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Microsoft Speech 4

This voice driver supports speech output using any speech synthesizer supported by the Microsoft Speech API Version 4 (SAPI) on Windows 2000 and XP. If your speech synthesizer software supports SAPI Version 5, we recommend you use that driver instead.

Note: This driver is rather unstable and operates strangely or extremely slowly on some systems. Our testing has shown the exact same problems in the Microsoft supplied test programs for the Speech API which indicates the problem is not within our software. We have done everything we can to mitigate crashes and provide dialog boxes to warn you of trouble spots. We're sorry this driver is so unreliable but there isn't anything we can do about it.

Tip: If you experience static or halting speech, adjust the Speed setting downwards. This symptom occurs when the speech synthesizer requires more computer horsepower than you have.

Free SAPI4 Speech Synthesizers from Microsoft

Microsoft has made a number of languages available for their free L&H speech synthesis engine available at the Microsoft Agent website.

Windows XP: You need to install Microsoft Speech API 4.0a (here (850K)) from the Aurora Suite CD before these voices will work.

American English (1M)
British English (2.7M)
French (2.3M)
Spanish (2.4M)
Russian (3M)
Portugese (2.5M)
Korean (3.1M)
Japanese (3.1M)
Italian (2.0M)
German (2.3M)
Dutch (2.7M)

Activating SAPI 4

By default, the SAPI 4 driver is disabled. If you select to enable it, you will see the following dialog

SAPI 4 Options

SAPI 4 Options

SAPI 4 Options

The basic options dialog for SAPI 4 offers a volume control. To get voice-specific options, select the Driver Setup button.

Driver Setup Options

SAPI 4 Options

The Microsoft Speech API dialog will change depending on the options available on the SAPI compatible synthesizer you have chosen.

General

General voice options specific to the synthesizer you have chosen. This button is grayed if the speech synthesizer you have chosen does not support this setup feature.

Country

Country specific voice options for the synthesizer you have chosen. This button is grayed if the speech synthesizer you have chosen does not support this setup feature.

Pronunciation

Word Pronunciation adjustments. This button is grayed if the speech synthesizer you have chosen does not support this setup feature.

About

Version information on the selected speech syntheszer. This button is grayed if the speech synthesizer you have chosen does not support this setup feature.

Volume

Volume allows you to set the output volume of the speech synthesizer you have chosen.

Note: This setting is also affected by Windows volume control. If you do not get any sound out when you speak, and this volume is not zero, check that the volume control is set to maximum in Windows, and that the volume dial on the back of your sound card (if available) is not at zero.

Speed

Speed allows you to set the speed of speech of the speech synthesizer you have chosen.

Note: If you experience static or halting speech, adjust the Speed setting downwards. This symptom occurs when the speech synthesizer requires more computer horsepower than you have.

Pitch

Pitch allows you to adjust the pitch of the speech of the synthesizer you have chosen.

Use DirectSound for Output

On some systems this checkbox may provide better performance or may allow the synthesizer to work where it otherwise doesn't.

Don't Crash, Leak Instead

Some SAPI synthesizers have a bug in them that will make them crash from time to time. If you have crash problems, check this checkbox, the quit the Aurora programs and restart Windows. This will limit the number of times that speech applications may be started, but should get rid of crashes.

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Copyright (C) 2006 Aurora Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.