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MIcrosoft Speech SDK 5.1 : COM : PHP : generate speech files from text options

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Hello all,
I have a web application that runs on the desktop using DWeb Pro server at www.dwebpro.com, some nice text-to-speech engines purchased from www.nextup.com, php, and a "character server" from www.mediasemantics.com. PHP communicates with the character server through the COM object to generate audio speech files from text that load into a Flash interface. You can see the tutorial I posted to make this work at http://www.mediasemantics.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=69.

The problem is, the character server costs $1,000 if I want to use it commercially - per computer.  :o

It would be nice to just communicate with MIcrosoft Speech SDK 5.1 through the COM object directly from php to generate audio files, as the character server is geared towards generating actual talking Flash characters - not needed for this project.

How do I communicate with the MIcrosoft Speech SDK API using the COM object in php? What alternatives are there? Would it be possible to use FreeTTS to accomplish the same thing? How? Using Java would be cool too going cross-platform, but I know little about Java at the moment. Can one one connect directly to the TTS engine itself? So many questions as I wake up this morning. It's amazing that I slept in the first place!

I look forward to your response. Your help is much appriciated!

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I found a product, communicating directly with the TTS engine in an advanced way on PC (COM), Linux (however that works), and MAC (however that works - not on website, but is there through phone).

Linux!! That's cool. It's $300 for the developer SDK. Comes with a voice. Now I need to go play with linux when I find $300. :)

I'm still open to other ideas.

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