Record better audio and lose the Text To Speech voice
If I made it so you could record your own, would you have the patience to do all the shapes, colors and letters?
By the way, if you're using Windows 2000/XP and just hating that robotic voice, it's just the Windows default voice ("Microsoft Sam"). It's not hard to get a better one, though it's not quite a one-step process:
Download the free trial version of Microsoft Streets & Trips at http://www.microsoft.com/streets/en-us/free-trial.aspx and run the installer. (Don't worry; you don't actually have to install it.)
Before installing the actual Streets & Trips software, Windows will install a few components. Most of them you probably already have, but one is a test-to-speech upgrade that includes a much more pleasant voice ("Microsoft Anna," the Win7 default voice).
Once the components are installed, Windows will prompt you to install the Streets & Trips software. If all you want is the voice upgrade, just exit the installer and delete it.
Then click Start → Control Panel → Speech, and from the Voice Selection menu, select "Microsoft Anna - English (United States)."
I only let my baby "smash" the old computer, and I'm finding Baby Smash much more bearable now that I've fixed that voice.
If people are able to record their own, then it should be an option to phone home with new translations. If some translations are incorporated into future versions, it would be useful to those (me) who are too lazy to record it themselves...
I would love to be able to record my own voice on this, or frankly have any other voice, the text to speech is kinda scary and I think it makes it a lot less fun for my little girl, it totally reminds me of the paranoid android from "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" I think she would really love it if the voice was more cheerful.
David, did you get my email?
David, I did code changes that if it finds the file for the letter it will play that file. Send me email to hotmail address apsen and we could talk.
David Andersen commented
Andriy Sen, Have you implemented the code for this, or have you made the recordings. I would be very interested if you have implemented the code (I did not know that this was open-source). I would be willing to share recordings in Norwegian.
I've made the changes so it is possible to record your own voice. I could share them if interested.
David Andersen commented
Yes, I would record all of them in my own language. If you could allow multiple recordings for each letter, I would make variations over the same letters to make it more fun.
Fantastic app - We got sick of Georgina smashing up our laptops, so now she has her own - it runs Babysmash on boot up & that's all! She giggles every time she hears your kid's voice at startup.
And on to answering your question - Yes we'd record our own, if we did a decent job of it we'd even be happy to share them (I'd guess a structure of folders for colours, shapes, letters as .wavs named in English would work fine).
That would also allow us to do the letters as their sounds rather than the letters (phonics - how they teach sounds on this side of the Pond).
Thanks so much
Andrew Casad commented
I sure would be willing to record my own. Then I could also record it in multiple languages and switch between them.
Maybe recording sounds can be made via web so that users will be able to send names of shapes, words, etc. using their voice
I'd record my own, but obviously it would be great if there was a default option.
This is totally doable.
perhaps with partial failover to text to speech for unassigned samples?
Nathan Johnstone commented
Ah ha, I have just stumbled across baby smash and this was the first feature I was going to request this very feature.. I would definitely take the time to record the sounds.. a simple directory 'speech' or something where you could record and deposit a named mp3 such as 'A.mp3' and when the A key was pressed, if the A.mp3 was present that would play, if not then text to speech is the default
Mikael Syska commented
Ohhh, Could be cool ...
Support for multiple languages ... then I could/will translate it to danish :-)
If you make the recording "wizard" super straightforward, this could go fairly quickly.
A wizard-like: Show the letter on the screen, then prompt the user to hit a key to begin the recording, same key to end the recording, automatically play back the recording to verify then same key to go on to next letter. Different key to re-record, and the other options to stop the recording process. Any un-recorded items would just use the default text-to-speech.
Giving the chance to have the letters read out in the native language would be nice.
I think most people would have the patience to record all the sounds - it's a one time only job afterall.
Be great if Parent could record all the letters - thereby providing the correct translation.