View Full Version : Good (Affordable) Text-to-Speech Engine for iOS?

Bobblehead Joe
Jan 31, 2011, 02:30 PM
Hello everyone, I apologize if this is in the wrong section... I work for a company that has several apps for special ed students, and we're looking for a good text-to-speech engine to embed in them. I'm familiar with Acapela, but it seems ridiculous to me that they should get 30% of our profit when that's not the man focus of the app, and I like the Nuance Vocalizer but can't assume that our target market will have access to wi-fi in order to use it.

Any recommendations? Any help would be appreciated!

Jan 31, 2011, 04:44 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

I've used CMU's flite engine for text to speech synthesis. Open source licensed with an iPhone port available.

Bobblehead Joe
Feb 1, 2011, 09:11 AM
Thanks for the reply. We are currently using flite, but it renders slowly and sounds very robotic. It works, but we're really looking for something much more life-like.

Doesn't necessarily have to be open-source, I just don't think I should have to give Apple 30% and then Acapela 30% - seems a little ridiculous to me.

May 27, 2011, 01:49 AM
Hi Joe,

I'm in exactly the same position... did you end up finding a solution?

I have asked acapela if they have a payment term that is more palatable for small developers, or hobby developers but I doubt they will be too forthcoming.


Bobblehead Joe
May 27, 2011, 08:23 AM
no, haven't heard anything. I'm actually considering hiring someone to develop my own text-to-speech engine, just to avoid the royalties. If I do, I promise to make it available for less than 30% of total sales :)

May 27, 2011, 11:17 AM
My guess is that the amount of R&D that Nuance and Acapela have put into their speech synthesis engines to make them work decently is probably not peanuts. More likely many man-years. Can your app wait that long?

Bobblehead Joe
May 27, 2011, 11:25 AM
no, but we've got access to a guy with a crazy amount of experience... it's looking like a matter of months now, not years. still trying to find an affordable alternative though because he could be better utilized doing something else if we could just find a reasonable SDK.

May 27, 2011, 08:25 PM
I have asked Acapela how much for a royalty free licence :D

I would except it will be a lot though... i'll let you know how it goes...

Aug 8, 2011, 01:49 PM
Try Neospeech. They are about half the cost in licensing... but the drawback is they don't offer multi-voice options... YET.