I often lose my voice temporarily due to allergy. During that time, my main mode of communication is a notepad, or the electronic equivalent: Zen Brush. I was looking for a solution that can convert what I type into spoken words.
Since I am using Mac both at home and at work, and Mac has the say command which is useful for this purpose; I decided to roll my own solution. It turned out that the solution is a very simple bash script, which I named speak4me.sh, which I saved in my ~/bin directory:
while read line
say -v Alex $line
To make the script executable, I issued the following command:
$ chmod +x ~/bin/speak4me.sh
To use speak4me.sh, from the terminal, issue the following command:
After that, start typing your message. As soon as you hit the return key, the script will “say” what you type. You can keep on typing and hitting return. To end the script, just type Ctrl+C.
The script is very simple, pragmatic and free from bells and whistles, but it works the way I like it. The
-v Alex part of the say command specifies a voice from Alex. OS X comes with a few voices which you can experiment with yourself. To list the voices your system has, issue the following command:
$ say -v ?
Agnes en_US # Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you?
Albert en_US # I have a frog in my throat. No, I mean a real frog!
Alex en_US # Most people recognize me by my voice.
Bad News en_US # The light you see at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of a fast approaching train.
Bahh en_US # Do not pull the wool over my eyes.
Bells en_US # Time flies when you are having fun.
Boing en_US # Spring has sprung, fall has fell, winter's here and it's colder than usual.
Bruce en_US # I sure like being inside this fancy computer
Bubbles en_US # Pull the plug! I'm drowning!
Cellos en_US # Doo da doo da dum dee dee doodly doo dum dum dum doo da doo da doo da doo da doo da doo da doo
Deranged en_US # I need to go on a really long vacation.
Fred en_US # I sure like being inside this fancy computer
Good News en_US # Congratulations you just won the sweepstakes and you don't have to pay income tax again.
Hysterical en_US # Please stop tickling me!
Junior en_US # My favorite food is pizza.
Kathy en_US # Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you?
Pipe Organ en_US # We must rejoice in this morbid voice.
Princess en_US # When I grow up I'm going to be a scientist.
Ralph en_US # The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse.
Trinoids en_US # We cannot communicate with these carbon units.
Vicki en_US # Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you?
Victoria en_US # Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you?
Whisper en_US # Pssssst, hey you, Yeah you, Who do ya think I'm talking to, the mouse?
Zarvox en_US # That looks like a peaceful planet.