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Microsoft Azure is their cloud based service which includes a TTS engine: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-au/services/cognitive-services/text-to-speech/#features
Google also have a cloud service for their TTS engine, and we've had requests to be able to access that as well.
Aside from the question of cost or access to these, the bigger issue is a simple technical one. Online voices are passable for reading a block of text. I can give it a command to read this email, it sends all the text off to the cloud based server, processes it, and gets the speech back which it then plays. There might be a delay of, let's say half a second, while it processes that, and then it reads. Where it gets harder, is if I want to move through the text letter by letter - if it sends off each letter and takes half a second to get back with it, suddenly it's a lot harder to work with and seems very sluggish. Regardless of how fast the processing is on the server, there are still going to be small delays just because we are talking about using the Internet.
And that's assuming we have a reliable connection. Not only does not everyone have a reliable, fast connection, but then a lot of people will be worried about the security and privacy aspects (would you want a third party potentially having access to everything your screenreader reads out? Or even if you are comfortable with that, having it sent over the internet? And the more encryption it has, the more processing time it will take at either end).
So yes, having access to those voices seems great in theory, but certainly there would be a number of hurdles to overcome, both technical, philosophical and contractual, before we could consider offering them in NVDA.
Just to pick up on one other earlier point - regardless of anything else, we do have a lot of users who use eSpeak-NG, so we don't have any plans to stop including that any time soon - it is not large, so simply having it included with NVDA is a very minor issue even if you never use it.
I am intending to update the Extra Voices page a bit more (I know there are some synthesizers on there which do not work with NVDA 2019.3 and later, for instance - so my intention is to create a "Legacy" heading and move them there - so they will still be available for those who want them, but it will be clearer that they aren't current). I'd be very happy to include any other legal voices that people are aware of.
On Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 3:43 AM Gene <gsasner@...
I haven't found information about this but I suspect the voice isn't on your
computer. My guess is that the voice is sent to you in the form of audio
which is played. This would save a lot of processing power on the user's
machine or device.
The voice may well require far more ;power and storage as to pronunciation
of all sorts of unusual words than to be practical on a home machine and the
voices of these sorts of digital assistants are remarkably good at
inflection and proper pauses, which may require more processing power than
would be desirable to use on a home machine.
Also, my mobile phone doesn't begin to have the power and storage to have
such a voice on the phone itself. In this case, it’s the Google assistant.
I suspect it is the same for all of them, the voice isn't on the device or
computer. I doubt a home version of any of these voices is contemplated.
If there were one, it might be disappointing.
From: Rosemarie Chavarria
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2020 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] In-Process for 7th September is out
I'd also like to see the cortana voice added to NVDA without charge. I
really like how she sounds. My favorite voice in the one-core voices is
thefemale voice called Zera. She sounds very clear.
On 9/7/2020 9:04 AM, Leslie wrote:
As I’ve said before, I just love NVDA. And it has all the features I need
being an average computer user. I do think that NVDA. Should add more of
the truly great voices that are out there. I love the 1 core voices and I
also love Nuance. I think that Cortana voice is one of the best. I’d like
to see her added to NVDA. Without charge. I think the original voices that
NVDA. Had are now pasee and should be droped because their quality isn’t
good anymore. What do you guys think?
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
From: Shaun Everiss
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2020 12:37 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] In-Process for 7th September is out
Hmph, if you are happy to pay a load of cash for each version update from
freedomscientiffic or visparo etc thats your issue, have issues with
licences, need scripts for just about everything like win98 needs drivers,
are happy with the possible bad technical support issues going about and are
happy that if it screws up you need to repair, reinstall or reformat if it
totally goes nuts, not to mention that visparo like suing everyone under the
sun well more than I'd like, go ahead.
When I used their stuff it was ok, but yeah, I never really had that many
problems with it.
Never got into the payed script racket, either.
I had to repair it once or twice, but that was before it became a beast.
Compaired to nvda well who knows.
The information bandied round the list pluss a few other user experiences
not my own pluss the fact that due to jaws and issues causing me to have to
reformat to make them completely quit, but mostly information on here pluss
what I hear from time to time, especially with how they got all the
competing companies bar dolphin and that probably because they only just
moved out of using internet explorer puts the impression on me that like
microsoft used to be and may still be that this is a monopoly I would really
like to see the back of.
I certainly am happy I no longer use their software, and unless I got a job
which is what jaws is bandied about by various governments and stuff, I
wouldn't touch it unless I had the cash.
To be hhonest this goes for dolphin stuff which is why I got in the beta
program but that was for a completely selfish reason that being smuglers,
its about all I care about now days.
To be honest, I don't much care for a company who is clearly running a
business for the charity, government and enterprise market with prices to
high for average users to buy, and needing expensive upgrades and modules
for remote access with specialised blindy bits and bobs.
Nvda and things like narator have opened me to the mainstream, and with
mainstream devices like the amazon echo devices and smart phones about, when
the new normal comes along, I think some of these things will fall away
Dolphin seems to recognise this, so does avast.
So does nvaccess which is why I use them for most of my stuff.
Now there are a few things nvda does not do, but everything has its limits.
But if you plan to use a wordprocesser, a desktop app, a web brouser or
email client or any office app or app using standard controls or terminals
then you don't need jaws for that.
Now some of the mega custom apps and the like specialised programs, will
need specialised software, and yeah, jaws is what you need and will always
Thats not nvda's job.
The job of nvda is to handle all the normal business and home applications
that use standard controls, and the like as well as web interfaces.
To be honest that is what may happen, specialised software will need
specialised software, and will be charged accordingly.
The only reason I'd get jaws is leasy thats about the only reason I'd buy
And to be honest if leasy would just sell its games module then I'd just buy
On 7/09/2020 12:55 pm, Ron Kolesar wrote:
Here’s hoping it would make the Microsoft Flight simulator 2020 program more
Unlike it’s predecessor FSX, FS 2020 is not accessible for we who need to
see with our ears.
Even though, all throughout the newsletters and you tube tutorials, it does
have accessibility if your sighted.
This in short isn’t fair.
So, here’s hoping the newer upgrade to NVDA is more accessible for we blind
flight simmer pilots.
Even though, in my opinion, JAWS is a much better program.
Just my opinion.
Ron Ham Radio and Emergency Communication Station KR3DOG
From: Quentin Christensen
Sent: Sunday, September 6, 2020 19:57
Subject: [nvda] In-Process for 7th September is out
In-process is out, this week with news on the upcoming NVDACon, a new
accessible graphs project, a space-themed accessible RPG and some general
tips on making software accessible:
Training and Support Manager
User group: https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda
In the good old days of Morse code Shorthand, 73's AKA Best Regards and or
Volunteer Certified Licensed Emergency Communications Station
Volunteer Certified Licensed Ham Radio Station
With the Call Sign of KR3DOG
Training and Support Manager