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Microsoft Edge: 'Read Aloud' option


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abcdefg

Amazing! I just now tried it and am impressed with how well it works. 

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chinadude2006
On 1/3/2021 at 11:34 PM, Luxi said:

Try it, have it read the newspaper for you! You can use this Edge browser in other OS: iOS, Linux, Android, you name it, but they don't have the read aloud capability yet.

 

I just tried this on my android phone and as you mentioned they don't have the read aloud in Chinese capability yet. They do have it in English though and the voice is quite clear and fluent. When they get around to adding Chinese, it is going to be a really useful learning tool.

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Luxi
4 hours ago, chinadude2006 said:

I just tried this on my android phone and as you mentioned they don't have the read aloud in Chinese capability yet.

 

I don't have any newish android device to try, but after my previous post I discovered that Chinese Read Aloud now works in iPhones and iPads. I'm sure it also works in Macs. Maybe you can check the browser settings and see if Chinese language is listed? Or you may need to enable Chinese voices elsewhere in the android system. If not, it will be on the way, Edge is in continuous active development and there are lots and lots of very interesting features coming up. 

 

In iOS tablets & phone, Read Aloud appears on the menu in some sites, the ones that are readable, I suppose. If not, just highlight a bit of the text and look for the Read Alou option to appear at the end of the utilities floating ribbon (the one with copy, dictionary, etc.). The cogwheel at the top left of the Read Aloud ribbon has the voices.

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mungouk

I just installed it on my Mac (OSX 10.14.6) and it installed but won't launch. Error logs are complaining about "mkdir: no such file or directory". 

 

I've restarted, deleted it, re-installed it and the problem is the same. It's version 87.0.664.75, from 7 January.

 

This is a pretty old OS (Mojave) but then I still have 32-bit software that I don't want to lose. 

 

I'm curious how good these voices are, but don't have time to mess about trying to get this to work... any other Mac users have better luck?

 

 

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abcdefg

It works well for me on my Windows 10 laptop.  The voice is natural and easy to understand (male and female.) These are light years beyond the synthesized 排队 voices in the Bank of China lobby announcing that "Number 238 needs to go to Window 5." 

 

I have not tried it on my Android phone. Have not tried Cantonese. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 2:37 AM, mungouk said:

I'm curious how good these voices are, but don't have time to mess about trying to get this to work...

 

@mungouk do you have a mobile iOS 13 or 14 device? You can install Edge for a trial to check the voices, they're the same. See my previous post.

 

The 2 Mainland voices (male & female) are the enhanced natural voices, the Cantonese voice also sounds quite natural to me.  The Taiwanese voice sounds very robotic. 

 

 

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Jan Finster

Sounds pretty good. In fact, maybe even better than the natural voice at TCB 😂

I have not paid attention to tone mistakes that much. Have you guys noticed any? Or using the wrong sound (e.g. 行 hang2 vs xing2, etc)?

 

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@Jan Finster  I tried to check the tones, so far haven't spotted any glaring errors - not that I'm a good judge but I can often pick obviously wrong tones. Haven't yet tested for mistaken sounds, but I think the AI is using context, so wouldn't expect to see many of those.

 

@Moshen  The Windows 10 voices are quite good and I use Hui Hui quite a bit to check the pronunciation of unfamiliar characters, but I find Read Aloud quite tiring in Word. These 'enhanced' online voices that Edge uses are much more natural and pleasant to listen to. They are not Microsoft's, I think these are developed in China, and are the same AI they have been trying for news reading.

 

I find the Mainland male voice more natural than Xiaoxiao, the female voice, and quite nice to listen to played a tiny bit below 'normal' speed. The Cantonese female voice sounds very convincing to me, but I don't know Cantonese. 

 

 

 

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mungouk
On 1/10/2021 at 10:37 AM, mungouk said:

I just installed it on my Mac (OSX 10.14.6) and it installed but won't launch

 

OK I just tried the latest Beta from https://www.microsoftedgeinsider.com/ and this works fine on my Mac running Mojave (10.14.6).

 

Yes, the new "online" voices are impressive. 

ETA:

These online voices are using Azure's Neural TTS service. 

 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services/text-to-speech/


Here's a blog post from December about the newer voices, with samples of each:

 

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-ai/azure-neural-text-to-speech-updates-51-new-voices-added-to-the/ba-p/1988418

 

 

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I gave it a crack on the text I've got on ancient music and it was impressive on some obscure characters (e.g. in place names) and parsed very well but predictably had a bit of trouble with the dual pronunciations of 樂 - as I did myself in 伎樂 and 大司樂 where I expected yue and it wasn't.

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On 1/20/2021 at 3:07 AM, mungouk said:

voices are using Azure's Neural TTS service

 

Thanks for the links! The non-Chinese language voices are also very impressive. 

 

There's an app called 'Microsoft Learn Chinese' in the Apple store. It seems very good for what it does, but I don't know how far it goes beyond basic  beginners level.  Unfortunately it hasn't been updated in a year, Microsoft may have abandoned the project which would be a shame because it has some very interesting potential. The app uses natural voices and, interestingly, it uses AI to check and give a score to  the users' pronunciation. It doesn't seem too much of a leap to enable a variety of levels up to advanced, even up to poetry recitation, as well as more diverse pronunciation exercises, and allow users to paste text input for practice.

 

@Jim that is a mean test!

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Jan Finster

I just tested it again. The most mind-blowing thing to me is that there is even a pretty amazing speech rhythm. There are subtle, but perceptible pauses at the right place. 

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