Script Vocalizer Review
Script Vocalizer is a text-to-speech app from Andrew Darius, the creator of Explaindio Video Creator.
It utilizes the power of Amazon Polly to let you quickly and easily convert text (up to 1000 words at a time - unlimited length with the Pro version) into 24 different languages with 47 voices to choose from.
Some people hate text-to-speech and don't see the point of it because it doesn't sound human, but I definitely think there are lots of uses for text-to-speech and it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
Here's a quick run down of some ways text to speech can be useful:
Fast, Free Voice Overs for Videos
While there's no substitute for a well-voiced video script from a professional artist, with the right inflection, tone and pace, artificial voices can be very useful if you want to pump out a lot of videos for SEO purposes.
Text to speech voice can also be extremely useful if you need an audio draft to start creating your video around while you wait for your human voice over artist to deliver their work.
The Visually Impaired
Text-to-speech can be incredibly useful for converting blog posts and articles into a format that somebody with a visual impairment or dyslexia will benefit from.
A lot of people prefer to learn from audio because they retain the information better that way, so by giving people a choice of reading or listening you're going to appeal to a wider audience.
If you're a multi-tasker you probably like to listen to audio while doing something else at the same time, so text to speech will come in hand if there's a document you need to read but don't have the time.
VERDICT: A very easy to use App that puts some of the best text-to-speech voices at your fingertips - excellent value for money, especially with the Commercial License included.
Below are a couple of sample voices from the Script Vocalizer app:
US Male "Joey" reading a video script for a Dog Grooming business
US Female "Joanna" reading a video script for a Dog Grooming business
What Are The Alternatives?
Amazon Polly for WordPress
The Amazon Polly WP Plugin is a free plugin you can instal on any self hosted WordPress site that allows you to automatically create an audio version of your posts.
You can also allow downloading of the audio file by your readers (or by yourself if you just want access to the MP3 file by creating draft posts!) for use anywhere else.
You will need an Amazon S3 account, and it's unclear whether any charges are involved, although I didn't see anything to indicate there would be in any of the official documentation but you would need to satisfy yourself about that either way.
The quality? It's Amazon Polly (nuff said).
VERDICT: A viable alternative to Script Vocalizer if you're happy with the 16 US, UK, Australian and British Indian accents, don't need foreign ones and are happy with a longer workaround process to get your MP3 file.
US Male "Matthew" reading a Dog Grooming video script
Content Samurai isn't just a text-to-speech app, it's a video creation app with really good text-to-speech capability as one of its many features.
There are 14 US, UK and Australian Male and Female voices to choose from and the big thing here is that whichever voice you choose, it will automatically sync perfectly with the video that you create inside the app.
You can get a 7-day full-featured free trial of Content Samurai here
VERDICT: A really good Video Creator with all sorts of features, but there are no foreign voices.
UK Male "Harry" reading a video script for a Dog Grooming business
UK Female "Isla" reading a video script for a Dog Grooming business
Text2Speech.org is a free, online text-to-speech app which you can use for both personal and commercial purposes.
You get a choice of one Male and one Female US voices, plus one Scottish Male and a Male and Female Hindi voices.
The quality? Pretty awful to be honest 🙁
To be fair, you can choose the reading speed from normal to slow, slower, fast and faster. The one below is normal and I doubt changing the speed would make it any better.
VERDICT: Don't waste your time
US Female reading a video script for a Dog Grooming business
Balabolka is a free, text-to-speech app that you download to your computer, and which utilizes any of the voices you have installed already on your system.
The app allows you to alter a voice's parameters, including rate and pitch. You can also apply a special substitution list to improve the quality of the voice's articulation. This feature is useful when you want to change the spelling of words. The rules for the pronunciation correction use the syntax of regular expressions.
The quality? Dependent upon the voices you have installed on your computer
VERDICT: You'll need to decide once you listen.
Natural Reader is a free, text-to-speech app that can be used online for personal use only, and with limitations.
If you want to lift those limitations, or use the voices commercially for YouTube videos etc. you'll need a premium license.
Unfortunately I can add a sample here as you need to Upgrade from free in order to download an MP3 file, but click the link above and paste in some text to try it yourself.
The quality? Very good
VERDICT: Be prepared to pay $49 per month for commercial use