The Swiss Library for the Blind & Visually Impaired Selected AT&T Natural Voices for Talking Catalog from Wizzard Software

PITTSBURGH - The Swiss Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBS) has selected ATandT Natural Voices from Wizzard Software to power their talking catalog.   SBS is a full member of and works in conjunction with the Daisy Consortium, who have set standards to provide digital talking books to the blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped, or otherwise print-disabled readers around the world.  DAISY denotes the Digital Accessible Information SYstem.

"ATandT Natural Voices has turned out to be a very useful tool," said Markus Wildi, head of the IT department for SBS. "Together with the DAISY technology, Wizzard and Natural Voices provided us with the means to transform very large quantities of text material into structured audio information of very high quality within a very short time."

SBS produces a talking catalog of their available Daisy talking books. This catalog itself is a structured talking book according to the DAISY standard. The DAISY National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Standard is based on XML/SMIL computer language and provides access and navigation facilities to stored text, audio and video information.  Currently, the SBS catalog contains 3000 titles, which represents 30 hours of spoken text

The SBS catalog database produces an HTML file which is read by EasePublisher, a special DAISY production software. EasePublisher translates the HTML file to DAISY NISO files.  EasePublisher then feeds the text elements to the Natural Voices TTS engine.  Natural Voices then converts an audio output in WAV or MP3 format. Users then access the catalog via special hardware or software DAISY players.

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