Just for shits and giggles I just tried the Microsoft TTS that was supposed to have been shuttered end of March 2017. She Speaks! Or in other works, it seems to still be operational? Anybody else still using it?
Yuppers, she is talking to me here
She’s been talking for me, too.
I switched back for my local TTS to the MS one as the voice is better quality. I like the perky US lady voice Microsoft TTS uses…
This has been dead for me for the past two or three days. Microsoft did indicate that it would be discontinued after April 30, 2017.
I’m looking at alternatives today and the alternative voices(Mary etc.) all sound like robotic garbage in comparison. In my opinion, the best sounding and most natural TTS voices I’ve found so far are the previous Microsoft Translator(now Azure) and AWS Polly. But, neither is currently an option with the Vera Sonos plugin.
It’s unfortunate that @lolodomo won’t update the MS option in the plugin.(Not criticizing, just regretful.) The service does require a credit card to sign up, but there is a free tier after sign up that would likely satisfy most Vera users needs, as did MS Translator.
The Amazon Polly service is free(credit card still required for signup) for limited volumes of characters for the first year and then a small charge based on character volume after that. I haven’t done the work to determine what that cost would actually be for Vera, but it’s a moot point since there is no Sonos plugin support at all.
Once MrSlother releases his TTS server package (needs IIS and .net 4.5) and you install it on Windows 10 you may be able to use the Cortana TTS voice which is pretty good as well. On WHS2011 I only get the default voice (Microsoft Mary?) as I can’t get the built in MS TTS framework to recognize any others I downloaded. Which seems to be a common issue and no none has found a decent solution for it as far as I can google it. It works well enough for me and I can deal with the slightly robotic voice.
Today, Microsoft TTS is presenting me with the ‘sound of silence’ so it looks like they took it down…
Blowing the dust off this thread… I’m the new package maintainer for the Sonos plugin. Azure Speech Service will be supported in version 2.0 of the plugin. As of this writing, 1.5 is pending release/candidate and does not support it yet–release 2.0 should be late-Q1/early Q2-2020, with stable developer previews available right after 1.5 is fully released.
I have to say, it’s really nice. The voices are great, and the service response time excellent. Given that ResponsiveVoice relies on a now-unsupported/undocumented/deprecated API, it could stop working at any time, so it’s nice to have this alternative and have it be high quality.