Let's talk About TTS - Helpful Tool or Plain Old Blockchain Spam?

in #bloglast year

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Just about everyone on Steem has probably gotten a couple of comments from the @tts account, which converts their articles with text-to-speech to an audio file. I'm a little bit on the fence regarding whether I actually like it or not and looking through all @tts's comments, I think people are usually either for it or against it. Some people downvote most of these comments, while some people actually give it an upvote.

I must admit that i sometimes get a little bit annoyed by all the useless comments I receive on my blogs. Not just from TTS, but from every service I've delegated to. Now that we're in #newsteem, I think it's actually time to pull back some of my delegations from projects that engage in spam like this. TTS is a little bit different, they're supposedly providing you with a somewhat usable service. Though is that really the case? Let's look at the facts!


No Changes or Upgrades

TTS hasn't really changed anything since they first launched their service, their introduction post is 2 years old and they haven't posted anything else in the meantime.

The quality of their text-to-speech is nothing to write home about, I don't really find the voice appealing and they do not offer any options to change it. I also suspect that they might compress the audio files a bit too much, since there are a lot of audio artifacts present on the recording (the background noise you hear).

I really wonder if some people actually use it regularly, since it gets really annoying to listen to the recordings for an extended period of time. Maybe if they expanded the features a little bit and gave regular updates, I would actually want to use it.

No Use for the Visually Impaired

For a long time, I thought it might actually be helpful for visually impaired people and I'd upvote a couple of their comments because I'd want to support a service like that. Now after thinking a bit longer on that, I realized that visually impaired people would have absolutely no use for this particular service.

They tend to use their own software or devices that have been developed specifically for them. These tools tend to work for every website, so there's absolutely no need for a service as TTS.

I'm glad that TTS didn't market themselves as a service for the visually impaired, so they're not being dishonest in that regard.


Conclusion

In its current state, I don't think TTS deserves to get any upvotes. It's a lazy attempt to get some form of income on Steem by providing a service that looks useful on the outside, but when you look further into it, it's actually not.

If their service was actually improved upon, I might change my mind. They're not the only service that has created something, only to forgo on development, but it's definitely one of the most visible ones.

So, what do you think about all those @tts comments on your blogs? Do you like them or do you consider them to be spam?

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I'd have to agree with you. I don't know as though I have ever used the service at all. With comments being so rare on posts these days, it is even more depressing when you realize that 50% + of them are actually just bots. I have been considering pulling back some of my delegations as well. I want to make sure I am maximizing my curation rewards as much as possible.

Yeah, there really seem to be fewer comments nowadays, unless the topic has to do with Steem specifically. Really weird.

@tts gets flagged by some, I can't say I have ever listened to the audio tracks and they seem to target certain people. Thankfully I'm not one of them.

It might be because I used to upvote their comments from time to time :P Big mistake it seem :D

I've never actually listened to the output of what TTS brings because I see no need for it, though I don't downvote them either because there's probably others with need for it.
I've taken back all my delegations and I now focus on curation for the main time.

Yup same here, just undelegated a bunch of SP, I don't need the small upvotes anymore and I think some of those projects are bad for Steem these days.

I don't think I've ever received a comment from @tts on any of my posts, though I have seen them on other posts. When I first saw the service, I thought it was a great idea. I love listening to audio files, especially when I'm busy or driving, as there's so much rubbish on the radio! So I think it has potential, but I agree with you that the voice is monotonous...
I've just done a search for @tts. That account has produced one single blog post. The search revealed this exposé post about them!
https://steemit.com/spam/@themarkymark/the-dirty-little-secret-behind-the-tts-account

Luckily, this post does not contain the comment from @tts :)

Haha, but all my other posts do :D

I agree with you I have never clicked on it and listened to the audio to know what it is like, but also I dont think i have ever had them do a comment on one of my posts so it’s something i have not really thought much about, but for me it doesn’t seem to be serving any or much of a purpose

👍
~Smartsteem Curation Team

I totally agree with you on that one I have seen tts almost in every 7 out of 10 post mostly in the trending post

Thank you so much for participating in the Partiko Delegation Plan Round 1! We really appreciate your support! As part of the delegation benefits, we just gave you a 3.00% upvote! Together, let’s change the world!

I suspect @tts is sending the text to Amazon Polly which is converting it into voice. They are hosting the files just on a plain ‘ol EC2 instance. It would be much cheaper and quicker to place CloudFront in front of it.

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