MachineOfTheMonth: Open source text to speech with irc and other things

[ Thanks to Glenn
for this link. ]

For those of you that have never tried text-to-speech
synthesis on your Linux computer, you should. It rocks. A word
about how to go about doing that and some of the licensing details
of the software would be a good place to start.

“The Festival Speech Synthesis System is probably the only thing
out there right now for Linux. I tried it in the past using
pre-compiled debian packages and it worked like a charm. I used it
to listen to irc channels although it wasn’t perfect because it
couldn’t keep up with some of the busier channels but it was great
for things like letting me know when a friend had arrived on a
secret channel because when she types a message, that message gets
spoken through my speakers….But the moment this person arrives on
our channel and types something, I know.”

“So how do you get Festival? Go to the
http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ and download the source
(and compile, if you can). Alternately, you can maybe find
precompiled packages for your specific distribution. For debian,
you can get them from the ftp sites. Look in the sound
subdirectory. And look in main. That’s right. If you are going to
be running the unstable, as I am, the licenses for most of the
packages are free enough the be classified as compliant with the
The Debian Free Software Guidelines. This is very important to me.
Some of you may not need this but it’s nice to see something of
such great importance to the Linux platform being adopted as open
source. So what do we do now? Well, here are the files I downloaded
from the Debian ftp site. These are enough for an installation of