Tom Krcha's FlashRealtime

Hey amigo! These are my notes. I'm Gaming Evangelist at Adobe.

Real Text-To-Speech For Your Flash Apps

March 2nd, 2010

Acapela - Voice as a ServiceText-to-speech has been around for many years, but you know it has never really worked properly. It sounded like a metal can, had issues with different languages, and so on. But I have good news for you.

Acapela created a SaaS (software as a service) offering for Text-To-Speech, which finally sounds pretty cool and I was quite amazed by it — even the Czech language is included :) This could be a very useful usability feature for your games. You can use it to read a story, chat messages, alerts and so on. I can even imagine this in your enterprise apps as a helper. I presume that having this functionality as a service can really reduce the size of your application (the voice bank must be huge) and CPU load, plus you also have all updates included.

They support ~20 languages in nearly 300 voice variations: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.

Basic sample - more samples

* Built using my evaluation account - it should work till 25th March 2010

Basic code for retrieving voice from a string could look like this:

import com.acapela.vaas.BasicVaas;
var myVaas:BasicVaas = new BasicVaas();
myVaas.accountLogin = "your_account_login";
myVaas.applicationLogin = "your_application_login";
myVaas.password = "your_application_password";
myVaas.generateMessage("heather22k", InputText.text);
function messageAvailableEventListener(event:Event)
	var channel:SoundChannel = 

- Acapela is a paid service, check pricing.
- API documentation (AS3).
- Check

Facebook comments:


  1. Hi,

    thank you for this link and the sample. *Sounds* interesting. ;-)

    Here is a link to check all kind of languages with your own phrase:

    The quality might be better than years ago, but I’m kind of surprised how cheesy those voices still sound. :-)

    Have fun!

    Comment by mario — March 3, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  2. The real problem with tts has always been complicated/stupid licensing for decent voices. Devs need to be able to buy it, deploy it, done. Not dribble out license fees forever. These guys have taken the original problem and added the uncertainty of the cloud.

    Comment by Amy — March 3, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  3. Great service!
    observation Tom
    Portuguese and Brasilian Portuguese =)

    Comment by Leonardo França — March 3, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  4. I just hope, that they do sth about it. They told me that you can discuss the price with them - just write them e-mail.

    Comment by tom — March 4, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  5. Thanks to your comments and feedback - Acapela updated their pricing site:
    “After having run VaaS ourselves for more than one year with more than 100 000 million connections, we have defined two sorts of purchase plan. If you feel that these plans are not matching your needs, please feel free to contact us, we know also that innovative applications might need other business models and pricing schemes.”

    Comment by tom — March 5, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  6. Just too slow for our liking. We need this in next to real time, I can’t wait 10 seconds for the system to send me speech after typing a message. This system may be useful for “pre-defined” text, but for dynamic entry, short sentences it’s not very good and just a gimmick.

    Comment by Glen — March 8, 2010 @ 2:12 am

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