I recently became aware of iScript who are a company who will make a recording of your own script that you can download off their website. The idea being that you will get a better understanding of how your play flows by hearing it rather than just reading it. Great, except they charge $175 per play.
This got me thinking. I use an application called 'text aloud' to make an mp3 file of plays that I am learning. The system itself is very basic but there is an add on voice (Paul) that does clever things to try to get the intonation right and though the result still sounds automated it is probably about the best automated voice thing on the market at the moment. I've made a short sample that you can download here.
I'm wondering if fellow playwrights might find it useful and would really appreciate your help in deciding whether this is worth doing. If you would like to email me you script (my email address is in my profile) then I would be pleased to convert it to mp3 and put it on rapidshare for you to download. All I ask in return is that you let me know if the reulting mp3 file is of any benefit.
Neat program, Muncy. I popped out to pick up a trial as I didn't want to bother you with a script just to try it out.
I think it's good to hear certain passages read without the inflections I'd been hearing since I wrote them. I have a bit of a habit of being a bit stubborn in hearing anything but what I originally came up with in my mind and it's a good tool to break it down to the bare words. I might just have to keep it kicking around in my toolbox.
Call me old fashioned. When I have an hour or so of text to have read, I invite a bunch of friends over and spring for pizza. They're good about offering suggestions, too -- places where the play works or doesn't, transitions that are abrupt, characters that feel flat, etc.
But yes, it does help to hear a script aloud, if only for me to be able to make sure what I intended is getting across.
I'll have to try this program, though. It sounds neat.
I use NVDA ( http://www.nvda-project.org/ ) a text to speech program intended for blind people, to hear my plays aloud when I'm editing them.
I've heard from other playwrights that the popular software like Final Draft includes a feature to read their text aloud but many of them don't use it.
I chose NVDA because the software is Open Source( ie free.) 'Course the problem with it is that it takes a bit of a learning curve. Took me about a day to figure out how to make the program do what I want and I consider myself an advanced user when it comes to computer stuff.
But now I swear I can't live without my NVDA. Even with the computers inflectionless voice I find that hearing the text aloud helps me improve the flow of my dialog. Also, it helps me catch little bits of editing that I would have missed otherwise.
Last edited on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 08:19 am by LadyBug
I use text to speech all the time (new to site). I have even used it to let me know when I get email and what not. It's a great learning tool.You can put anything in mp3 or wav then listen on a portale player.