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Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices Apps
I have been patiently waiting for computers to catch up to Star Trek and start talking. I noticed a Java app to announce e-mail senders, so I downloaded Lisa from speakingassistant.com. Although it made sense afterward, I was blindly imagining my computer saying "A new message has arrived from Kenny Rogers." The voice for Lisa's announcements sounds great, but they are samples. As such, they are therefore limited to a set of generic senders, such as 'client,' 'a good friend,' 'your french maid,' etc.

I am not saying Lisa is a bad program, just not what I wanted. A random charge crossed the gap between my two brain cells, and now I'm much closer to what I originally wanted. First I visited AT&T's Natural Voices demo page. At this page, you can demo AT&T's smashingly realistic Natural Voices Text To Speech with your own text. I typed in vocal bits for the people I cared to have announced, and then saved the resulting AIF (click on the arrow at the far right of the QuickTime player toolbar). Add a simple "If from contains kennyrogers then play sound 'kennyrogersmail.aif'" rule to Mail, and it announces personalized sender messages!

Hopefully I'm not the only dork who thinks this is fun...
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nice
Authored by: june on Mar 18, '03 10:54:25AM

Very cool hint, i can't stop playing whit it

---
The box siad; win 95 or better, so i bot a macintosch



[ Reply to This | # ]
Play with spellings
Authored by: vertigo on Mar 18, '03 11:22:29AM

I found that when using this, the name "Karen" was pronounced a little off. Instead I just typed in "care n" and it sounds exactly like it should! So you may want to experiment with phonetic sounds to get what you want.

---
~vert



[ Reply to This | # ]
Cyberdog did this better
Authored by: NoahD on Mar 18, '03 11:33:20AM

and that was years ago ('96).

Basically, Cyberdog Mail could be set to speak (text to speech) incoming mail headers. If you got one new message, it would say "new message from Bob Jones regarding Sales Meeting" if the subject were Sales Meeting and the sender were Bob Jones. If you had more than one new message come in at once, it'd say "3 new messages, most recent from Bob Jones regarding Sales Meeting." It pronounced most things correctly (Apple's TTS ain't bad).

You could probably do this with Mail.app with an applescript attached to a rule, but Cyberdog made it very easy.

---
\"Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with the software.\"
-DefCon 10



[ Reply to This | # ]
announcements with a twist
Authored by: blatherskyte on Mar 18, '03 11:55:34AM

This is so much fun! I really like having the international flair with my speaking rules so I tromp on over to Babblefish and have them translated.

So, in addition to the normal "You've got mail from....", I've also got Alain (the frenchman) saying "Don't worrry, it's just junk mail. Go back to your creme brulee."

Maybe we can find a way to make this seasonal? The idea of having Santa bellow at the reindeer or the baby Jesus extoll the virtues of Myrrh and Frankensence is hilarious.

Also, does anyone have an idea of how to make this work with iCal? I can't seem to find the right Sounds folder to put my custom sounds for use with the alarm/alert timer in iCal.

just a thought.

-j.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: PancakeMan on Mar 18, '03 01:48:01PM

I can't save the result. Is it because I don't have the full ver$ion of QuickTime?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: PancakeMan on Mar 18, '03 01:58:26PM

Solved my own problem. Save wasn't an option from the drop-down menu of the player, but I could save the file from the File menu of Safari.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: sinebubble on Mar 18, '03 03:01:20PM

Very cool. I like the English UK voice Audrey. The trick is to record a bunch of different ways of saying "new message from XXX" "you have a new email from XXX" and then script Eudora (or your favorite email app) to pick a random one for each person.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: maczac on Mar 18, '03 05:43:33PM

How would you do this for Entourage? How do you add more sounds to the default set?

I used to be fairly adept at scripting with AppleScript but for the life of me cannot write a simple AppleScript to play a .aiff file any longer.

used to be able to:

open file "path:to:file:sound.aiff"

but that no longer works, neither does enclosing it in a tell finder statement.

TIA
Zac

---
Chris



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 18, '03 06:05:01PM

Simple sound activation via AppleScript has been broken for some time now. Also, Entourage's ability to see and play installed System sounds has not worked since Office X came out. Yes, very annoying.

The workaround is to install Play Sound
<http://MicrocosmSoftware.com>

...and then use AppleScript to tell Play Sound to play sounds installed in your /Libary/Sounds or ~/Library/Sounds folders.

e.g.:

tell application "Finder"
set thePath to ":Users:rico:Library:Sounds" as alias
set TheSound to document file "Uh oh.aiff" of thePath as alias
tell application "Play Sound"
play TheSound
end tell
end tell

Problem with this is it's tedious as heck to make an AS for each and every sound you may wish to play.

Perhaps easier to the purpose of speaking variables such as Sender and Subject, why not just use the 'Announce Sender' script included with Entourage?

