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‘Select-to-Speak’ for Chrome OS to Get High-Quality Network Voices

Select-to-speak, an accessibility feature on your Chromebook, is getting an upgrade. Soon, you will have an option to choose high-quality voices from the cloud.

Chromebook
Chromebook

Enhanced network voices

If you use Text To Speech (TTS) on Android phone, you might be familar with these high-quality voices. Regular TTS works offline. However, these network voices generate speech in the cloud. They work only when there is an internet connection.

Google is adding this option to the “Select-to-Speak” feature in Chrome OS. Here is the experimental flag that they are adding to Chrome OS:

Enhanced network voices: This option enables high-quality, network-based voices in Select-to-speak.

This seems to be only one of the changes coming to select-to-speak. If you look at code changes submitted by the same engineer, you will see more. Here is an example.

“Users can slow down or speed up TTS speaking rate using the floating control
panel. The rate the user selects in the panel is multiplied by the system
default TTS rate. So if the user selects 1.2x reading speed in the panel and
has a system default of 2.0x, the effective TTS rate will be 2.4x.”

The button to initiate speech is also changing from “Hear text read aloud” to “Hear selected text”.

Summary

Pocket, my favorite reading app, uses Text To Speech to read articles aloud. I use this feature every day. However, I have never used TTS on my Chromebook. For those who use TTS on Chromebook, this is a welcome change.

Do you use this Chrome OS feature? Say hello in the comments section below.

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

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