Computer-generated speech has its share of big name users -- among them Radiohead, who opted to go to the text-talk route for the OK Computer track “Fitter Happier,” and of course, Stephen Hawking. But even if you’re not as notable as the lead singer of a rock band or a world class physicist, you cannot talk in the same droll atonal voice with the free Type n Talk iPhone app.
Make no mistake about it, Type n Talk is a bare-bones experience. You type in a phrase and the app repeats it in the computer voice, but that doesn’t make it any less amusing. While it seems to say any English words with no problem, it will also make an attempt at most gibberish you throw at it as well. “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, however, will not be pleased to know that “dawg” was spelled out, rather than pronounced.
Still, aside from the “dawg” snafu, this is pretty fun technology. Throwing rap lyrics into it and having them come out robotic and sterile is quite a treat, and I imagine harassing friends with the computer voice would have its charms as well.
Unfortunately, you’re unable to save any of your voice creations for later use. You can’t save them, email them or really use them at all outside of the app, so whatever clever trouble you can dream up is pretty limited here. It’s hard to think of ways to directly improve a text-to-voice app, but if there is one addition to make, it’s a way to export your nonsense to share with the rest of the world.
If you’re looking for a free way to amuse yourself, Type n Talk could very well fit the bill, especially if you’ve found that you lost your voice after a long night out. Nothing says “I’ve had a great time!” like taking out an app that will do your talking for you. Trust me.