Just edit it to speak only the variables you wish, and use the voice you wish, then apply it as a Rule to desired emails. For example, I don't want email from every subscriber list announced, nor do I want to hear about SPAM, but I do want to hear about mail that is filtered to important purposes, such as business contacts, frioends, etc. For most, I just play a cool sound byte from a song, or a standard System sound (I have converted every Apple sound dating from 1984 to present to AIFF), but for a few purposes I do use the announce script (with a different voice:


tell application "Microsoft Entourage"
--optionally uncomment the following line
if frontmost then return -- don't announce if Entourage is frontmost application
-- get the currently selected message or messages
set selectedMessages to current messages
repeat with theMessage in selectedMessages
-- get the information from the message,
-- and store it in variables
set theName to sender of theMessage
set theName to display name of theName
set theSubject to subject of theMessage
set theVoice to "Kathy"
say "new message from..." & theName & "...regarding..." & theSubject using theVoice
end repeat
end tell

HTH

Frederico



[ Reply to This | # ]
Go British
Authored by: mumkin on Mar 18, '03 04:04:45PM

To my ear, the U.K. English voices (Charles and Audrey) sound better than their U.S. English counterparts (Mike and Crystal) -- less halting between phenomes, it seems, and consequently a bit less stilted. Smashing!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Go British
Authored by: mrgerbek on Mar 18, '03 04:37:17PM

The german voice Reiger is probably the most exact of any that I've tried. Try having it say:
"Du hast email vom Helmut"

brilliant!

