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Speakonia

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Speakonia is a text-to-speech program created by CFS-Technologies used mainly in the creation of YouTube videos; in particular, "Microsoft Sam reads...", for example. Arguably the most famous voices are Microsoft Sam, Microsoft Mike, Microsoft Mary, and Adult Male #1 (voiced Radar Overseer Scotty).

Overview

Speakonia2

A screenshot of Speakonia

Speakonia itself is fairly simple to use for the average user, regardless of skill level. The graphical user interface is similar to Notepad, in a technical way. A user simply has to type what they want the voice to say, and when they click the button that looks like a play button, the selected text-to-speech voice will read it. The user can change the voice at any time by going to the drop-down menu labeled Voice under the Speech Properties, and selecting another voice. The user can also change the speed and volume of the voice with the sliders below the drop-down menu. It can also be installed in several languages.

Interface

The Speakonia interface consists of 4 main elements: the menu bar, the toolbar, the text box, and the "Speech Properties" Box.

The Menu Bar is mostly for working with saving and exporting files, as well as registering the program. It is not the main focus of the program.

Speakonia menubar

Speakonia's Menu Bar


The toolbar has some saving feature shortcuts, as well as commands for playing, pausing and stopping the voice
Speakonia toolbar

Speakonia's toolbar

from reading the text that has been entered into the text box.


The Text Box is where you will spend most of your time in the program. You simply type what you want the voice to say into the text box. (Sorry, no picture necessary.)


Lastly, the Speech Properties window is the handiest tool in Speakonia. It allows you to switch between voices quickly, change the speed at which the voice speaks, change it's pitch and volume. This window also has the handy-dandy "Lexicon" feature, which allows you to change the pronounciation of a word if the voice does not say it correctly.

Speakonia speechproperties

The Speech Properties window in Speakonia.

Microsoft Voices

By default, Speakonia is included with at least 11 voices. This number can be greatly increased by installing a separate package of voices, called simply: Microsoft voices Mary, Sam, and Mike. Once the download is complete, install the package and the Microsoft voices will be available for you to use, along with a number of other voices (RoboSoft 1-6, etc.).

Exporting as .WAV

Speakonia has an option to export the spoken text as .WAV audio files. In order to export a file as a .WAV audio file, you must register Speakonia. To register, one must simply give their name and E-mail address. From there, you will receive a code by e-mail and once registered, you will unlock all features of Speakonia. Registration is essential for anyone who wishes to use the voices in their YouTube videos.

Trivia

  • The Default Adult Voices of Speakonia are actually adapted from the Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice voices. They have been renamed also.
  • The Microsoft Voices included in Windows differ from the ones in Speakonia, with modified speech patterns.
  • CFS-Technologies no longer supports Speakonia, but still has the program available for download on its site. (also available on the CNET download site)
  • Speakonia will not work with Windows RT.
  • Test voice of every TTS Voices are: "This is a test for Speakonia."

References

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