Developing a Free Text-to-Speech Tool with the Google API

In this article, we will discuss how to create a Text-to-Speech tool using the Google Text-to-Speech API. We will run the Text-to-Speech API on Google AppScript, integrated with Google Sheets.

To start, head over to Google Cloud. If you haven’t activated your account yet, you can sign up for free. The Text-to-Speech API is also free to use within the usage limits, which are measured by the number of bytes of text converted.

Sign up Google Cloud

Make sure you’re logged in with your Google account, then click Start free.

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Shanling H2 Unboxing and Deep Dive

I have received my Shanling H2 last week, and have been using it since then. So far the unit has been working very well, and for my non audiophile ear, it sound great. One thing I noticed immediately is that the background noise for Shanling H2 is very very quiet. Using my Fiio FH7, I can still pickup some background noise when using Sony NW-A105 and iBasso DX160, but on Shanling H2, the background is very very quiet.

I have done an Unboxing Video:

And a deep dive into the functions of Shanling H2:

Do let me know in the comment section if you have any question for Shanling H2.

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iBasso DX160 Replace Battery

I recently bought a broken 2nd hand Ibasso DX160 (2019 Version) with its battery and the rear cover glass damaged. My plan in getting this unit is to replace the rear cover glass and the internal battery myself. I have verified with the previous owner that the unit was working well before the battery was damaged.

After searching for where to get the replacement rear cover glass and replacement battery, I found the contact for Paul, (paul@ibasso.com) from the iBasso DX160 official thread at head-fi.org.

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Shanling H2 Portable DAC/Amp

Shanling has recently released H2 Portable DAC/Amp which caught my attention. As I previously modded my Chord Mojo to have its Bluetooth receiver (Chord Mojo Bluetooth Receiver), I noticed that I like this type of form factor – a DAC/Amp with a built-in Bluetooth Receiver.

I find myself using this setup extensively, especially when paired with my wired IEM. It seamlessly connects to various audio sources such as my Android phone, DAP, Desktop PC, Laptop, and tablet. Given the increasing trend of devices abandoning the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, this form factor becomes a crucial solution, providing a high-quality wireless 3.5mm jack.

Under this DAC/Amp form factor, Shanling H2 is the latest addition. The previous releases are Shanling H7 and Shanling H5.

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Digital Audio Player Replacement Battery from Aliexpress

One of the key features of a Digital Audio Player (DAP) is how long its battery can last. In the pursuit of extending the battery for DAP, I found out that some seller on Aliexpress sells high-capacity batteries that is 50% higher than the original batteries.

The 2 batteries that we will be studying today are:

YKaiserin 2100mAh Battery for Sony Walkman NW-A10x

Normally for Sony Walkman NW-A105 (the one I owned), the standard battery capacity is 1285mAh. The battery by YKaiserin is claimed to be 2100mAh, which is around 60% additional compared to the original one. You can refer to this post on how I add a 2nd battery to my NW-A105.

HSABAT 4800mAh Battery for Ibasso DX160

For Ibasso DX160, the standard battery capacity is 3200mAh. The battery by HSABAT is claimed to be 4800mAh, which is 50% more compared to the original one.

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Send and Receive Whatsapp Message on Node-RED

Whatsapp has recently become a very popular platform for messaging, with its versatile features and functionalities. Personally for me, I use whatsapp for communication on almost everything. We have all sorts of Whatsapp groups from families, in laws, siblings, cousins, works, management, departments, and etc.

One of the limitations on Whatsapp is the limited API access. You will need to be on Whatsapp Business or some other paid services to be able to use the API to send and received message on Whatsapp from an automated system or a custom bot.

In this article, I will share a method I found that allows you to send and Receive Whatsapp messages from Node-RED using the plugin node-red-contrib-whatsapp-link, for free.

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Issue With Node-Red node-red-contrib-whatsapp-link

I’ve recently installed Node-Red on my home server, which is a good tool for simple automation. I’ve used it to configure some automation to send out Whatsapp messages in some Whatsapp groups as reminders for the members of the groups.

To enable Whatsapp in Node Red, I install this additional Node called node-red-contrib-whatsapp-link. One major reason for me to use it is because it does not require any third party APIs or any subscription to use it. It can simply link to your whatsapp account and you can use Node-Red to decide what to do with the message received, or to send out any message to a person or a Whatsapp group.

However, while using this Node, I face a few issue, and I will share on how I solve each of the issue in this article.

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