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MS Anna speaks on XP.


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#1 123

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:21 AM

Vista's default voice is Anna. Anna is a far superior voice to those found on XP (Sam, Mary, Mike). Although there's no installer program for Anna on XP, there is a roundabout way to get it done.

The 60-day trial version of MS Streets and Maps 2010 (huge download: 1.4 Gb) will install Anna on XP. Before installing the full product, it will install a few support programs including Anna and the associated speech engine. After it installs the voice, it pauses and lets you abort before proceeding to install the balance of Streets and Maps. Abort it and, thanks to this loophole, you now have Anna on XP without having to install the full product.

Edited by 123, 23 September 2009 - 10:22 AM.


#2 sic0048

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:26 AM

Vista's default voice is Anna. Anna is a far superior voice to those found on XP (Sam, Mary, Mike). Although there's no installer program for Anna on XP, there is a roundabout way to get it done.

The 60-day trial version of MS Streets and Maps 2010 (huge download: 1.4 Gb) will install Anna on XP. Before installing the full product, it will install a few support programs including Anna and the associated speech engine. After it installs the voice, it pauses and lets you abort before proceeding to install the balance of Streets and Maps. Abort it and, thanks to this loophole, you now have Anna on XP without having to install the full product.


Sweet! I will definitely be trying this.

#3 roussell

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 12:39 PM

Great tip 123! Anna is about the only thing I liked about Vista. Nice to know my HouseBot/XP install can now have a decent voice.

Terry

#4 roussell

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:27 PM

As a tip, you can use Universal Extractor to break apart the ginormous install file and install just the tts and sapi stuff - after extracting, you'll find it here: ST_2010\Streets\MSMap\Redist.

Universal Extractor works great BTW when you need to get to the gooey center of almost any archived file including .exe and .msi files from Microsoft.

Terry

Edited by roussell, 24 September 2009 - 07:30 AM.


#5 123

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:17 PM

...use Universal Extractor to break apart the ginormous install file ...

Terry, thanks for that tip.

I found three folders related to SAPI and TTS:
ST_2010\Streets\MSMap\Redist\MSTTSEng_20
ST_2010\Streets\MSMap\Redist\MSTTSEng_21
ST_2010\Streets\MSMap\Redist\SAPI

I know TTS21 provides the Anna voice so I ran \MSTTSEng_21\MSTTSEngine.msi and it installed "Microsoft English TTS Engine" (visible in Control Panel's Programs list). The Speech applet listed Microsoft Anna but the voice sounded clipped. I proceeded to install \MSTTSEng_20\TTS_Nested.msi. After it completed, I couldn't find anything new in the Programs list. However, Anna now sounded correct.

I used Universal Extractor to take apart the SAPI installer (SAPI51.msi) and it contains Microsoft Sam, Mike, and Mary. I ran the SAPI installer but it did not add any new voices. In fact, the installer appears to be unconfigured (i.e. does an installation of "Default" and the license agreement is a bare-bones template). It's a shame this does not work, because I know of only one other way to install these voices and that's using the SAPI 5.1 SDK (about 80Mb of baggage).

On two other PC's, I ran the installers found in MSTTSEng_20 and MSTTSEng_21 with good results. I think these two installers represent all that is needed to install the Anna voice and its TTS engine.

Edited by 123, 23 September 2009 - 07:27 PM.


#6 Jensen Beach

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:38 PM

That is incredible ;)
Thanks

#7 AnthonyZ

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:39 PM

Awesome tip. Thanks. Bye bye, Sam!

#8 Dan (electron)

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:55 AM

Is this the same voice that comes with Windows 7? The W7 voice sounds very good compared with ole Sam, and is usable in a home automation environment. Great find for sure!

#9 AnthonyZ

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:37 AM

I loaded last night and gained some pretty significant WAF points. Between the wife, three daughters and now Anna, I am seriously outnumbered!

#10 Steve

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 06:59 PM

Anna is tons better than Sam and this is a great idea for sure. Perhaps it should be made into a quick 'How To' article? But, as much as Anna is an improvement over Sam (not too hard), and she is free, she still is not as nice as Kate or some other paid voices. Personally I think Kate is kinda hot. My wife calls her 'The bitch in the attic'.

#11 Waynedb

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:59 PM

I also use Kate for my voice annoucements but Anna is a huge improvement over the old crappy voices. I remember in grade school many, many years ago, we watched a film about computer generated speech. The only thing I remember the computer saying was " I like my coffee black" in a monotone voice not much worse then the old XP voices.

#12 AnthonyZ

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:16 PM

It seems I spoke to soon. I use CQC and I had some TTS stuff already set up but, when I came home today, I was greeted by Sam. In the control panel, if I select voices, it shows Anna as selected (when I can get in, about every other time I try to access it now, it throws an error). So Anna is selected but Sam has asserted himself nonetheless.

#13 Steve

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

Don't want to derail this thread,but if you are using the CQC TTS driver, do you have your main CQC Service using a separate admin account, or just the local system account? It needs to be a separate admin account. See this. I've seen where sometimes it freaks out in Windows but still works as long as the above is setup right.

#14 AnthonyZ

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:42 PM

Don't want to derail this thread,but if you are using the CQC TTS driver, do you have your main CQC Service using a separate admin account, or just the local system account? It's need to be a separate admin account. See this. I've seen where sometimes it freaks out in Windows but still works as long as the above is setup right.

Thanks, Steve. I'll play with that tonight once I get the kids down.

#15 samgreco

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:13 PM

It seems I spoke to soon. I use CQC and I had some TTS stuff already set up but, when I came home today, I was greeted by Sam. In the control panel, if I select voices, it shows Anna as selected (when I can get in, about every other time I try to access it now, it throws an error). So Anna is selected but Sam has asserted himself nonetheless.


That'll learn ya to mess with me, I mean Sam....

So what I really want is Holly from Red Dwarf. Now that was the perfect computer personality.




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