What is online text to speech?

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A man offering a microphone

Online text to speech has been around for years, but did you know that it is increasingly being used professionally?

The number of video and audio content out there on the internet is quite huge, and that number is increasing at an unprecedented rate. So it may surprise you that more and more of that content is being made with the help of AI voice over software.

We're not just talking about the average users who make content as a hobby, but also professional content creators, businesses and big media in general.

But what really is text to speech? We will explain below!

Text to speech for beginners

For those of you who are completely new to text to speech in general, text to speech, or TTS, is exactly how it sounds. You type something, anything really, and a computer generated voice will 'voice' the text for you.

But this simple explanation just applies to your average text to speech program that you can find hundreds of after a quick search online, and they usually only produce something akin to a robotic voice.

Without getting too technical, simple text to speech usually synthesizes sounds from a real human voice before computer software takes these sounds and turns them into 'coherent,' speech.

We say 'coherent,' like this because it is very subjective in terms of quality, as you will find out if you choose to look into the TTS space yourself.

Typecast's text editor with a script asking what text to speech is

However, there be dragons out there, and by dragons we mean more sophisticated speech generator software powered by AI that makes your average text to speech sound like Disney's Wall-E in comparison, however cute that may be.

These more advanced text to speech software rely on a whole team of computer scientists, researchers and software developers in order to get to the level they are at these days.

Picture of a laptop with lines of codes

AI powered text to speech

As we explained in this article about finding the right voice with natural text to speech, the more advanced TTS uses AI to make the voice sound almost indistinguishable from a human voice compared to a generic computer voice reader.

AI doesn't only make TTS sound very natural, but also more accessible to anyone. You don’t need to be an audio engineer or linguist in order to produce these realistic voiceovers because the AI does that for you.

You just need to be able to type on a keyboard what you want to say and you're good to go!

This brings us back to why there is an increasing number of professional content creators, businesses and big media using and investing in these kinds of services, and it mostly comes down to time and money.

Why spend thousands of dollars and hours and hours on hiring actors, renting studios and expansive recording equipment when you're just a student or small business that needs a few voice lines for your content?

That is a good question depending on who you are and what situation you're in, but there's no denying that an AI voice over gives more creative power to content creators who want to push their content further.

AI TTS empowers us ordinary folk who don't have the big cash, time, and logistics to hire professional actors to voice our content. And for live streamers who need real-time text to speech, this is a no-brainer.

Wait, did we say real-time text to speech for streaming? We did! And we'll cover that in a different article.