Live narration and synthetic speech

Are NNELS books live narration or synthetic speech?

Great question, Sabina, about the use of synthetic speech for talking books these days.  First off not all books in the nnels.ca catalogue are synthetic speech.  NNELS creates books in live narration, does migration of copyright clear titles of previously developed live records and buys material from commerical audiobook houses, etc.  Do know we are trying to be all books to all readers.

Now, what can I tell you about the pros and cons of synthetic speech talking books?  Well let's start with the news that synthetic speech is better than it used to be.  Libraries should give synthetic speech a chance.  A lot more voices have been developed in the last 5 to 10 years and they work much better than folks might think.  Add to this the idea that many blind users get a better speed control of, especially the non-fiction, titles they want to read with an automated voice than a live one. We are pretty firm that using synth is a good way to get more content out there, and quickly.  Certainly there are cons to the quality of a book of fiction when there is demand for a recording and synth has come out badly we always consider putting the investment to a live recording.  To let us know about those sorts of things just ping NNELS at support@nnels.ca