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voices for version 7 text-to-speech

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg95947] voices for version 7 text-to-speech
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 05:46:12 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • Reply-to: murray at math.umass.edu

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 math.umass.edu
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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