Even if you’re on board with text-to-speech, the internet’s a big place. It can feel overwhelming deciding between which text-to-speech platform to use. Below, we address a few questions to help simplify your process when choosing the right text-to-speech partner. Grab a notepad, and consider the questions below.
4 Crucial Factors To Consider
1. How much script-editing will you have to do?
Once you’ve gone through the hard work of writing your scripts, you don’t want to spend an additional week or two having to add extra annotations or code.
Some text-to-speech platforms require using technical mark-up languages like SSML, which is like the HTML of text-to-speech. But when was the last time you drafted a great story in SSML? Most creatives want to (understandably) be able to use more natural language grammar, such as ellipses or commas to indicate pauses, or quotation marks to indicate emphasis. You know, the same grammar you use in your day-to-day life.
Also, consider whether the text-to-speech system will naturally understand initialisms and acronyms. Initialisms are abbreviations where the letters are pronounced separately, like CEO or MBA. Acronyms are abbreviations formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, like NASA or IMAX. When choosing a text-to-speech platform, you want to ensure that you select a system that enables you to phonetically enter how you want the word to sound—then remember it for future productions.
2. Is the platform built for enterprise?
You can find a lot of amateur-built, low quality, and unsafe text-to-speech tools online, often marketed at a sweet deal. But as an enterprise company, you want to make sure that the text-to-speech platform is built for corporate content. Doing so will help ensure you have the safeguards, technology, contracts, and customer support you would expect for an enterprise tool. Speaking of…
3. Do you own your content?
When considering which text-to-speech platform to use, make sure to read the fine print. Some platforms or agencies retain the rights to the content they help create. You want to make sure that a service doesn’t claim ownership of your intellectual property. The content you render should be wholly yours—your files, your scripts, and the voiceover itself.
4. Can you do basic editing?
With any voiceover production, you will likely want to change small things here and there. So you want your text-to-speech platform to be able to accommodate this instantly. You don’t want to have to turn knobs and dials to make the voice sound natural, but for the system to be smart enough to replicate how humans speak.
Many text-to-speech platforms put the pressure on you to fine-tune everything. You have a lot of talents, but unless you’re an audio engineer, an overly intense array of buttons doesn’t exactly help. You want to be able to select a voice, hear how it sounds, create a brief recording, and then another, and another—all at the click of a button. Press record, press edit, press play, and voila.
Text-to-speech platforms come in all shapes, sizes, budgets, features, and functionality. What’s important is choosing a platform that enables you to choose (or create) an avatar that suits your training content, upload your script with minimal edits, produce in a way that sounds human, intuitively edit when needed, and own the rights to your content.
Download the eBook Text-To-Speech For L&D Pros: The Next Frontier Of Storytelling to learn how to maximize AI voice generation software for your remote learning teams and boost engagement. It covers everything from cost reduction tips to engaging online learners with lifelike speech synthesis. Also, join the webinar to discover how to update eLearning voiceovers on time and under budget!