Text-to-speech for React Native

Edit on GitHub

Text-to-speech is a broad topic, but as far as Spokestack is concerned, there are two things your app has to handle: sending the input to be synthesized, and playing the resulting audio for your users. This guide will cover both.

Starting up

To synthesize speech in Spokestack, use the synthesize method. This small API is built similarly to the speech pipeline, but it operates independently.

Here’s how to initialize the TTS API as part of the unified Spokestack initialization:

  // omitting pipeline and nlu configuration; using tts defaults
  properties: {
    // Spokestack account information
    'spokestack-id': 'f0bc990c-e9db-4a0c-a2b1-6a6395a3d97e', // your Spokestack API ID
      '5BD5483F573D691A15CFA493C1782F451D4BD666E39A9E7B2EBE287E6A72C6B6' // your Spokestack API secret

In this example, spokestack-id and spokestack-secret are set to public values that let you try Spokestack TTS without creating an account. Create an account or sign in to get your own free API credentials and access to additional features!

Generating the audio

Generating a URL to an audio stream of a TTS synthesized voice is just a single method in Spokestack!

  input: 'Here I am, a brain the size of a planet.',
  format: Spokestack.TTSFormat.TEXT,
  voice: 'demo-male'

We’ll break down what was included in the synthesize arguments here; there’s even more detail in the API documentation:

The input is simply the string you want to hear synthesized.

The format argument is here because Spokestack supports serveral input formats: plain text, SpeechMarkdown, and a subset of the SSML spec for specifying pronunciation and specific pause times. See the TTS concept guide for more information on providing SSML input. If you don’t need this level of control, simply specify Spokestack.TTSFormat.TEXT like in the above example.

The voice argument allows you to specify which of Spokestack’s library of synthetic voices you wish to use. Want something besides demo-male? Create a Spokestack account to get your own free access to additional voices!

Using the generated audio

How do you get the audio generated from the call to the synthesize method? Just a couple of event subscriptions!

// Receive the real-time transcript synthesis result or failure
Spokestack.onSuccess = (e) => {
  console.log(e.url) // https://api.spokestack.io/stream/g2dkABVnYXRld2F5QDE3Mi4yNy4xMi4yNDQAACeUAAAAAgE
Spokestack.onFailure = (e) => {

What you do with the synthesis result (or failure) is up to you! The streaming URL is valid for 60 seconds, so you can save it for later or play it back immediately using your favorite React Native media package. We’re fond of react-native-video, and have also used react-native-track-player. For either one, you can just pass the URL along.