or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Apple updates high quality OS X speech with Voice Update 2.0
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple updates high quality OS X speech with Voice Update 2.0

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Tom and Jill are going uphill, version 2.0 that is. The high quality voices, first introduced in OS X Lion as optional downloads, now have updates available through Software Update.

In March 2011, AppleInsider was first to report that Apple would be bundling dozens of high quality new speech synthesis voices supporting a wide variety of languages and regional dialects.

Mac OS X Lion shipped later that year with support for downloading the optional voices within the Speech pref pane of System Preferences. In Mountain Lion, OS X retains the default system voice of Alex, first introduced in OS X 10.5 Leopard in late 2007.



However, uses can browse higher quality alternatives (pictured above) from the revamped Dictation & Speech pref panel, by selecting "Customize" from the System Voice selection popup.

The system will then download each of the selected voice packs chosen for installation by the user. The optional voices weigh in nearly 1 GB each.



Shortly after the release of Mountain Lion on Wednesday, Apple made available a series of "2.0" Voice Updates for each of the optional voices users had previously installed. Each update "delivers pronunciation and clarity improvements."
post #2 of 37

Aren't these Nuance voices? Pretty certain I've seen these in use with some GPS systems.

 

EDIT: Confirmed. They're definitely voices from Nuance.


Edited by Gatorguy - 7/27/12 at 9:00am
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #3 of 37

I was hoping for an Albert Einstein 2.0 voice.  Oh well.

An Apple man since 1977
Reply
An Apple man since 1977
Reply
post #4 of 37

This illustrates one thing that's driving me batty about Mountain Lion so far.  "Software update" now sends you to the App Store where the results you are going to get will vary wildly depending on what part of the world you are in.  In this case, I have Emily, Jill, and Samantha installed but I live outside of the US and they are US voices.  Therefore I have no updates waiting in the App store, yet there are updates for these voices.  

 

Having to go to a separate place in the OS (System Preferences> Dictation & Speech), and "fiddle" with the voice controls just to force the OS to download something that should be available on the standard Software Update is annoying at best and an impossibility for most users who wouldn't know how to do it.  

 

It's also going to make life in IT support a whole lot harder because one of the main things users never, ever do is update their friggin software and the very *first* thing an IT support person wants to do is to make sure that the software that's having the problem is actually up to date.  The way they have it set up now, no third party can do software update without having access to the users AppleID.  It's hard enough convincing some users to let you have their User Account password, to convince them to give you their AppleID and password is harder still and shouldn't be necessary just to update system software.  

 

So far, I think the blending of the App Store and Software Update is a colossally bad idea that seems to have no real upside at all.  It doesn't seem to me to be likely to make the user upgrade their system software any more often than they do now for instance.  Updating your software on OS X seems like a complete mess at this point IMO.   

post #5 of 37

Sound noticeably better to me just with casual use.

post #6 of 37

Jill's my fav. 

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Aren't these Nuance voices? Pretty certain I've seen these in use with some GPS systems.

 

EDIT: Confirmed. They're definitely voices from Nuance.


Confirmed how?  I'm not doubting, just curious.

post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So far, I think the blending of the App Store and Software Update is a colossally bad idea that seems to have no real upside at all.  It doesn't seem to me to be likely to make the user upgrade their system software any more often than they do now for instance.  Updating your software on OS X seems like a complete mess at this point IMO.   

Have you left unbiased feedback at the appropriate web pages? A rant, they will delete.
post #9 of 37
Them not showing up in the app store updates section has nothing to do with where you are, and entirely to do with the fact that the voices can't be updated until they are installed. They are not installed by default. So the only way you'll see updates is if you "fiddle" with the settings and enable the voices in question which downloads and installs them in the first place. Its nothing to do with App Store beyond thats where the updates show up now. You'd have to "fiddle" with it before with the old update mechanism too.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It's also going to make life in IT support a whole lot harder because one of the main things users never, ever do is update their friggin software and the very *first* thing an IT support person wants to do is to make sure that the software that's having the problem is actually up to date.  The way they have it set up now, no third party can do software update without having access to the users AppleID.  It's hard enough convincing some users to let you have their User Account password, to convince them to give you their AppleID and password is harder still and shouldn't be necessary just to update system software.  

 

So far, I think the blending of the App Store and Software Update is a colossally bad idea that seems to have no real upside at all.  It doesn't seem to me to be likely to make the user upgrade their system software any more often than they do now for instance.  Updating your software on OS X seems like a complete mess at this point IMO.   

 

It sounds like you're referring to corporate IT support.  Surely employees aren't using their personal iTunes accounts to download software updates on company computers.  Or do you mean like Genius Bar-type support?  No one should be telling anyone their passwords period.  You'll just to have to have the person type in their password when the prompts come up.

