I’m very invested in making sure audio and text to speech works correctly across the whole Anki ecosystem. Anki 2.1.20 came out in February 2020 and introduced the new TTS tag which was immediately supported on AnkiMobile.
I’m completely aware AnkiDroid is developed by volunteers so I am not entitled to anything whatsoever, but this lack of standardization is causing some serious headaches for users addons such as AwesomeTTS, HyperTTS.
Recently I had to help a blind user setup their Anki with audio for language learning. Attempting to setup realtime TTS across 3 platforms (Anki desktop, AnkiDroid, AnkiWeb) proved to be almost impossible, due to the interaction with screen readers.
This issue is causing me to re-think how HyperTTS realtime TTS tag integration should work. Before the built-in support in Anki, AwesomeTTS rolled it owns TTS. I’m thinking of doing the same thing with HyperTTS. This will cause some further fragmentation in the ecosystem. (i.e. i’m thinking of introducing a solution which would only work on Anki desktop).
Here are the problems with the current Anki TTS setup:
- biggest issue: AnkiDroid doesn’t support it
- the TTS tag is inserted in the card template. This causes an issue with HyperTTS: the way the TTS request during review is “routed” back to HyperTTS is using the voice attribute. However the voice attribute doesn’t contain enough information, so HyperTTS has to store some metadata separately to memorize how the audio should be generated (which voice(s), settings, speed, etc). Here’s the problem: if the user moves card templates around, this stops working, or works in a weird way.
I’d love AnkiDroid to support the Anki 2.1.20 TTS tag, and I’m ready to put some money behind this, if anyone would be interested in taking up development.
Separately, I wanted to see whether anyone is interested in brainstorming how Anki TTS support could be more user friendly. These issues are causing me to daydream about re-implementing a whole solution from scratch, but from experience, if we start to fragment, the ecosystem will not be better off.