Chapter 2

Text-to-Speech Synthesis

Source code:

Available in GitHub


Talking in your own language

The setting of the TTS language carried out in this chapter is very simple. In chapter 7 you will learn how to automatically choose the desired language for the prompts of your apps.

Colouring your synthesized messages with SSML

SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) is the W3C standard for speech synthesis markup. It allows you to change prosody settings such as the volume, pitch or speed of the message.

It is supported by some alternatives to GoogleTTS that can be used in Android devices, such as Ivona TTS. To check the capabilities of SSML, you can visit Ivona’s web page and play with the SSML tags. For example, you can write: “Enter here any text and click <prosody rate=”+70%”>Play</prosody>” and play with the % to see the change in speech rate.

Suggested reading:

Greg Milette and Adam Stroud. Professional Android™ Sensor Programming, Wrox, 2012. Chapter 16 of this book covers TTS.

Reto Meier, Professional Android™ 4 Application Development, Wrox, 2012. Pages 437 to 439 present a brief discussion of TTS.

J. G. Pearl, Revisiting TTS: New Directions for Better Synthesis. In A. Neustein and J.A. Markowitz (eds.), Mobile Speech and Advanced Natural Language Solutions, Springer Science+Business Media, 2013. An interesting article on new directions in text-to-speech technology.

There are several tutorials on the web that show how to build a TTS app. These include:

Android Developers Blog. An introduction to Text-To-Speech in Android.

Sue Smith (MobileTuts) Android SDK: Using the Text to Speech Engine.

James Elsey. Android; A really easy tutorial on how to use Text To Speech (TTS) and how you can enter text and have it spoken.

Ilias Tsagklis (JavaCodeGeeks) Android Text-To-Speech Application


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