I’m subscribed to some excellent-but-lengthy newsletters (e.g. Byrne Hobart) which I’d like to listen to while I walk.
The TTS apps I’ve experimented with all sound annoyingly robotic.
Amazon and Google both offer ML-powered voice synthesis APIs which sound so much better, but I can’t find any iOS apps which actually use them.
I don’t know any that uses these. On iOS I think the best voice is the Siri voice in system spoken content. The Ivona voices in Voice Dream reader are not bad either.
I’m beta testing audyo.ai which is very impressive. But it can’t (yet) take PDF and epub uploads like Voice Dream Reader, so I use that too.
I really like the “Sharon” voice pack from Acapela. I am using it within the Voice Dream app.
Wow. The Audyo.ai demo sounds significantly better than anything in VoiceDream.
I’ve applied for the beta.
It’s a shame there don’t appear to be any modern (i.e. ML-powered) TTS apps already in the App Store.
Just posting a quick “thanks” for the app suggestion. I’m trying to listen to more fiction, and I just started in on the Star Wars: Thrawn trilogy. I hate when the “dramatization” wrecks the quality of professionally-produced ebooks. In this case, characters in the book talking over static-y comms are almost unlistenable for me. They actually try to reproduce the “bad audio over comms” experience for the listener.
This app saved my bacon. Once I mentally re-mapped some of it’s non-standard pronunciations, it turned a garden-variety ePub into a very listenable audiobook. Professional, non-dramatized narration would obviously still be better - but given that doesn’t exist, this app is a lifesaver!