Before the good stuff, some background. As many of you know, I have been working for some time now and talking about making available a commercial version or service-based pay system for the server-based, dynamic, text-to-speech solution for Flash that I have been demonstrating and using for a little over 2 years now. Here are some previous postings on the topic: May 24th, 2002 , July 24, 2002 , and a few others in my blog archives. I have had some sputters and coughs in getting things going, and recently even some criticisms that I should stop teasing folks about this unless I can produce it commercially or sell it outright. Well, I think what I would like to do is simply provide the plans for folks to do it on their own, specifically, make it open source project. I have a full time job, and as much as I would like to really develop this fully, there are alternatives, and I just don’t have the time to dedicate to providing the level of commercial support I would want to provide without quitting my day job. So I have tentative plans for writing up the documentation and instructions, all the source, several versions and solutions actually, the whole shebang, and make it open source. Sounds like a good article for Macromedias DevNet or inclusion on a future DRK don’t you think? 🙂 I’ll post more as this pans out and I decide on the type of open source licensing.
Now for the other good stuff. I realize there are times when you can’t or don’t want to rely on server side solutions to drive an application, for performance issues, or more particularly for CD content, etc. I had this specific need for a solution in a recent project I developed, that would allow Flash to dynamically read and speak aloud US currency/dollar amounts, but without relying on a backend server to do the hardwork. Here is the first version I hacked together from remnants of that project.  It’s kind of a proof of concept, since its not fully optimized (read that as: its got sloppy code right now) but it is functional nonetheless. I plan on fleshing this out a bit more and making it available as a component. Here are the features, ideas on usage, etc. thus far:
The projects goal is to end up with a component that provides an API to allow Flash MX apps,
specifically RIA Flash MX apps, to programmatically read aloud US
currencies (dollar/cents amounts up to billions or higher) in a voice of your own design, without
any backend server requirements.
Intended Theorized Usage:
RIA’s developed in Flash MX that deal with currencies such as:
date/time simply be changing the assets, and some of the logic used to
determine pronunciation order.
Thats about it, take a look at the demonstration version  and let me hear your comments and thoughts. Would love to integrate any cool ideas folks might have as I move forward with this. On a final note, I had a posting in a comment on my site about someone who used Flash MX in combination with Director MX and localconnection to allow Flash to drive the text-to-speech capabilities of the new Director Shockwave plugin. Sounds pretty interesting.