[bksvol-discuss] Re: AT&T Natural Voices

  • From: "Pratik Patel" <pratikp1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 23:31:43 -0500


I've tried these procedures several times before.  Unfortunately the only
thing I've managed to do so far is to crash the program. Each time  I've
tried. There are quite a few bugs in OB and I don't find it as stable as


Pratik Patel
Interim Director
Office of Special Services
Queens College
CUNY Assistive Technology Services
The City University of New York
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Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:06 PM
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Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: AT&T Natural Voices


I was pretty sure you were supposed to be able to change Openbook to use 
SAPI synthesizers, so I did a bit of digging to give it a trial run.
I still haven't gotten the Microsoft TTS SAPI driver to work yet, but it is 
probably because I haven't gotten the name correct to pass along to
In the following instructions I found at Freedom Scientific's web site, it 
says if you remove the semi colon from one of the lines, a pop up is 
supposed to appear at Openbook's start to indicate what SAPI drivers are 
installed and available, but I have yet to come across this screen, and not 
for want of trying.  I finally went into JFW's Change Synthesizer menu 
under their language option and found the names of available SAPI tts 
engines there.
I downloaded one of the free Lernout & Hauspie's SAPI4 engines for British 
English from Next Up, which I've been able to get working.
When my patience returns, I'll try to get one of my SAPI 5 tts engines 
working as a further trial run for AT&T's Natural Voices.
The entire FAQ Bulletin from Freedom Scientific follows.


Bulletin Type: FAQ
Date Posted: 03/14/2003
Product Name: OpenBook
Version: 6.0
Category: Synthesizer

How can I make additional SAPI synthesizers available to OpenBook?


1. Using Modify from the OpenBook CD, you should install Microsoft SAPI. 
You must make that the default synthesizer at this point. This will add a 
new file
to the OpenBook directory called SSILSAPI.INI.

2. After Microsoft SAPI is installed for OpenBook, you should edit the 
SSILSAPI.INI file to remove the semicolon in front of the line that says 
This allows the pop-up dialog to be displayed when OpenBook is launched. 
This pop-up dialog will give you the critical information about the exact
of the engine. You use this name exactly as written or SSIL will not 
understand what you are requesting.

3. Now that the you have the exact engine name, you must edit the 
SSILSAPI.INI file one last time. This time, it's to tell it RealSpeak is 
one of the choices.
Whatever the pop-up dialog for RealSpeak lists should reflect exactly what 
needs to go in the SSILSAPI.INI. In this example the pop-up dialog for 
displays "L&H Speech RealSpeak" this is what needs to go in the 

The lines in the file would look like this:

engine=L&H Speech RealSpeak



At 09:43 AM 2/19/2005, you wrote:
>I don't think you can use them with Open book. as OB doesn't allow you to
>change synths, at least I haven't been able to find.
>When I first installed them, they did slow things down a bit, but after
>doing a defrag and a scandisk, things got back to normal.
>I do notice that if I am scanning in grayscale and 400 dpi and using the
>Naturals, that sometimes them entire voice part of Kurzweil won't work.
>This happens rarely but is annoying which is why I use the Naturals for
>reading after the scan is done.
>I have played with Text aloud, I think it is called from www.nextup.com
>and it works well.
>Shelley L. Rhodes and Judson, guiding golden
>Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
>Graduate Advisory Council
>The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to
>stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs.

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