Saturday, March 28, 2009

Select Gale Databases add Great Text to Speech Tool

Recently, Gale has added a text to speech feature in a few database such as Opposing Viewpoints Reference Center, ScienceResource Center and Kids Infobits. The feature is machine based text reading which is very impressive. Previously, machine text reading was choppy, lacked timely pauses and words blended together like picante hot sauce on chocolate ice cream - it was edible but not very tastey. The new technology is much better then the old text to machine voice. In places it is a little choppy, but overal it does an improved job pausing between periods, commas and other punctuation marks as words flow off the page much better.

The ability to download MP3 sound content is available; however, there is not a way to download a marked list, each story has to be downloaded manually. Patrons may find this sound feature useful at home or in branches with headphones and sound equiped PCs. Overall, it will be great when even more content goes to MP3 audio file format friendly. Such as listen to the Fodor's City Guides found in General OneFile while walking a city. The text to speach feature will also help those who are blind, visually impaired or just want get content on the go in audio format. Kudos to Gale for this text to speech feature enhancement...

This announcement comes via the DISCUS Listserv.