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All you need to know about TTS   

All you need to know about TTS

Post Number:#1 » Postby nabi » Sun May 16, 2010 9:38 am

Text To Speach (TTS)

What do I need for TTS to work ?

________________________________________
Originally Posted by kamotekaTTS has several components and these have to be all included for it to work. The first component is the TTS engine which is found in the folder TTS_LOQ. The second component is the set of dll files to support TTS. These are loqmsx.dll, LoqTTS6.dll, LoqTTS6_util.dll for the English TTS (there are different sets for different languages) and should be in the igo8 root folder (the location where you have the igo8.exe). And lastly, the voice files, which are in content\voice folder.
EnglishUS TTS has an engine different from the EnglishGb (UK) TTS. If you have any of the TTS components missing, TTS would not work.
Thanks a lot kamoteka!



TTS = Text To Speech

TTS allows your GPS to pronounce the street names, as opposed to simple voices will just say "go left", go right".

TTS is not perfect and it may sound funny sometimes but there is a big plus to hear the street name when navigating

TTS is available just for a limited number of languages, simple voices are available for a much bigger number of languages.

TTS needs more memory and more CPU power to run, so if you have an older PDA with limited resources do not try it. It will run well if your PDA has 128 MB of memory or more, and also runs well in most (not all) PNA with 64 MB of memory (most PNAs do not load by default so many applications in memory like PDAs (or smartphones) do, so they have more free RAM available).

IGO8 uses currently the Loqendo TTS engine.There are tools,including an SDK which allows modifying the TTS languages.

Currently there are 2 packages for IGO8 out there. One posted and modified by "ladude" sometimes ago runs well on both 8.0.x and on 8.3.x series.

The second one, newer will run ONLY on 8.3.x series. There are also differences in the "talk" itself, ( but these rules can be modified so you may find better modified packages out there). If you find them, please post them.

REMARK: If you find some links to TTS voices on the internet and post them here, please specify if this is for 8.0+8.3 software or only for 8.3 (the newer package). Usually we call the old one "ladude"

As a note, those packages run on devices with Windows CE 5.0 (or Windows Mobile). For Windows CE 4.2 some DLLs need to be replaced by Updated .dlls for PDA & PNA (Compatible with WinCE 4.2):
http://www.navitotal.com/showthread.php?912-TTS-voices




REMARK: Not all software builds out there have TTS enabled ! Most/All official "retail" PDA versions of IGO8 have TTS disabled in software. Most versions ripped from PNAs have TTS enabled. Before installing TTS, make sure the software version you use has TTS enabled.




TIP:

If the voice stutters add these lines in your sys.txt (some settings may be valid only for 8.3 series...).

[tts]
tts_buffer=131072
tts_logics=3
priority="HIGH"
always_say_road_names=1
announce_street_name=1
announce_exit_directions=1
skip_exit_numbers=0

[sound]
queue_length=200

Additional keys which may affect TTS ( be free to experiment):

[debug]
tts_min_ready_wav=1
tts_getaway_time=200
tts_expected_engine_delay=1400
reserve_memory=2097152

Originally posted by Yoff
I see there is some confusion over voice prompts and TTS, Thought I would post this in an attempt to clarify the difference. Hopefully help someone.



Voice Prompts and TTS
A common question that comes up when people are shopping for GPS devices is “What is text-to-speech?”. The follow-up to that question then becomes “Do you think text-to-speech is a necessary feature?”. The answer will likely depend on the types of areas you drive in as well as your driving habits and your familiarity with the area. But let’s get back to the original question.


Tone Prompts
Tone prompts are commonly found on handheld GPS devices designed for outdoor use. These devices do not have auto navigation as their primary function, and thus they often lack many of the advanced features of true auto GPS navigations systems.

Tone prompts are a set of tones that the device sounds out as you need to make turns at intersections. For example a device might give one tone just before you need to turn left, beep twice just before you need to turn right, and make one long beep just at the turn. This isn’t an ideal situation if you are using that device frequently for auto navigation.

Voice Prompts
Voice prompts are the most common form of cues on auto GPS devices. A voice prompt will typically give information such as the distance you need to cover and the direction you need to go in. For example a voice prompt might say “In 500 feet, turn right” and then at the turn say “Turn right”. Since there are not a lot of unique phrases that are spoken, these voice prompts are recorded ahead of time and are not customizable. When the time comes to give a direction, the device simply plays the pre-recorded audio.

Text-to-speech
Text-to-speech takes voice prompts to the next level. Instead of saying something generic like “In 500 feet, turn right” it can be more specific and will say “In 500 feet, turn right on High Street”. In this case, since there are thousands of street names, it can’t possibly store all of the combinations of directions within the device.

Therefore the device is programmed to provide “speech synthesis” and the internal computer looks at the text (words, street names) that needs to be said and figures out how to pronounce those names. As a result, you will sometimes find that the way the device pronounces a street name isn’t exactly how you would pronounce it. Likewise, the sound quality of the voice sometimes isn’t quite as good as those without text-to-speech since the speech needs to be generated in real-time and there is no option for pre-recording.


Is text-to-speech for me?
That depends. In many driving environments, having the device say “turn left in 1,000 feet” followed by “turn left” just before the intersection is enough of a cue. If there is any confusion about exactly which street to turn on you could take a quick glance over at the display, or ask a passenger to look at the display and give you assistance. For many people, text to speech isn’t necessary.

However if you live in an area where there are lots of streets close together, intersections where more than two streets converge, or don’t normally have someone else in the car to help look at the display, text-to-speech can be a nice option to have.

One other word of caution. A street can often be known by more than one name. Numbered roads often have a “local” name they also go by. And sometimes roads can have more than one common name. Thus even with text-to-speech your GPS might say “turn right on US route 1″ while the street sign says “High Street”…. And both can be correct. The GPS will typically just pick one name to use. This might still require you to view the map display and use the distance cues provided.

Another instance where Text to Speech can be less than helpful is in cases where you can’t find a street sign, the sign is missing, or when it is dark out. If the GPS says “turn right in 500 feet” then you will know it is the street about 500 feet in front of you. However if the GPS says “turn right on Elm Street” and you can’t find the street signs– that instruction won’t be as useful as one that tells you the distance. However in some cases text to speech voices will speak both the distance and the street name which should eliminate ambiguity.
An addition on the last 'chapter' (for what it's worth)
My native TTS language is not available. But a likewise language TTS voice is. However, I cannot leave the street I live in using TTS without smiling. Sometimes it's even laughing out loud when the pronunciation is ridiculous. This happens even when the language is very similar. Imagine the language is completely different (like speaking English, using TTS English, while driving in Sweden Image).
Don't you believe me? Think of the differences between UK English, US English, Scottish, Australian English, Irish, ... . Or the differences between French and Canadian French? Or ...
And more. The region I live in is not TTS minded Image. I mean this: within a circle of 100-150 kms (100 miles = 160 kms) people speak 4 different official languages. Can you imagine the situation? TTS voice pronouncing street names in different languages? Funny, yes, but practical? And safe? Where is the street sign and how do you write that name?
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