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Customize your own TTS Voice - No more 'recalculating'

For Francisco and for those of you that didn't see this post, here it is again.

A little tool I designed to edit your Garmin VPM Voice file (TTS type) and change all predefined phrases.

No more "recalculating". Change it to something different like "Honey, we are lost again!" or "Next time, listen to me!"

latest download link

It is pretty intuitive, but please read the README file for the details. It tells you exactly what to do and how to backup your original voice file. So far, this program has been tested with Nuvi model 760, 255 and 360.

If you have problems, please post in this thread. Indicates the voice you want and the NUvi model. If you don't have problems, post anyways your clever ideas about the phrases you changed.

Edit: Since the first release, I have included user controls over the voice level (volume) and the voice rate (speed of speech).

TurboCCC
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Comments

  • grease 0 Points
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! "Recalculating" really ticks me off.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    TurboCCC - If you created the program, and you don't believe there to be any license/copyright/legal issues-- I'd just as soon host the file directly here. Many people (rightfully so) shy away from files hosted on file sharing sites like rapidshare.
  • I wrote the program. That is an easy one.

    Legal issues? I have no clue. It modifies a VPM file on a GPS that you own. I guess as long as it is for personnal use, it should be all right, but I have no legal background.

    gpsreview is yours. If you feel this may cause you problems, feel free to remove it. I won't be offended. It is posted "elsewhere" anyways. People can always google it (ttsvoiceeditor). :) Latest version is 2.31.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Nope, no worries. I've just been planning on banning rapidshare links eventually because more often than not they are linking to copyrighted stuff. I didn't think there was any issue with yours, so I'd offer to host it here myself if I end up banning rapdishare links.
  • I just turned Jill into a nagging 'Ol lady lol
    My friends think it's a hoot when you drive off route and she tells you your an idiot, tells you to whip a Uie or get your a$$ over.

    Adds some fun to back seat drivers lol
  • rons 0 Points
    turboccc Wow, great contribution! I’m sure it took a lot of hard work to reverse engineer the VPM files, and that many folks will appreciate your TTSVoiceEditor. I have a question that you, or others, might be able to help with. Do you know if there’s a way to create a voice that only says, “Traffic Ahead,” and does not provide any navigation instructions? This would be great for people, like me, who use their Nuvis on their daily commutes. I think with TTSVoiceEditor I could silence most navigation phrases, but my 760 would still speak street names.

    I asked Garmin support about this, and they said they’d consider implementing this feature in the future. Also, I thought it might be possible to modify a non-TTS voice to accomplish this by deleting or silencing all navigation phrases. However, the non-TTS voices don’t ever say “Traffic Ahead,” and just display a traffic icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. If you, or others, know of a way to create a traffic-only voice, please let me know. Thanks.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    I've added the file to the server here and edited the link, if that isn't okay turboccc, let me know.

    I'm going to be away most of the upcoming week so I might not be able to get to it myself-- but if anyone can take a few screenshots I'll post this up on the homepage.
  • turboccc 5 Points
    edited August 2008
    rons:

    Thanks for your kind words.

    For non-TTS voice, you could use VoiceEditor from rodzilla (Rudolf Suescun). to silence everything. It has an editor to change non-TTS file without splitting them in WAV. You can define all phrases as "silence" if you want or build your own using existing phrase/words fragments.

    For TTS voice, you can probably replace wll existing phrases by "blank". In the meantime, I continue to analyze the VPM file when I feel bored. I have found the table for all characters and some other stuff I am not sure what it is. Maybe some word/phonem associations.

    As for the "traffic ahead", I don't know but I will keep that in mind. There are a couple other things I am looking for as well.

    Tim:

    You link is perfect for me, however you just created yourself a job of link update everytime I make a new version. :) Luckily, the TTSVoiceEditor is pretty stable for now.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    You link is perfect for me, however you just created yourself a job of link update everytime I make a new version. :)
    That is fine. I think it will be worth it. :)
  • Turboccc - thanks for a great tidbit. I've been lurking on the site for a while but just joined after buying a Nuvi 260. I can tell you that your program worked perfectly on my 260. I'm nowhere near a computer whizz, so if I can do it with no problem, it must not only work correctly, but also be EASY!!! Thank you sir! D
  • Looks like this could be fun. I am computer challenged. Ok, I copied and saved the original voices in a file so I could have a back-up.

    Then, I made another file of voices. This is the one I will use to change the TTS. When I am finished, with Jack for example, I am to hit File-Save, then it asks for a file name. What should I call it? Do I add .vpm after the file name, because it says it will save it in vpm format.

    Once saved, where do I save it? Do I save it in the extra file I made? I guess I need to do it when I chage Jack and Jill words, right?

    Once finished, it says to copy this file and put it into the GARMIN VOICE file. Do I just dump it into this file?

    Again, I appologize for being so computer challenged. This looks like a great program. I look forward to using it!!!
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I renamed to American Jill2 and left the original in place as well. Oddly, both files show the same name on my nuvi, but they are 2 distinct files, one original and one modded.
  • Interesting.

