[whatwg] Text-To-Speech (TTS) Web API for JavaScript

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Dec 11 02:41:22 PST 2009

On Thu, 10 Dec 2009, Weston Ruter wrote:
> I've been working on a web app which reads text in a web page, highlighting
> each word as it is read. For this to be possible, a Text-To-Speech API is
> needed which is able to:
> (1) generate the speech audio from some text, and
> (2) include the time indicies for when each of the words in the text is
> spoken.
> Microsoft has its Sapi.SpVoice API via ActiveXObject which does (1) but not
> (2) apparently. There are web services (usable in conjunction with HTML5
> Audio) which also do (1) such as the iSpeech
> API<http://www.ispeech.org/api> and
> Google Translate's TTS <
> http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?q=Hello%2C+World&tl=en>, but none
> that I have found which do (2). In any case, web services
> aren't preferable since they require that the audio be transferred over the
> network which could take a significant amount of time.
> Is anyone aware of any work done to develop a standard TTS API for the Web?
> Operating systems already have this functionality built-in, and it's a shame
> that web apps can't make use of it. If Google Gears were alive, it would've
> been a good place to prototype this, but alas…

In addition to the suggestions made by Olli, you may also wish to read 
this thread, which includes some other people interested in this topic:


Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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