Giving voice to the Mac

Reader Troy Phillips prays that his Mac speak the speech a bit more trippingly on the tongue. He writes:

I’m using OS X 10.3.9 and the default voices are not real high on my list of things I like about the Mac. Any idea where or even if there are any additional voices I can install to listen to my Mac talk to me or alert me?

Though October isn’t exactly around the corner, if you can wait until then and upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) you’ll find that it contains Alex, a new—and far more natural-sounding—synthesized voice that’s part of the OS’s updated accessibility features.

If you can’t wait, make your way to Cepstral, makers of the finest computer-generated voices I’ve come across. The company’s David and Diane voices are outstanding and cost $30 a piece. Unlike any of the voices currently packed with today’s Mac OS X you could actually listen to a book read by these voices. If your Mac spends more than a few minutes a week speaking to you, Cepstral’s voices are definitely worth a listen.

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