 

It is a little disconcerting to use the App Store to upgrade one's OS, but how is it a "mess" or colossally bad idea?  I upgraded from Lion to Snow Lion (as I call it) with what seemed like no more than 10 clicks and hadn't had any issues at all.  I compare it to the old days of DVDs, CDs, and (shudder) floppy disks and an happy to see how simple and easy things have gotten.  The "hardest" part was plugging in my portable USB drive and clicking backup now in the Time Machine drop-down before starting.  "It just works."

post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post


Confirmed how?  I'm not doubting, just curious.

Do a Google search for "Nuance Tessa voice" or "Nuance Nikko voice". I was pretty certain where these came from as soon as I saw British Daniel and British Emily, common GPS voices, in the voice list. A couple of searches confirmed the source.

melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #12 of 37

These new voices are much better than the default old. These sound more natural.

 
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This illustrates one thing that's driving me batty about Mountain Lion so far.  "Software update" now sends you to the App Store where the results you are going to get will vary wildly depending on what part of the world you are in.  In this case, I have Emily, Jill, and Samantha installed but I live outside of the US and they are US voices.  Therefore I have no updates waiting in the App store, yet there are updates for these voices.  

 

What happens if you run software update through the command line, does that redirect to the app store? Or is the command-line software update not even available any more in ML?

 

Apple's help page seems to suggest it should still work in ML though they don't reference explicitly, just saying 'lion and later': http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1974

post #14 of 37

I have downloaded both Tom & Jill, but after downloading them Software Update says the system is up-to-date. When i download Tom & Jill did i download 2.0? They were only about 400MB each somehow i feel thats not the 2.0 version.

post #15 of 37

If no updates show up for you in the App Store, then at that particular time, there are no updates for your software. 

post #16 of 37
The version number might be in your software update history.
post #17 of 37

Thanks, it seems that they have removed Software Update history from System preferences as well. However I did check the install Logs and in fact when I did select Tom & Jill it did download version 2.0 (weighing in at only 400MB each). If you didn't already have the voiced installed you wont see them in Software update. Thanks again for your help.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atashi View Post

 

What happens if you run software update through the command line, does that redirect to the app store? Or is the command-line software update not even available any more in ML?

 

Apple's help page seems to suggest it should still work in ML though they don't reference explicitly, just saying 'lion and later': http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1974

 

Well, I already did the voice updates manually.  The command line method is still there, but I'm not sure if it works as right now as I'm already completely up to date.  

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

 

It sounds like you're referring to corporate IT support.  Surely employees aren't using their personal iTunes accounts to download software updates on company computers.  Or do you mean like Genius Bar-type support?  No one should be telling anyone their passwords period.  You'll just to have to have the person type in their password when the prompts come up.

 

It is a little disconcerting to use the App Store to upgrade one's OS, but how is it a "mess" or colossally bad idea?  I upgraded from Lion to Snow Lion (as I call it) with what seemed like no more than 10 clicks and hadn't had any issues at all.  I compare it to the old days of DVDs, CDs, and (shudder) floppy disks and an happy to see how simple and easy things have gotten.  The "hardest" part was plugging in my portable USB drive and clicking backup now in the Time Machine drop-down before starting.  "It just works."

 

No, I mean in the vastly bigger IT world that exists in between the locked down corporate IT world and the consumer.  It's typical for users where I work to give IT their user ID's and passwords for the computer when they drop it off for repairs or installs as the staff can't really do much for them without having that.  As I said, almost the first thing the IT people like to do is upgrade the software to cover off the possibility that their issue is a known bug and one (used to) only need the user account password for that.  Most users have either a crappy password for that or none at all for their user account so it's not a big secret for them to give it. 

 

The AppleID however is a separate thing for most people and has a credit card attached.  It's likely to have a more secure password and most users are very reticent to give it to you as it attaches to their personal business.   It also means that if they give IT the AppleID, all of a sudden IT can see the giant list of stuff they purchased (which can be embarrassing), whereas previously the IT person would be just in Software Update and not necessarily cruising through their hardrive looking at the weird music and videos they downloaded.  It's not a breach of security, but it is a breach of privacy.  

 

My point is that when a user brings their computer to a third party for repair, they will most likely now have to give them their Apple ID and password.  Even if the user has put a secure password on their user account there are easy ways around that.  There is no way I know of to get around someone's AppleID, (there shouldn't be), and the user shouldn't have to give this to third parties.  

 

Hopefully "sudo software update" still works without the AppleID but almost no one uses that today and it's not exactly the best tool for the job. 

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Jill's my fav. 

I like Jill too, and I feel that she likes me a lot.

post #21 of 37

So why was my post deleted? What's wrong about comparing apple's speech synthesiser to one I consider far better? Apple should have licensed ivona. Sad but true.

post #22 of 37

I recall playing with these using the Chinese female voice to read English. The accent stuck. So cool.

post #23 of 37

Software updates in the MAS means users HAVE to open the MAS more often, thereby giving more visibility to developers' products.  It's simple, logical, and brilliant; I'm surprised it didn't happen with Lion.

 

That being said, I rather liked the old software update app.  It was small and simple with a nice, obvious icon.  Oh well.

post #24 of 37

I'd still like to get the Stephen Hawking voice on my Mac, even though it's 20 year old technology. Anyone know of a way?

