text to speech for Linux

espeak - is horrible and sounds very old and robotic
echo "hello there"|espeak

#don't know how to use
mbrola and plugins
cicero

jovie just seems to be a graphical interface to espeak

There is also sbreader/sapi

Google's Text To Speech Works Quite Well

#!/bin/bash
say() { local IFS=+;/usr/bin/mplayer -ao alsa -really-quiet -noconsolecontrols "http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?ie=UTF-8&client=tw-ob&q=$*&tl=en"; }
say $*

How to use the script:

./script.sh "hello there my name is John"

The above produces an error by plays just fine:

mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory

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