---
~~~~~~~~~~
Be Green



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: scamper on Mar 18, '03 06:10:28PM
I had a bit of fun with the AT&T voices not too long ago, and edited together a series of short phrases (there's a length limit imposed by the Natural Voices site) to come up with a script for a "talking heads" style fake infomercial. Throw in some of the free Apple session music and you have something like this. (Charles and Audrey are prominently featured): [Office Dialogue]

[ Reply to This | # ]
Eudora and Entourage have done this forever
Authored by: blessingx on Mar 18, '03 06:50:07PM

Eudora's filters have done this for a long time. Just create a filter to speak senders name (and subject, if you wish). Entourage 2001 and X can do the same with SpeakSender at http://www.ulrichvonbrunn.de/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: readparse on Mar 18, '03 07:08:17PM

Those chicks will talk dirty to you if you ask them :) Surely I'm not the only one to try that. Wouldn't you love to see the logs of that thing.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: Connie on Mar 18, '03 10:14:38PM

I have been using my own voice to do this. I just record it and put it in my library folder and it announces "Mail from Nancy" or "Reply from OSX forums" or You've got an email from Mandy" and then recorded an oldie "Please Mr. Postman" and I can hear it from anywhere in the house when mail arrives. Of course, I had to put a rule in the Mail to announce when I get mail, but this was so easy I am surprised more people don't do it. Or maybe they do and I just have not heard about it!

I also do this for iChat so I can tell when all my friends or kids or grandkids log in or change status. Easy!

Connie



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: dcollett on Mar 19, '03 03:14:19AM

Can any of you experts out there supply us with the method and/or short script to have the Mail.app say, for example, "Mail from John" if it is a new message, or "Reply from John" if it is an actual reply (RE:)?

These voices are great. Thanks for the hint!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 19, '03 04:52:38PM

Easy:

tell application "Microsoft Entourage"
--optionally comment-out the following line
if frontmost then return -- don't announce if Entourage is frontmost application
set selectedMessages to current messages
repeat with theMessage in selectedMessages
set theName to sender of theMessage
set theName to display name of theName
set theSubject to subject of theMessage
set theVoice to "Kathy"
if theSubject contains "RE:" or theSubject contains "re:" or theSubject contains "Re:" then
set thePrefix to "a reply from..."
else
set the prefix to "a new message from..."
end if
say thePrefix & theName & "...regarding..." & theSubject using theVoice
end repeat
end tell



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 19, '03 04:55:47PM

Oops... there was a typo in the script above; try this one:

tell application "Microsoft Entourage"
--optionally comment-out the following line
if frontmost then return -- don't announce if Entourage is frontmost application
set selectedMessages to current messages
repeat with theMessage in selectedMessages
set theName to sender of theMessage
set theName to display name of theName
set theSubject to subject of theMessage
set theVoice to "Kathy"
if theSubject contains "RE:" or theSubject contains "re:" or theSubject contains "Re:" then
set thePrefix to "a reply from..."
else
set thePrefix to "a new message from..."
end if
say thePrefix & theName & "...regarding..." & theSubject using theVoice
end repeat
end tell



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: dcollett on Mar 20, '03 03:58:12AM

Hi. Thanks for this script. Can you please show me what modifications to it would be necessary to play a .aiff file rather than use the 'say' command? This way, I could use any sound or recorded voice (such as the AT&T voices) instead of Apple's voices.

Thanks!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 20, '03 01:02:24PM

See my reply above to MacZac (Chris) in which I detail scipt and needed additions to play AIFF files.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Way to detect (and speak) "REPLY from..."?
Authored by: TigerKR on Mar 19, '03 08:28:01PM

"Can any of you experts out there supply us with the method and/or short script to have the Mail.app say, for example, "Mail from John" if it is a new message, or "Reply from John" if it is an actual reply (RE:)?"

Sure, just look for "re:" in the subject field as well as the email name, or real name of the person you're looking to announce.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages in french...
Authored by: misteurti on Mar 19, '03 04:54:09AM

i was frustrated with the poor french voice in the AT&T demo, so i went hunting for one that could actualy read french so as to pronounce correctly words with accents and so on... and ended with the KALI project from the Caen University in normandy:

http://elsap1.unicaen.fr/KaliDemo.html

it has a lot of features to customise reading, understands comas and a lot more. the only "bad" thing is that it speaks .wav



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages in french...
Authored by: alangenh on Jan 17, '04 08:59:25PM

I tried to play with the KALI site, but I couldn't get the sounds to load in safari... it gives me a screen with a broken quicktime logo on it. I tried it in IE, and it works, but is there any way to get this to work in safari?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: xavierbdm on Mar 19, '03 02:37:12PM

Hey, no point running around to AT&T!

Just run this simple Applescript
(copy paste in Script-Editor, edit and change accordingly, then hit run, it will generate an aiff file on your desktop)

---------------------
on run
set theText to "There is a new mail from Natasha"
say theText using "Victoria" saving to "Users:<USERNAME>:Desktop:mail-natasha.aiff"
end run
---------------------

Then use Mail to write a rule that says 'if msg from "natasha" play sound "mail-natasha.aiff" ' or something like that.

It will never be as good as the applescript for Outlook or Entourage that would actually say the sender and the subject, but it is the next best thing...





[ Reply to This | # ]
eliminate the middle-man
Authored by: jnutting on Mar 20, '03 04:18:22AM

No need to generate all these sound files at all, just have your applescript do the talking on the fly! Make a rule to send all your non-junk mail to this:

on perform_mail_action(info)
	tell application "Mail"
		set selectedMessages to |SelectedMessages| of info
		repeat with eachMessage in selectedMessages
			set theFromAddress to sender of eachMessage
			set speechText to "new mail from " & theFromAddress
			say speechText using "Victoria"
		end repeat
	end tell
end perform_mail_action

Of course you could modify this so that messages from particular senders could trigger different bits of speech.

The bulk of this script came from another hint on this site which explained how to get the info about which message triggered the currently-running rule.

I'm sure someone out there with more applescript knowledge would be able to parse just the name out of "sender" so that it doesn't read off the whole email address after the name.



[ Reply to This | # ]
this script announces name & subject with mac system voices
Authored by: darndog on Mar 21, '03 01:47:54PM

knocked this up from scripts in this thread & some apple finder scripts, it will announce the name (not email address) and subject. I set the Mail Rule to 'Sender is in Address Book'.

******** cut & paste text below into script editor ********

on perform_mail_action(info)
tell application "Mail"
set selectedMessages to |SelectedMessages| of info
repeat with eachMessage in selectedMessages
set theFromAddress to sender of eachMessage
-- seperate name from email address
set theBreak to " <"
set nameEnd to the offset of theBreak in theFromAddress
if nameEnd is not 0 then
set fromPerson to (characters 1 through nameEnd of theFromAddress) as string
end if
-- determine if this is a reply
set theSubject to subject of eachMessage
if theSubject contains "re:" or theSubject contains "Re:" then
set speechText to "Reply from " & fromPerson & ". Subject is " & theSubject
else
set speechText to "New mail from " & fromPerson & ". Subject is " & theSubject
end if
-- You can change 'Victora' below to any other system voice
say speechText using "Victoria"
end repeat
end tell
end perform_mail_action

****************************************************
It gets very old very fast if you get 10+ messages at once, :)

darndog



[ Reply to This | # ]
this script announces name & subject with mac system voices
Authored by: cilly on May 12, '04 12:25:17PM

This is nice, but how do I set the script to use the alert sound output device rather than the default sound output?

---
cilly @ http://www.cilly.dyndns.org/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: magir on May 02, '03 11:13:59AM

Just wanted to add that the Services-Collection "Word Service" from http://www.devon-technologies.com/freeware.html adds support for speaking german phrases using the english mac-os-x engine. With some script changing it's also possible to read german messages.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why not use the real voices of your friends and family?
Authored by: mbtyke on Feb 21, '04 03:16:59AM

I went through my answering machine and found a lot of people who were saying their own names. I recorded those into my mac and so when I get email from people, I hear them saying it.

Much more satisfying.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: Allen on Apr 03, '04 12:35:48AM

I remember a long time ago that there were significantly better versions of Victoria and Bruce etc., that one could download from Apple. [back then I think they were approaching 6 megs or so- horrendous on a 33.6. :)] I suspect that either (1) they're using these "better" voices already, or (2) they might still be around and be able to be used. Anyone know any specifics about this?

---
I went to the school of redundancy school...



[ Reply to This | # ]
best Apple TTS voices
Authored by: Moofisto on May 12, '04 03:52:07AM

"Vicki" is one of the newer, better voices. Check it out. Slow the voice down just a tad...seksy.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hear new Mail messages announced by customized voices
Authored by: cilly on May 12, '04 12:04:51PM

The command say might be interesting, too:

say -v Zarvox -o message.aiff "There is a message for you."

---
cilly @ http://www.cilly.dyndns.org/

[ Reply to This | # ]