Re: Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


Here's my theory on that. Every voice has a bit of a learning curve. If you're used to Eloquence, and then you lose access and have to switch to ESpeak, or Dectalk, or even one of the more natural voices, you'll probably not be able to listen to it as fast at first until you get used to it. I remember when I first started using the Software Automatic Mouth on the c64 on a very small color tv, I thought it was awful! But then I got used to it. It didn't take me as long to get used to Eloquence, but it did take a week or so. And for years I avoided Eloquence's Castillian Spanish voice like the plague, until suddenly I found that it didn't matter which one I used, I got comfortable with both of them equally. I've also had experience with Dectalk. I spent a month at a friend's house listening to his external synth, and eventually I got fast with it as well. That's been my experience. So if your average young person started with one of the concatinative voices, it probably won't matter that they might have had an easier time reading at high speed with Eloquence had they gone with it first, because they're not going to want to put in the time, even if it's just a few days, to get used to Eloquence and start using it as their go-to voice. To really test this, you'd need to convince a young person to try it for a few weeks, and then test their ability to listen at speed against their ability before you ran the test on their previously preferred concatinative voice.

Shawn Klein

On 7/22/2022 10:34 AM, Gene wrote:

I agree that products may have loyalty for long periods of time.  In this case, to test the difference in opinion, it might be useful to know how many younger people, who grew up with immediate and easy access to all sorts of voices, prefer Eloquence in general or for uses that don't involve listening to something like fiction with a synthetic voice. 

I still think that eloquence is better in ways that many people prefer but a study of generations might help settle the question.


On 7/22/2022 10:13 AM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Fri, Jul 22, 2022 at 11:05 AM, Gene wrote:
but fifteen or more years is too long a time for the initial advantage to be maintained to the extent that the preference for Eloquence evidently exists.
We'll have to disagree regarding that.  There are many things that have retained strong market preference for well over a decade.

For heaven's sake, just look at Windows 7 for an example of that.  And there are still people who wax rhapsodic about Windows XP even though they dropped actually using it long ago.  

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, too.  But there is a significant demographic, regardless of specific product, that just never wants to move on after they've found "their favorite" or "what I know and am comfortable with."  Keeping up-to-date involves constant work, as you well know, and we're constantly seeing assertions about what NVDA and/or JAWS and/or Narrator "can't do" that they've been able to do for some time because the technique(s) used to do them have never been explored or learned.

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill

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