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Re: voices for version 7 text-to-speech

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg96785] Re: [mg95947] voices for version 7 text-to-speech
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 04:01:11 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

I persisted in trying to get clarification from NaturalSoft.  The 
confusion seemed to be that a "voice" in itself cannot work with a 
3rd-party program.  But they actually supply is a "voice + voice 
engine", and that does work with any program that addresses the Windows 
Text-to-Speech API.

So I did buy the NaturalSoft NaturalReader Pro package, which includes 
two of their voices/engines and two of the NeoSpeech voices/engines, 
along with a text-to-speech application and text-to-MP3 converter.  The 
voices/engines work just fine with Mathematica's Speak -- MUCH less 
choppy and more natural sounding than the rather awful voices that 
Microsoft supplies.

Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> Mathematica 7 has the function Speak, and related functions, that read 
> the argument aloud, using the OS's text-to-speech (TTS) capability.
> I'm using this with Windows XP.  What happens, evidently, is that 
> Mathematica calls the Windows SAPI (SAPI4? SAPI5?) interface. And that 
> interface in turn calls the built-in Windows TTS engine/voice.
> The Microsoft-supplied voice is very unnatural. I want to replace it. 
> But I'm confused as to whether the 3rd-party TTS  products such as 
> NaturalReader and Neospeech VoiceText will in fact accomplish what I want.
> I think my confusion stems from the fact that a TTS voice also involves 
> a specific voice "engine".
> I have been trying to get a straight answer from NaturalReader tech 
> support as to whether, if I installed their product, it would work with 
> Mathematica's Speak or not.  But their English is not too good. The 
> first time I asked, they responded, "Natural voices always work in 
> NaturalReader.  NaturalReader can read any text correctly including 
> mathematical expressions."  When I asked for clarification, they 
> responded, "Natural voice only works with NaturalReader."
> I can't figure out whether this simply means that the engine behind the 
> NaturalReader TTS application is required to use the voices they supply 
> -- which would be what I want, I presume -- or whether, instead, that 
> the only way to use the voice is to go directly through text in the 
> NaturalReader application.
> Any information would be appreciated.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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