Listen to Nuance Text-to-Speech Voices in Mac OS X Lion


Lion (4 and a half years) - Panthera leo

We’ve been speculating on Apple’s partnership with Nuance for some weeks now, and confirmation the two companies are working together comes with the new speech technology discovered in the Mac OS X Lion beta. Now you can hear those new voices for yourself.

You can listen to online examples of the new Nuance based voices which are improved over Apple’s previous text-to-speech voices via these links:

Both Mikko and Yannick can be seen in the Mac OS X Lion screen capture above.

[via OSX Daily]


  • Pkurass

     errr.. they need to work on the mandarin … it sounds like some ancient chinese character with an old old old accent. no one talks like that anymore

  • Steve Swinsburg

     Hanging out for an Australian and New Zealand accent!

  • Captain Snicklefret

    Too bad they didn’t buy the voices from the Scottish team that allowed Roger Ebert to speak again.  Those are much more realistic than these.  You get what you paid for.

  • Photoniczero

     Anyone think “Samantha” sounds like the iPhone voice?

  • CharliK

     They hand crafted that voice for him and according to reports it was not a quick project. Given the uses these voices are being applied to, they are ‘real’ enough to work. And leagues better than the current voice over voices 

  • Captain Snicklefret

    Here is the site and they offer for sale British, German and Austrian accents.

    Because the current Mac voices are so bad, I don’t use them, but I do know people who do.

  • Heka

     Mikko in Finnish sounds not that hot -it’s mostly intelligible but it is still pretty much Mickey Mouse grammar and pronunciation.  The German voice is not bad.

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  • Chris

     the german voice is cool –  it sounds exactly like a news speaker :D despite the fact that those news are old and Horst Köhler isn’t our federal president anymore ;D

  • X Philie2000

    Félix is right on the money for a French Canadian accent. 

  • Gravedrinker

    While this is pretty great, I am more excited for the voice commands, and dictation possibilities. The current voice command system for OSX is terrible, I almost never get it to recognize anything in a manner that would make it worth using in normal situations.

    I do hope though, that Apple won’t process voice commands for iOS in the cloud, that doesn’t sound convenient at all. I don’t want to use up my data for that, and I can’t imagine it being fast enough if it has to be uploaded and then processed externally.
    Not to mention that you don’t always have good reception. It just sounds like a bad idea, I don’t want to use the cloud for basic stuff like this.

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