This is a topic I have had a lot of interest in lately. Text to speech is not really a new technology (I used it in the 80s) but its gotten significantly better. Additionally, people want to use it for professional products (ie elearning). Narration is an expensive cost in an elearning product so a good voice could help to really save a lot of money. So is it good? Well, at this point its OK. There is some software out there that really isn’t terrible and some that hasn’t improved since 1985. Overall I am excited to keep trying it out and see if it gets better over the next few years. Here are a few videos I have created which go through some of the current software on the market today. You can be the judge and jury: Would you use it?
Adobe Edge, now available for free to download until October. At that point it will go on sale. So what is it? Well it is a similar program to Flash, just not as powerful. It is HTML5 though so I have a feeling this is the direction Adobe is going. My guess is that this and either dreamweaver or flash will merge..similar to what happened with Flex. Here is a table that shows where Edge fits into Adobe’s software development process:
|Sample use cases
|Adobe Edge Animate
|Motion and interaction design for new compositions or using existing CSS-based page layouts, content rotators, simple games, advertising.
|Websites and web applications for desktops, smartphones, and other devices
|Adobe Flash® Professional
|Immersive interactive experiences, mobile applications, gaming, premium video, advertising
|ActionScript, Flash Player, AIR for desktop and mobile
|Adobe Flash® Builder
|ich Internet Applications (RIAs) and mobile applications
|Professional ActionScript IDE, Flex, Flash Player, AIR for desktop and mobile
The platform interface looks very similar to Flash. So this looks like it will be very easy to learn if you know Flash and HTML.
Link to software: http://edge.adobe.com
Not very informative but interesting nonetheless: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57464545-93/adobe-web-standards-match-80-percent-of-flash-features/
In this clip I test Adobe Flash’s HTML5 conversion tool. I test motion tweens, masks, and buttons via Wallaby, which is the conversion tool. I test the HTML output file in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. The motion tweens and masks work in both Safari and Chrome. Nothing works in Firefox. The buttons do not work in any browser. While Wallaby has potential, this is a big limitation. This means that it is currently only useful for animations but not interactivity.
Check out the demonstration:
The following video demonstrates Adobe Flash’s CS6 to HTML5 conversion tool codenamed Wallaby. The tool converted my file in one second. It worked great in Safari but did not work in Firefox. I am not sure if Flash’s tool is not working or HTML5 is not working. I say this because of the compatibility issues I have with HTML5, especially in Firefox. Also, Adobe’s Wallaby tool was last updated on March 8th, which means that a new version is just around the corner. Overall, I am impressed it worked but need to test this with more advanced Flash files. I was not really surprised there was a compatibility issue as that is HTML5. Here is the video with the demonstration:
New Features: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash.html
At an event in San Fran, Adobe will announce the release of CS6 today. Very excited to see if all the rumors are true.