Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[HOW TO] Read documents aloud with Gespeaker

Gespeaker is a GTK+ frontend for eSpeak and Mbrola. It allows to play atext in several languages providing settings for voice, pitch, volume, speed and word gap. There's also the possibility of recording the text played to a WAV file.

Gespeaker running on Xubuntu 12.04
Gespeaker running on Xubuntu 12.04

Even though Gespeaker latest version (0.8.1-1 at the time of this writing) is dated from June 2010, the version in Ubuntu repositories is still 0.7.3, so in this article we'll install the latest version the project's repository.

Install Gespeaker

Open a terminal window and run:

wget -O gespeaker.deb | sudo dpkg -i gespeaker.deb | rm gespeaker.deb

Install Mbrola

Gespeaker can use Mbrola to play text with a more realistic speech. The installation of Mbrola support is accomplished in two steps:

  1. First we need to install the mbrola package running this on a terminal window:

    sudo apt-get install mbrola -y
  2. Then the package for a particular language must be installed. See here the available packages. For example, the command for installing the Portuguese language is:

    sudo apt-get install mbrola-pt1 -y
Checking if mbrola voices are detected
Checking if mbrola voices are detected


Gespeaker can be accessed via Applications Menu >Multimedia > Gespeaker or typing the following command: gespeaker.



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