Google Translate Text-to-Speech Linux

Scroll down for the script, or read who/why we use it first 🙂

I’ve been using a brilliant script by Dan Fountain for a few years as part of a WooCommerce barcode scanner python program I made. It allows us to update/process orders without the need of working in the admin interface 90% of the time.
For this we use a Raspberry PI, and a handheld portable barcode scanner. One of the big things that was needed was feedback from the PI as to what it’s done or what it’s doing. I’ve attached an LCD screen and most recently added a whole web interface output (mainly for diagnostics), but when your scanning a bunch of orders especially in bulk you dont want to be looking at a very small LCD screen about 4m away. So I added speakers and TTS.

There’s a few different things the barcode program can do (get order status, add tracking code to the order) but the most important is update the status of the order.
We start processing orders first thing in the morning by scanning a ‘bulk’ QR code, then scanning each order that’s on the printer. Once they’ve all been scanned we scan another QR Code ‘Order Printed’. Quite simply this updates each order status from ‘processing’ to ‘printed’, and this is important in case Google Cloud Print fails to print an order (it does from time to time), anything left in ‘processing’ needs checking.

Anyway that’s not the important bit for this post! The important bit is the python program giving audio feedback. While we could have gone for a TTS engine local to the pi, Google Translate option gives a far better sounding voice. The above scenario would do the following:
We scan Bulk mode
Pi says ‘Bulk Capture Active’
We scan first order
PI says ‘One’
We scan second order
PI says ‘two’
and on
and on
Once all the orders are scanned, we then scan ‘Printed’
PI says ‘Bulk Capture Finished. Processing x’ where x is the number of orders.
PI says ‘One’
PI says ‘Two’
etc. etc.
Then Pi Finally says ‘Finished Bulk Processing’.

Now there’s certainly the ability to pass all the orders in one go via the WooCommerce API, but we handle them as individual requests within python so that we can do some order status checking before changing it’s status. i.e if an order has already been moved from ‘processing’ to say ‘cancelled’ we dont want to move it again to ‘printed’, at that point the PI would say ‘Error Processing Order xxxxxx’ where xxxxxx is the order number.

As you can see from the above flows, the actual text being read ends up being the same text over and over and over. The number ‘One’ can be read about 10 times as we bulk move things around queues. While it’s certainly possible to just fire the same thing at Google Translate over ad over, it’s far nicer to play friendly and cache what we can use again and again.

The code below is based on the awesome work of Dan Fountain, with the following updates:
Added Caching
Added MPG123 options (to speed up the play back a little)
Added a client to the wget request (without it google started blocking heavy requests when the cache is clear).

#!/bin/bash
#################################
# Speech Script by Dan Fountain #
#      [email protected]     #
#                               #
# Added caching by JDL          #
#################################

CACHE=/tmp/ttscache

mkdir -p $CACHE

INPUT=$*
STRINGNUM=0
MPG123OPTS="-h 3 -d 4 -m --stereo -q"

ary=($INPUT)
for key in "${!ary[@]}"
  do
    SHORTTMP[$STRINGNUM]="${SHORTTMP[$STRINGNUM]} ${ary[$key]}"
    LENGTH=$(echo ${#SHORTTMP[$STRINGNUM]})
    #echo "word:$key, ${ary[$key]}"
    #echo "adding to: $STRINGNUM"
    if [[ "$LENGTH" -lt "100" ]]; then
      #echo starting new line
      SHORT[$STRINGNUM]=${SHORTTMP[$STRINGNUM]}
    else
      STRINGNUM=$(($STRINGNUM+1))
      SHORTTMP[$STRINGNUM]="${ary[$key]}"
      SHORT[$STRINGNUM]="${ary[$key]}"
    fi
done

for key in "${!SHORT[@]}"
  do
    #echo "line: $key is: ${SHORT[$key]}"

    echo "Playing line: $(($key+1)) of $(($STRINGNUM+1))"
    NEXTURL=$(echo ${SHORT[$key]} | xxd -plain | tr -d '\n' | sed 's/\(..\)/%\1/g')
    URL="http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?ie=UTF-8&client=tw-ob&q=$NEXTURL&tl=En-gb"
    URLMD5=`/bin/echo $URL | /usr/bin/md5sum | /usr/bin/cut -f1 -d" "`
    if [ -s "$CACHE/$URLMD5" ]
    then
       mpg123 $MPG123OPTS "$CACHE/$URLMD5"
    else
       echo "Getting : $URL"
       wget -U "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)" "$URL" -O $CACHE/$URLMD5
       mpg123 $MPG123OPTS "$CACHE/$URLMD5"
    fi
done

##!/bin/bash
#say() { local IFS=+;/usr/bin/mplayer -ao alsa -really-quiet -noconsolecontrols "http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?ie=UTF-8&client=tw-ob&q=$*&tl=En-us"; }
#say $*

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