2001 Conference Proceedings

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END TO END SOLUTION: DIGITAL TALKING BOOKS USING SYNTHETIC SPEECH UNDER THE NISO/DAISY STANDARD FOR TALKING BOOKS.

Thomas Kjellberg Christensen and Christian Wallin
The Danish National Library for the Blind
Teglvaerksgade 37
2100 Copenhagen
Denmark
Tlf: 45 39 27 44 44
E-mail: tkc@dbb.dk

A complete solution

This paper will describe how an ASCII or a file from a common word processor can be transformed into a structured Digital Talking Book (DTB). The DTB will be recorded using synthetic speech and will be structured in XML using the NISO/Daisy standard for Talking Books. Human effort will be put in the preparation of the source file - the rest is an automatic process. The resulting product is especially usefull for information where "the human touch" is not of great importance, e.g. timetabels, dictionaries, manuals etc.

Starting from a text file - ASCII, Word or another wordprocessor file - the first step is to generate an XML file using the dtbook3.dtd (Published by the NISO 2001). For this purpose The Danish National Library for the Blind has developed the XML/HTML editor ELG (Event List Generator). The ELG features:

The resulting XML file is now ready to be processed in EGUSS (E-book Generating Using Synthetic Speech) - also developed at Danish National Library for the Blind. This application operates through the Speech Active Programming Interface (SAPI) which facilitate the use of Speech Synthezisors in different languages - even in the same book. Great for dictionaries! EGUSS will extract information from the XML file and - using the NISO/Daisy standard for Talking Books - convert it into a Talking Book consisting of the full text of the publication in XML or HTML, files that enable precise navigation in the book, audio files and files for synchronisation (SMIL). All of it in 8 times the normal recording speed!

At CSUN we will demonstrate the process and produce a short Digital Talking Book using this method.


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