as of build 1891...
There's a new speech service.. MimicSpeech. MimicSpeech is a wrapper around the "mimic" speech project from the Mycroft AI project.
At a friends birthday party recently someone said I should look into the Mycroft AI project. So, I did, it looks like they've done a good job running with much of the CMU speech stuff.
So, In that project there's speech synthesis (and speech recognition and a few other things) but it seems that it's all in C. They have a subproject called "mimic" which is a wrapper around a CMU speech to text engine . They have a nice slack channel. The community was responsive and supportive. .
As it turns out, you can build the "mimic" binary from source and add that to the MRL repo per operating system. I've done it for windows 64 bit currently. (built using cygwin, so i don't know how cross platform it is.)
I've worked up a service for it . the new MimicSpeech service. It has a few voices built in. They are decent quality. The MRL service runs the command line tool "mimic" to produce the speech.
If we think it's worthwhile to keep as a service in MRL, we'll need to build it on all the platforms that we want to support. Now, if you're running the windows 64 bit, the mimic service should install and the speakBlocking method on it should work.. If it seems worky for folks, i'll finish flushing out the rest of the methods for it.
More info on the mycroft ai site.