Text-to-Speech and Voice Over (VO)

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(photo credit: The Angry Teddy from Pixabay)

I am now helping an organisation to make some Flipped Classroom videos on English Language. One difficult part of this task is to prepare the voice over (VO) of the videos. Initially I have invited some English teachers to help recording the VO. The result is good but it really takes time as there are a lot of videos to be made. Therefore, I decided to use Text-To-Speech (TTS) software and the result is amazing!

I tried some TTS software, including NaturalReader, Zabaware, Balabolka and some more. So far, I cannot find a free tool that can provide ‘natural’ voices. Although most of these TTS software provide free trials, the available free voices are always too ‘digital’ for making a Flipped Classroom video. Finally I have chosen NaturalReader because of the following considerations:

  1. Natural voices – Most of the voices available in NaturalReader are really ‘natural’. I personally prefer the voice of Lucy (UK), Rachel (UK), Graham (UK) and Charles (UK). Even my teacher friends cannot distinguish whether it is a human voice or computer voice.
  2. Flexible pricing model – It provides a flexible pricing model, so that I can easily acquire new voices if needed. I have chosen the one-off price US$69.5 for PERSONAL mode with two voices provided. Then later I have purchased additional voices with US$39.95 each.

I know it may not be the cheapest choice for a TTS software, but so far I am satisfied with this tool and its ease of use and ordering. It does save me a lot of time in making the videos. If you are interested, you may also have a try from here.

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