A document based tool for actors to run and memorize lines for Mac
With Line Buddy, you can create scripts that are performed using the built in voice synthesis functionality of your Mac. Scripts are manually entered or copied into a Line Buddy document. The characters in the script are identified as the script is entered and listed in the character list on the left. The voice used by each character can be selected from the list of voices installed on your Mac. The script can be "performed" by "playing" the script at any time. An audio file of the performance can be created which can then be put into iTunes and put on your favorite listening device.
If you are an actor learning lines for a role, you can create a document for each scene you are in or even an entire script. You can listen to the performance to learn your lines or mute the voice for your character to run the lines. The rate of speech in the performance can be adjusted depending on your needs and work methodology.
Line Buddy is built with most of the same abilities as documents created with the TextEdit application. Attributes of the text such as the font, justification, color, and several others can be set as desired. Line Buddy documents are saved and opened like regular files.
In order for Line Buddy to properly find the characters and the lines, the script must be entered in a specific format. A line for a character must start at the beginning of a paragraph line with name of the character in uppercase followed by a period or colon.
The following sample would be recognized as a line for the character named Tim:
TIM: This is a sample line.
The following sample would not be recognied as a line for Tim because Tim is not all capitalized:
Tim: This is not a sample line that would be assigned to Tim.
Text starting on a new line that doesn't have a properly formatted character name is assigned to the "Default" character. Stage directions within lines - text within a line that is surrounded by parenthesis - are also spoken by the Default character. The text "Happily" and "The door opens" in the following sample would be given to the Default character:
TIM. (Happily) Come in. (The door opens.) Who is there?
The text for a line is terminated by a return/enter/newline character. Each new paragraph of text for a character must be started with the uppercase character's name followed by the period or colon or it will be assigned to the Default character.
Each character can be assigned any voice from the list of voices installed on your Mac. By default, each character will be assigned the default voice defined in System Preferences. To change the voice for a character:
- Find the character in the character list
- Control-click or right-click the name of the character
- Select the desired voice from the menu
The voice can be muted by selecting the "Muted" option at top of the menu.
You are not limited only to the list of voices that appear in the voice selection menu by default. There are more voices that can be installed on your Mac. To configure and/or install more voices, you must look in "Dictation & Speech" in System Preferences.
- Open System Preferences
- Select "Dictation & Speech"
- Select "Text to Speech"
- In the System Voice menu, select "Customize"
- Choose the voices you want to be available.
Audio files that you generate of performances can be imported directly into iTunes. This is accomplished by choosing the "Automatically Add to iTunes" directory as the folder to generate the audio file into. "Automatically Add to iTunes" is found at:
Music -> iTunes -> iTunes Media -> Automatically Add to iTunes
The audio imported into iTunes can be found with the name of the Line Buddy document, the artist "Line Buddy," the album name "Line Buddy" with a genre of "Performing Arts." Additionally, the text of the script is listed in the lyrics for the song.