapper which converts a .au file to a .raw file.

Saytime
speaks the current time through your sound card
Maintainer: Holger Levsen
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Say the current time through your sound card. Requires you have a sound output device available.

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Sonic
Simple utility to speed up or slow down speech
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Sonic is a very simple utility that reads and writes wav files, and speeds them up or slows them down, with low distortion. The key new feature in Sonic versus other libraries is very high quality at speed up factors well over 2X.

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Speech-dispatcher-festival
Festival support for Speech Dispatcher
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Speech Dispatcher provides a device independent layer for speech synthesis. It supports various software and hardware speech synthesizers as backends and provides a generic layer for synthesizing speech and playing back PCM data via those different backends to applications.

Various high level concepts like enqueueing vs. interrupting speech and application specific user configurations are implemented in a device independent way, therefore freeing the application programmer from having to yet again reinvent the wheel.

This package contains dependencies on packages necessary for running Speech Dispatcher with Festival.

Debian packages in contrib or non-free

Cicero
French and English Text-To-Speech for MBROLA
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This Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine speaks French; a preliminary English support is also offered. The engine uses context-sensitive rules to produce phonemes from the text. It relies on MBROLA to generate actual audio output from the phonemes. The TTS engine is implemented using the Python programming language.

The upstream authors have come up with this TTS to try and meet their own needs as blind users. It's designed to be plugged as output to some screen-review software, firstly with BRLTTY. They favor speed and intelligibility over perfect pronunciation. Cicero is aimed to have a quick response time, the ability to quickly shut-up and skip to another utterance, intelligibility where it counts (not perfect pronunciation), the ability to track speech progression, relative simplicity (hackability) and relative small code size.

Gnome-speech-dectalk
GNOME text-to-speech library (Fonix DECtalk engine support)
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The GNOME Speech library gives a simple yet general API for programs to convert text into speech, as well as speech input.

This package provides the source code required to compile a driver for the commercial DECtalk software speech synthesis engine and voices from Fonix (http://www.fonix.com/). Upon installation, it will automatically attempt to compile and install the dectalk-synthesis-driver binary required to use GNOME Speech with dectalk.

This package is only useful if the dectalk engine is already installed on the system.

Gnome-speech-ibmtts
GNOME text-to-speech library (IBMTTS engine support)
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The GNOME Speech library gives a simple yet general API for programs to convert text into speech, as well as speech input.

This package provides the source code required to compile a driver for the commercial IBMTTS speech synthesis engine available from http://ttsynth.com/. Upon installation, it will automatically attempt to compile and install the voiavoice-synthesis-driver binary required to use GNOME Speech with IBMTTS.

This package is only useful if the IBMTTS (TTSynth) engine is already installed on the system.

Gnome-speech-swift
GNOME text-to-speech library (Cepstral swift engine support)
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The GNOME Speech library gives a simple yet general API for programs to convert text into speech, as well as speech input.

This package provides the source code required to compile a driver for the commercial swift speech synthesis engine and voices from Cepstral (http://www.cepstral.com/). Upon installation, it will automatically attempt to compile and install the swift-synthesis-driver binary required to use GNOME Speech with swift.

This package is only useful if the swift engine is already installed on the system.

Libttspico-utils
Small Footprint TTS (binaries)
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The SVOX Pico engine is a software speech synthesizer for German, English (GB and US), Spanish, French and Italian.

SVOX produces a clear and distinct speech output made possible by the use of Hidden Markov Model (HMM) algorithms.

This package contains binary files including pico2wave.

Mbrola
Multilingual software speech synthesizer
Maintainer: Samuel Thibault
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Mbrola is Thierry Dutoit's phonemizer for multilingual speech synthesis. The various diphone databases are distributed on separate packages, but they must be used with and only with Mbrola because of license matters. Read the copyright for details.

Mbrola itself doesn't provide full TTS. It is a speech synthesizer based on the concatenation of diphones. It takes a list of phonemes as input, together with prosodic information (duration of phonemes and a piecewise linear description of pitch), and produces speech samples on 16 bits (linear), at the sampling frequency of the diphone database.

Use Mbrola along with Freephone, cicero or espeak to have a complete text-to-speech in English.

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