Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to install SimpleSpeak Text-To-Speech filter on your Moodle site - it's simple!



I've just discovered how simple it is to run Nick Freear's excellent SimpleSpeak filter your Moodle 1.9.x site by using Google's Text-To-Speech service!



1. Download the filter from http://moodle.org/plugins/pluginversion.php?id=118&action=download

2. Ftp the simplespeak folder to your Moodle site's filters folder

3. On your Moodle site, run Notification to install the Filter

4. At the settings page, you can use the text:

      http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?tl=en&q=!TEXT 

   
    as the Text to speech service URL. See image below:


5. Activate the SimpleSpeak filter by clicking on the filter's eye icon

6. Test the filter to see if it is working by creating a label or a webpage with the text:
    [speak]Welcome to Moodle![/speak]

7. Save the resource

8. You should be able to see the SimpleSpeak object.

9. Click the SimpleSpeak object and enjoy the text to speech audio!

Hope this helps!
Frankie Kam

P.S., special thanks to Nicholas Walker of Canada for this one.

Additional Notes
From https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=174762 we have a nice hack to counter any repetitious sounds from a SimpleSpeak text or sentence. For example, the following tag pair and sentence results in "backslash" being voiced three times and "single quote" voiced once.


                                                   [speak]It's great to be back isn't it?[/speak]


Quite irritating. Many thanks for Philip Hayes for the below hacks.

Change line 169 of filter.php to:
   var SIMPLESPEAK_URL="{$CFG->wwwroot}/filter/simplespeak/proxy_tts/?q=";
Change line 25 of jquery.speak.js to:
   $(".tts").append('<iframe style="display:none" id="tts-frame" title="Player" src="" width="2" height="2"></iframe>');
Adding in the "display:none" to the iframe stopped the page from jumping up to the first iframe when there where multiple instances of speech on the page.






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