Updated: Sep 28, 2020
They are both fun! (Ok, sorry maybe not so)
They are amazing building blocks that can be put together, modified, and reused easily to create something bigger and better.
What are APIs?
Think of them as Legos for software, which means even if they go missing, you won't have to worry about stepping on them and gasping for breath in agony.
There are 4 key advantages to leveraging APIs compared to hard-coding, or building things from scratch:
1) Standardization: APIs are universal, standardized building blocks.
2) Usability: Each API comes pack with information and documentation needed to carry out the task it's assigned to. No hassle, just plug-and-play.
3) Customizability: because of the above 2 traits, you can mix-and-match to create custom functionalities.
4) Innovation: Ease of customization leads to innovation. And we all love innovation.
I'm not an engineer, so I'll try to explain it as simple as possible:
Imagine you are putting together a car.
It's one car, so you start from scratch, and it's doable.
Now all of a sudden, you get an order to create 1,000 cars.
You don't have time or the resources to create each car individually from scratch, so you go find a supplier that has standardized models for doors, tires, and body frames.
Uh-oh, the management decides that you need to change the doors on all 1,000 cars.
No worries, all of your parts are standardized and easily replaceable - you take out the existing doors, get a new model of doors, and simply plug them into the cars.
Then you realize, hmm maybe we can create different models of cars by mixing-and-matching different doors, tires, and body frames you already have in stock.
==> Customization & Innovation
What's it mean, then?
Engineers don't need to do redundant work, saving them from fatigue and demotivation.
Management saves on associated costs, and can use the resources to carry out other business functions.
Business as a whole can move faster, react to changing competitive environments and even innovate ahead of the market.
Ok, so what's this got to do with voiceover & text to speech industry?
Currently, you need to go to a voiceover or a TTS platform, put in an order / work on the text, get the audio file, listen to it, work on it some more, then download the finished file to your computer, and upload it to whatever 3rd party environment (video makers, audio editing platforms, presentation tools, or website).
But what if you could start on that 3rd party environment, do all of your text to speech work there, and wrap up your entire project without tapping into different tools and websites?
Let's take Powtoon, Vyond, or Moovly for example (these are all online video makers). You have to make a marketing video, so you get started with compiling the animations, images, the background music, and the script. Instead of being forced to leave the website and look for voices on Voice123.com, Fiverr, or a text to speech app like LOVO, what if you could simply get your voice needs met there? Ahh... life would be much easier. (and those companies would probably love it, too, because they want to keep YOU on their website for as long as possible)
That's why the tech giants like Google, Amazon, and IBM have created APIs for their TTS. And LOVO has joined them as well - with better voices that you can test out for free on their free text to speech web application LOVO Studio.
If you are curious about their APIs, check out their docs here: https://lovo-open-api.now.sh/
Ready to get started? Sign up here: https://api.lovo.ai/
Some people compare this to the question of Buy vs. Build.
However, I think APIs go beyond a simple comparison of financial cost - from workers' mental well-being to the business' innovative speed, there is a whole lot at stake when you pit utilizing APIs and micro-services vs. hard-coded architecture.
Let's call it a matter of "Would you rather have your team run on Hamster wheels" vs. "Have your team spring forward in leaps and bounds".
I like running on a hamster wheel at work - said nobody.