Alex Speaks Out On Leopard

Don’t know if you’ll remember during one of the early keynotes Steve Jobs is really excited about the new voice technology coming in Leopard. Rightly so. The new voice is called Alex. It’s awesome. I really, really like Cepstral’s voices. But, they’re expensive to buy licenses to distribute rendered file off of. So far, it looks like files rendered in Alex’ voice will be freely distributable.

I think this may be one of those rare instances where I’m not really sharing anything that hasn’t already been known. I’m just doing it in a way that wasn’t done before… Does that make ANY sense? (Hope it washes with Apple Legal. But, if not… guys, call me at +1 918 813-9745 and I’ll give you an email addy for the official takedown.)

Alex’s voice is right here reading a snip from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ War-Lord of Mars. (Or, you can stream it through the Box.net widget in the righthand panel at the home page)

I’ve also posted a how-to since Leopard launched last Friday.

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5 Comments on “Alex Speaks Out On Leopard”


  1. This is the best thing about Leopard. I sometimes like to just highlight large text blocks (blogs) and let the comptuer read it back to me while Im working..

    Wayne

  2. gwhiz Says:

    It’s a really terrific voice. Am wishing there were some others already though.

    I do the same thing with web pages… Highlight and let Alex read them while I tend to other stuff. He chokes on some things I wish he didn’t choke on though… units of measure (like “the well bore went to 1,200m” ends with Alex saying twelve hundred em. Well, obviously you and I would read that as twelve hundred meters. And, it’s a gaffe the Cepstral voices make as well. But, all in all, text to speech has just made an important leap forward in clarity, intonation and ease of use.


  3. [...] to enhance understandability, especially for high-speed reading; you can listen to a sample of Alex at this post. From the samples of Alex that I’ve heard, he compares favorably with high-end synthesis voices [...]

  4. gwhiz Says:

    Again, thanks to TUAW for all the traffic. If you’ll click on the “Alex’s voice right here” link in the body of the message you can stream an MP3 of some moderately good testing of the Alex voice. Some tough words and contractions thrown in and handled very acceptable.

    Way to go Apple!


  5. [...] is a new voice that ships with Leopard.  (Windows/Linux users can hear him reading from Edgar Rice Burroughs here.  I think that file’s recorded at a slightly faster-than-normal pace.)  I’ve been [...]


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