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Balabolka: 5 star CNET rating

CNET Editors' review of Balalolka

by: CNET staff on October 15, 2010

In Russian, "Balabolka" means "chatterer." In software, it means a free text-to-speech (TTS) utility based on the Microsoft Speech API (SAPI) but with changes designed to improve speech articulation and clarity. Balabolka can save onscreen text in a variety of sound files as well as read text from the clipboard, Word documents, PDFs, HTML files, and more. Users can apply a special substitution list that can make changes to pronunciation, spelling, and other parameters. It can alter the rate, pitch, and accent of the speaking voice. It uses VBScript syntax for pronunciation correction, and it's compatible with a wide range of spell-checkers, such as Microsoft Office; Hunspell, the default tool of OpenOffice and Firefox; the Unix-based Ispell; and GNU Aspell, the intended Ispell replacement. It's also compatible with a wide range of high-quality aftermarket TTS voices.

TTS programs have a variety of uses, including studying, programming, multimedia, answering machines, accessibility aids, and just plain silly fun. Balabolka is an excellent TTS tool, one of the best we've seen. You can expand it, add to it, even customize it--plus it's free.

Read more: Balabolka - CNET