Anyone still use Mac OS X's text to speech feature?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by wrldwzrd89, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #1
    I remember having endless hours of fun goofing around with the text to speech feature in Mac OS 9 and earlier. It's still around in Mac OS X, and has more voices than it used to. There's even a Terminal command, called say, that you can use to do all sorts of things, including recording spoken text to an AIFF file. I never hear about people making use of this feature, though.
     
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    I use to play with it a lot too. Only rarely will I turn it on for a half hour or so for nostalgia.

    What they always needed to added or some other company needs to develop are voices that sound just like HAL and the main voice used for the computer in Star Trek TNG. With as clear and perfect pronunciation.

    That might make me get a Mac Pro and sacrifice 2-3 Gigs of RAM and two of the eight cores for that purpose.
     
  3. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Russia
    #3
    my mom was using text to speech recently when she was learning english :)
     
  4. Xavier macrumors 68020

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    Mar 23, 2006
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    Columbus
    #4
    I use text to speech and write out some of the inside jokes we have. I will then let it play over iChat when we are audio/video confrencing. It is so funny, and the best part is, it never gets old.
     
  5. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #5
    ...but only one worth listening to, Alex. All the rest are too primitive.
     
  6. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #6
    I use it all the time. I generally use it for proof reading. I select my text and press CMD-CTRL-S. Voila. My text is read back to me, and I make corrections if necessary.
     
  7. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #7
    I am currently going through the book Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X and one of the projects you create in the book is a text-to-speech program. I haven't used this feature for years until now.
     
  8. wrldwzrd89 thread starter macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Solon, OH
    #8
    Alex is great. So is Vicki. My personal favorite, though, is Pipe Organ. Too funny! (To select this voice as the system default, click the More Voices... option first.)
     
  9. honeycrisp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #9
    So where would I look to find this stuff? Is it in System Preferences?
     
  10. wrldwzrd89 thread starter macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #10
    Yep. It's in System Preferences, under Speech.

    You can also use this in TextEdit. There's an option called "Speak Selected Text" in the Services menu. Select some text then choose this option, and it'll speak it using the system default voice.
     
  11. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    Feb 20, 2007
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    America's Third World
    #11
    The voices of HAL and the TNG computer each sounded clear and perfect because the voices were those of real human beings, not synthesized speech. :)
     
  12. PowerFullMac macrumors 601

    PowerFullMac

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    Oct 16, 2006
    #12
    I used it when I got my first Mac a few years ago (it was a top end iBook G3), but that was because I was 9 and it was just soooooo cooooool! I could talk to my computer!!!!! And it listens to me and does what I tell it to!!!! Man, I miss those days...
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
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    Georgia
    #13
    Still it would not be impossible though the amount of processing power and intricacies of programming are not there yet. As the computer would need an extremely complex index of pronunciation and voice samples for seemless synthization. Maybe the entire resources of a Mac Pro could do it. Though it would probably be along the lines of requiring the resources of a current supercomputer.

    One day though we could have computers saying 'Hello, Dave!' with that ominous red eye watching our every step:eek:.
     
  14. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2004
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    Torontoland
    #14
    Same here. Such a valuable tool for a freelance writer or for those who don't fancy typos.
     
  15. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #15
    Ahh, reminds me of the days in High School when we'd have to go to the library for an English lesson, and someone would type out a load of swear words in Simple Text and run away to hide.
     
  16. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #16
    I use it hear background IMs in adium, that way I don't have to switch apps or look away from what I'm doing unless I want to respond.
     
  17. MrCrispy macrumors member

    MrCrispy

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    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #17
    I use the text to speech command to make my computer say "poop".
     
  18. PowerFullMac macrumors 601

    PowerFullMac

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    Oct 16, 2006
    #18
    My brother was complaining the computer was taking a long time to load a page so I went in to TextEdit and made it say "I will take as long as I want to load the ****ing webpage you ****ing idiot. Josh <me> is king, he rules the world, he has a very large penis"

    Without the stars though! :p
     
  19. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

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    CANADA? eh?
  20. Greenbird600 macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #20
    I use it all the time. Its great for when your writing a paper and use it to help you proof read. Also, I had this professor who had a penchant for posting ten page documents online that was required reading. Probably never would have gotten through all it with out it.
     
  21. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #21
    I had a lot of fun playing with it to poke fun at my girlfriend one day. It was a blast. :p
     
  22. kalsta macrumors 68000

    kalsta

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    My kids were having fun with it just the other day. They wanted to make the computer say, 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa', like it was falling off a cliff, but the Mac does weird things trying to say it. (Try it directly in Safari… just right click on the word, and select 'Speech > Start Speaking'). This however works a treat: 'A a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a!' Well almost!

    When I was a teenager I wrote a BASIC program (well, actually cobbled one together based on someone else's program) which was a crude attempt at AI on the Commodore 64, and I even paired it up with a speech synthesiser (I think it was called 'SAM') so when the computer responded it would actually speak. It was pretty cool back in the day! This was a few years before the Mac learnt to speak anyway.

    Now that I'm too old and serious for such silliness I still use the Mac's text-to-speech sometimes when I'm paying online bills and want to check that I've entered a reference number correctly. I find it easier to have the number read out while I check it against the bill.

    Regarding the quality of voices, Alex was quite an improvement over the other ones, most of which have been around forever. When Alex came out, I confess to sending Apple a request for more voices of this quality… but you know, with the option for a French or Russian female voice. No harm in asking right? :)
     
  23. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #23
    Nowadays I find it annoying, but I used to have fun with it when I was little on Mac OS9 and System7 :D
     
  24. JosephRedfern macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #24
    It's best to SSH into a remote machine (which someones using it)... :D
     
  25. Blakeasd macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2009
    #25
    I do, and there are a ton of new voices in Lion.
     

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