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I have written a small front-end to the Festival TTS system using Python/Django. I wish to deploy it on the Google App Engine cloud. A few questions:

  1. My application uses the Festival app 'text2wave'. Will is work on the cloud?
  2. I have used Python primitives like subprocess.call() to invoke the aforementioned program. Will that work?
  3. If your answer to any or both of (1) and (2) is no, is there a free api on the web that I can use (from the appengine)? I read somewhere about placing calls from Phono to a Voxeo backend, but I'm not sure what that means.

I am aware of the Google Translate extension that allows translation using an HTTP GET (REST) request, but here the text is limited to 100 chars. Bad. Plus, they may take it down any point of time.

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2 Answers

1 and 2) I am almost certain subprocess.call() won't work on App Engine for security reasons. Even file system level access is forbidden.

3) If nothing else does the trick, you can build a minimalistic Festival text2wave server that spits out embedable media on Amazon's EC2 or any other VPS-ish platform. You can then embed it in your App Engine application results page.

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  1. On the cloud yes, but on App Engine, i don't think so. I see Festival available as an RPM and also that it is written in C, so it would need to be ported over to GAE to work there.

  2. No, You would likely need to configure a ported version as a Backend or Task in GAE.

  3. I don't know. If you'd like to get more familiar w/ App Engine, CoderBuddy is a quick way to test out some simple apps and start getting a feel for the GAE API's.

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