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
The AppleID however is a separate thing for most people and has a credit card attached.  It's likely to have a more secure password and most users are very reticent to give it to you as it attaches to their personal business.   It also means that if they give IT the AppleID, all of a sudden IT can see the giant list of stuff they purchased (which can be embarrassing), whereas previously the IT person would be just in Software Update and not necessarily cruising through their hardrive looking at the weird music and videos they downloaded.  It's not a breach of security, but it is a breach of privacy.  

 

My point is that when a user brings their computer to a third party for repair, they will most likely now have to give them their Apple ID and password.  Even if the user has put a secure password on their user account there are easy ways around that.  There is no way I know of to get around someone's AppleID, (there shouldn't be), and the user shouldn't have to give this to third parties.  

 

I see the point you're making, but I'm not sure this is that difficult to get around.  Let's break this down into Enterprise IT and Personal IT:

 

Enterprise IT:

Any software that the IT department is going to support for you would be software they approve.  It's likely that the IT department has the AppleID and password, and the user doesn't.  The user may (if allowed) have a personal AppleID, but that account and software installed on it wouldn't be supported by the IT department.  Additionally, there is a setting in Preferences which forces certain updates.  Also in terms of "breach of privacy", there's nothing stopping them from looking at everything anyway.

 

Personal IT:

Before taking the Mac in, they can make sure the user does the software update.  Showing them how to do this and walking them through it helps prevent problems in the future.  And likewise, the forced updates can be set.

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by starburst View Post

I like Jill too, and I feel that she likes me a lot.

 

It's nothing personal. It's just business.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicron View Post

I'd still like to get the Stephen Hawking voice on my Mac, even though it's 20 year old technology. Anyone know of a way?

 

Buy a Texas Instruments Speak 'n' Spell?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #28 of 37

I don't think these software updates are coupled to any AppleID you might be using in the App Store (you can even use multiple different AppleIDs on one machine).

 

The GUI for system software updates is merely embedded into the App Store GUI now, instead of being a separate thing.

 

However, the annoyance that is needing to enter an administrator password before the check for available updates happens and after it is done, doesn't seem to be gone. In fact, it seems worse now, as it prompted me in between each of the updates for the voices. Ugh.

post #29 of 37

In that second screenshot, there are several updates listed.  But the top of the page still displays "1 Update Available".  And it does not list the sizes of the individual updates.

post #30 of 37

If the network was set up properly using Mac OS X Server, then all software updates would go to the server for approval by the admin before filtering down to the client machines.

 

Combing the app store and software updates makes perfect sense since the two have redundant functionality.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

It's also going to make life in IT support a whole lot harder because one of the main things users never, ever do is update their friggin software and the very *first* thing an IT support person wants to do is to make sure that the software that's having the problem is actually up to date.  The way they have it set up now, no third party can do software update without having access to the users AppleID.  It's hard enough convincing some users to let you have their User Account password, to convince them to give you their AppleID and password is harder still and shouldn't be necessary just to update system software.  

 

So far, I think the blending of the App Store and Software Update is a colossally bad idea that seems to have no real upside at all.  It doesn't seem to me to be likely to make the user upgrade their system software any more often than they do now for instance.  Updating your software on OS X seems like a complete mess at this point IMO.   

post #31 of 37

I don't have a Dictation & Speech pref panel on my Mac Mini (Mountain Lion installed).

Anyone know why not?

post #32 of 37
Originally Posted by BobG View Post
I don't have a Dictation & Speech pref panel on my Mac Mini (Mountain Lion installed). Anyone know why not?

 

Because you don't have a microphone on your Mac Mini…

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #33 of 37

I have Jill and Samatha, but can figure out how to get Emily or Serina. Anyone have any ideas?

post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So far, I think the blending of the App Store and Software Update is a colossally bad idea that seems to have no real upside at all.  It doesn't seem to me to be likely to make the user upgrade their system software any more often than they do now for instance.  Updating your software on OS X seems like a complete mess at this point IMO.   

 

Like all common users update their stuff even under the old system. I've dealt with folks that have never actually updated their software, despite that pop up, since they bought the computer 4 years ago. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Aren't these Nuance voices? Pretty certain I've seen these in use with some GPS systems.

 

 

 

And?? Is the notion that they might have licensed some voices from Nuance that shocking considering they have a partnership with the whole Siri/Dictation thing. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

And?? Is the notion that they might have licensed some voices from Nuance that shocking considering they have a partnership with the whole Siri/Dictation thing. 

Is there supposed to be an "and"? Or is there supposed to be shock that the voices come from Nuance? I think you're looking for an issue that doesn't exist.


Edited by Gatorguy - 7/29/12 at 11:11am
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #37 of 37

Thanks - I don't have a built-in microphone, but have an exterior one/non-Apple.

It's there on my laptop.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac OS X
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Apple updates high quality OS X speech with Voice Update 2.0