Mentioning machine-generated voices, Siri, Google Home, or Roomba would definitely come into our minds. These are the former types of our new generation text-to-speech (TTS) systems, allowing you to create an audio version of your text.
TTS tools greatly benefit different users in various ways, not only people with reading disabilities but also writers, trainers, and even artists.
Our today’s article will give you a better of the benefits of text to speech systems. But before digging into details, let’s briefly go over what a text to speech tool is and the features you should look for in a TTS reader.
What Is a Text to Speech Tool?
Text-to-speech (TTS) is a technology that converts written text into spoken words. TTS software makes use of AI (artificial intelligence) and deep learning algorithms to learn and understand human interactions and create natural-sounding speech.
Thanks to these state-of-the-art technologies, the resulting audio delivers a unique vocal style with accurate pronunciations. Sometimes, listeners even can’t recognize if it’s spoken by a robot or a real human.
Features of TTS Conversion Software
There are numerous text to speech types, such as Chrome extensions, built-in text-to-speech, web-based tools, mobile apps, and software programs. Although each offers typical features for specific users, most of them provide mutual text-to-speech conversion functions as follows.
- Multiple Languages
Languages come as one of the most important factors when considering a TTS tool. Apart from English, it’d be great if your system supports some other popular languages like Spanish, German, Japanese, French, etc. All you need to do is pick the desired language, type/select the text, and let the tool read it.
- High Accuracy
Your TTS system must always ensure to read out text correctly with highly fluent and natural speakers.
- Customizable Structure
The perfect speech converter should enable users to adjust the sound’s pitch, tone, voice, and accent. For example, depending on your demand, people can speed up or slow down the voice. This would greatly help improve user experience.
7 Benefits of Text to Speech Readers
Text to speech converters are applied in many cases, from creating audio versions of training materials to voice practices. Still, a vocal monitoring system for people with reading disorders, also known as dyslexia, would be the most popular application.
#1 Support People with Visual Impairment and Reading Difficulties
The International Dyslexia Association reported that about 15-20% of the world population has at least one problem with language-based learning. Plus, aging also negatively affects the reading capability of the elderly.
A TTS system helps grant people with dyslexia better access to digital content. They can easily understand the content without attempting to read a large amount of text. They’re also able to follow along with the content while letting the device read it out loud.
#2 Facilitate Education
Each person has a different learning style. Some prefer visual training via images and videos, but others can study better by reading materials and writing. Those with an audible learning style can gain knowledge efficiently when listening to training audio versions.
As a way of applying AI in education, TTS technology simplifies auditory learning by converting docs and other training materials into audio recordings. This will help students adapt lessons better, and at the same time, increase the quality of learning.
On top of that, TTS systems give primary school students a helping hand in staying more concentrated on the content. They can listen passively, resulting in a greater understanding of the lesson.
#3 Support Language Learners
TTS also mainly assists foreign language learners in listening and pronunciation skills development. You can practice voice by having the tool read the text and repeat it afterward. This will save you a lot of time trying to figure out how to pronounce some words with a dictionary.
Besides, it’s the best way to review your writing. You can listen to the sound and catch the mistakes more easily.
#4 Prevent Eye Strain
Another significant advantage of TTS tools is to reduce your reading time, resulting in less eye strain and reading fatigue. You’re able to enjoy the content while staying away from the book or computer screen.
Rather than sitting alone for a while, you have more freedom to move around, reducing strains in your back and neck.
#5 Allow Multi-Tasking
It’s undeniable that reading translates to a lot of time. Thanks to a text-to-speech reader, you can hear a paperback while doing household, listen to novels on the way to school, or even hear a lesson summary and shower simultaneously.
This proves a convenient way to do multiple tasks and increase your productivity.
#6 Increase Flexibility for the Content Owner
As a matter of fact, some websites already offered voice versions of their on-site content. However, they’re just audio recordings of real humans reading the text.
AI-powered TTS platforms eliminate this complex process by automatically creating speeches of the website text. There is no code and restructuring required any longer. It’ll deliver a better way for visitors to experience your content.
#7 Amuses Children
Reading fairy tales or bedtime stories will create a good habit for kids. Although parents can read for their children, you can even be enjoyed this time using TTS caters. These devices can read out loud the kids’ favorite stories. You’re able to decide the voice and speed or even add musical affects to the sound.
Unknown Disadvantages of TTS
“Nothing is perfect.” And the same thing goes for TTS tools.
First and foremost, it takes time for the system to start running due to the huge databases and hard coding required.
Also, although AI engineers try to apply the most natural voice to the sound, it can’t be 100% like a human. Sometimes, you may feel the reading voice is a bit emotionless.
TTS systems are getting more and more popular, making it convenient for people to access content anywhere at any time. The benefits of text to speech tools are countless and what we’ve shown you above is just the tip of the iceberg.
Check out our article on the 7 best text to speech Chrome extensions and pick one for your needs now.