Blog To Speech

Screenshot of a blogpost saying that the audio version has been recorded by "George Hahn".

Listen to this blog post in your browser: Download MP3 audio. Powered by Amazon Polly. I've noticed an interesting trend on some of the blogs I follow. More of them - though by no means the majority - are including audio versions of the content. The usually look something like this: or The ones which […]

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Is it faster to read or to listen?

A reel-to-reel tape recorder.

Fourteen years ago, I blogged about the future of voice. In the post, I asked these two questions - which I'd nicked from someone else: Are you faster at speaking or typing? Are you faster at reading or listening? Lots of us now use Siri, Alexa, Bixby, and the like because it is quicker to […]

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TTSF (Text To Shipping Forecast)

A robot with a backlit human face.

The BBC Shipping Forecast is one of those strange bits of national tradition which, somehow, bridges the gap between infrastructure and folklore. You can listen listen to the latest forecast on the BBC - read by professional newscasters. But what if we wanted a robot to read it? If our speaker is sick, bored, or […]

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Synthetic Poetry

A robot taxi driver.

I've been experimenting with Amazon's Polly service. It's their fancy text-to-sort-of-human-style-speech system. Think "Alexa" but with a variety of voices, genders, and accents. Here's "Brian" - their English, male, received pronunciation voice - reading John Betjeman's poem "Slough": The pronunciation of all the words is incredibly lifelike. If you heard it on the radio, it […]

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