Text to Speech on Linux

I was playing with my new Ubuntu 9.10 installation and was wondering if the system could do some Text To Speech tricks. Sure enough. Not just one TTS utility, but two!

The first utility is "ESPEAK" and should be installed by default on your system. From the command line, give this a try:

espeak "Hello there. It is a beautiful day outside!"

To try out espeak with a female voice, try out:

espeak -v en+f1 "You rock."

There is another utility installed on Ubuntu systems called "Festival". On my hardware, the speech is of much higher quality. From the command prompt, start up festival by typing "festival". Here's an example:

festival {ENTER} festival> (SayText "Hello Doctor Floyd. I am fully operational and all of my circuits are functioning perfectly.")

Very nice. More information on Festival can be found here: The Festival Speech Synthesis System

Now get out there and get your computer talking to you!