Premise Potential problem with MS-SAPI Speech driver.

Motorola Premise


Senior Member
I need volunteers to perform a very simple test. You are an eligible candidate if your Premise Server is running the MS-SAPI Speech driver.

I'm convinced there is a problem with the MS-SAPI speech driver under Windows XP. Perhaps someone else can also confirm its presence.

See how many steps you can perform before you get an error.
  1. In Windows Control Panel, open the Speech applet.
  2. Click Text To Speech tab.
If you didn't get any errors (or even if you did) try running the attached "Voices.vbs" VBScript program. It is designed to display all installed Voices.

Here are my results:
Step 1 generates the following error message:
The requested task cannot be carried out because the necessary engine could not be created. Please select a different engine and/or a different audio device.
Clicking OK will close the message box and display the Speech applet.

Step 2 generates the following error message:
An exception occured while trying to run "C:\WINDOWS\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Speech\sapi.cpl",Speech"

Attempting to run the Voices program generates the following error message:
Script: ...\Voices.vbs
Line: 6
Char: 1
Error: 0x80045039
Code: 80045039
Source: (null)

Everything works properly after uninstalling the MS-SAPI Speech driver. The attached image shows the results of the Voices program when the MS-SAPI Speech driver isn't installed.

Claro Software has an excellent page describing several techniques to resolve problems with SAPI (Speech Application Programming Interface). I tried them all and they didn't fix the problem. However, they pointed me in the right direction. Claro's SAPI5Test program suffered the same fate as my VBScript program (unable to list the installed voices) plus it displayed a helpful error message:
70: Permission denied.
It suggested something was hogging the SAPI resources. I'm convinced "something" is the MS-SAPI driver.

I found the same problem reported by a user of a product called VoiceGuide7 and by Simon Rozman when attempting to use SAPI with IIS.

Why is this bug an issue? For starters, it prevents other speech-related applications from acquiring the list of installed voices. I've developed a Remote Speech Client (it allows you to speak messages on remote PCs) that fails to work if the PC is equipped with the MS-SAPI Speech driver.


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Maybe unrelated but ...

Shut down my HS 2003 server application. I am not a Premise server user but have been using TTS a long time.

1 - When in control panel-speech - error in step 1 - as above - changed audio output.

2 - ran your script

I am using MS-SAPI with 10 voices.



With HS running went to Control Panel - Speech with no errors - ran your script with no errors.

Thanks for performing the test. I appreciate it.

The "MS-SAPI Speech driver" refers to a Premise Text-To-Speech (TTS) driver developed by a former Premise user. Its presence appears to prevent other speech-related applications (even the Windows Speech applet) from operating correctly.

Your test environment does not include this driver. However, your results indicate that Homeseer's TTS service does not negatively affect the operation of other speech apps. This is how it should work.

Ten voices! You can simulate a dinner party ...
Mary, meet Paul.
Hello, Paul. Have you met Sam?
No, but Kate said he sounds a little sloshed!
Oh, that's due to age, not alcohol ...
I see. You wouldn't happen to know who goes around saying "blah blah blah"?
Oh that's what's his name. I think he's from somewhere called SDK.
Crystal, have you seen Anna?
No, she's unavailable.
Sorry, 123....I ran your tests but its probably not a very good replication...I only have one voice 'Sam' and am running on WHS. I went thru the steps, but didn't get any errors; tried it a couple of times...btw, where do you get the other vocies?
Microsoft SAPI 5.1 SDK is a 68 MB download that provides resources to develop speech applications ... and supplies additional voices. Altogether, you'll have Mary, Mike, Sam, and Sample TTS (it just says "blah" for each word).

Interesting. Rob Brun's installation instructions indicate the MS-SAPI Speech driver requires the SAPI SDK. Are you saying you're running Rob's speech driver, on WHS, without the SAPI SDK?
ohhhh mannn...'Are you saying you're running Rob's speech driver, on WHS, without the SAPI SDK?'
Have I stopped beating my wife?
I don't really recall...but looking at my 'remove programs', I only have the 'Microsoft Text to Speech Engine 4.0' installed.....(test to speech is cool, but not high on my list...sorry....)
123, I got the same two errors as you did.

Thanks for taking the time to confirm it.

I've unloaded the MS-SAPI driver and completed the first round of testing of a new Text-To-Speech (TTS) driver. I now have a Minibroker-based Remote Speech driver that allows you to send TTS messages to any PC (i.e. local Premise Server or remote PC). I've tested it on Windows XP (32-bit) and Vista (64-bit). The first beta release will be a Windows Form application that will allow other users to test it conveniently. Afterwards, I'll release it as Windows Service. Source code (C#) will also be available to let others enhance it or use it a springboard to develop other drivers.