    I renamed the original as .vpm_ just to have a different extension. Otherwise, if you leave them both with .vpm extension, they will both appear as valid voice file. I would not have thought so because the second file is not registered. However, Garmin does not look at the filename, but at the file number inside the vpm.

    To make this work:

    1- rename the original as .vpm_
    2- copy the one modified with TTSVoiceEditor exactly where the original was and with exactly the same extension .vpm.
    3- unconnect USB and reboot.

    Only one will show up and it will be the modified one.
  • Kondyke 0 Points
    turboccc,
    By any chance do a few "commas" or "spaces" create a pause when using TTSVoiceEditor, for better articulation?

    Koni
  • You will have to try. Not sure for spaces, but I expect commas to slow things down. For sure, the dot '.' stops it. It gives a 1 second pause (more or less).
  • Thanks! That did it. For some reason, it doesn't show up as Jack2 or Jill2. It looks like I have 2 of each, but if I hit the 2nd listing, it is the one I edited.

    Again, thanks for your help. That makes it very easy. I learn as I go!
  • Thanks to this info, I will be able to provide alternate voice names without having to remove the original voice.

    For example, let's say you rename Jill as Jill2.vmp. You found that the screen voice name will still be Jill. However, I can provide a way to change the screen name to anything you want. I renamed my to "American English-Jill (Mod-TTS)".

    Mmmm! I think I will also rename Karen as "Sexy Autralian Karen". LOL!
  • ECM 0 Points
    edited August 2008
    Thanks for this tool!
    Looks interesting for the Zumo series as well.

    For now I only tested if the Zumo will see the file. I guess it does, but with the original name now twice in the screen. Adjusting the filename to one with your own choice would be a very welcome extra.
  • Got it done. My wife and daughter laughed.

    Jack and Jill still sound computerized, but they are a lot more fun to listen to!
  • SergZak 340 Points
    Thanks for the nifty program TurboCCC. I'm using it simply to increase the TTS voice volume levels from their default 65 to 80. Much easier than using the hex editor method.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Not all can be increased as much as you're trying to do without introducing some distortion.
  • SergZak 340 Points
    I have only modified Jill to 80...seems OK so far in my limited testing. Since I only use that TTS voice, I think I'll just leave the others at their default values.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    You'll note that some of the voices are already at 80 or more (if I recall Aussie Karen is one). Those are the ones to be a bit cautious with.
  • I followed the dirctions to edit the British Daniel voice on my Nuvi 260w. Everything went fine except I can not see it now in the list of voices to select on the Nuvi. I can see it when connected to my computer wiith Windows explorer or through the edit program but cannot see it or select it when I try to change voices. Any ideas?
  • Did you copy it back in the Garmin/Voice directory?

    When connected with the computer, do you see it along with the other voice files?

    What name did you give it? What extension?
  • I did copy it back to that directory and I can see it there when connected with the computer. I made two of them. One is named english_british_daniel.vpm, the same as the original. The second one is new_daniel.vpm. I can't see either of them when I go to the language icon on the 260 and try to select one. Strange...
  • BeanBag 0 Points
    turboccc - do you have any idea how wildly popular your program is? :D I read about it on another forum which is how I got here. It would be interesting to see how many times its been downloaded - does the link have a counter?

    I really do have a question. In an earlier post, you said:
    Thanks to this info, I will be able to provide alternate voice names without having to remove the original voice.

    For example, let's say you rename Jill as Jill2.vmp. You found that the screen voice name will still be Jill. However, I can provide a way to change the screen name to anything you want. I renamed my to "American English-Jill (Mod-TTS)".

    Mmmm! I think I will also rename Karen as "Sexy Autralian Karen". LOL!
    But, I couldn't find any actual instructions on how to change the screen name. Did I miss something? How did you do it?

    I really would prefer to create a 'Jane' or 'Mary' or 'Betty' TTS file based off of Jill, but leave the original Jill in place. How do I do that?
  • turboccc 5 Points
    edited August 2008
    davenwin,

    There is nothing wrong with your file. I compared it with the original and all that was done is legal.

    There is one left possibility: is the original file ever worked on your 260? The file you sent me is exactly the same as for the 255W. I didn't know the 255 and the 260 shared the same voice files. I conclude your 260 is not compatible with this file.

    Again, this is a guess. There is nothing wrong with the file. Did you erase the vpm file companion, the .sum file? You should not. The sum file is required and it should keep its original name.

    Let me know how it ends up.
  • BeanBag,

    No, I have no idea how popular this tool is. There is no counter on rapidshare. I certainly would like to find out. I just know it is distributed on other sites even some I did not publish it myself. I do not mind. I am just happy it serves a purpose.

    Changing the voice name: I am coming with an update for TTSVoiceEditor. Version 2.40 will do just that. In the meantime, you can open the voice file with an HEX Editor and search for <screen_name>. The screen name that follows is the one you can change. You have to use a voice shorter or of equal length as the original. You may add spaces at the end for shorter ones.
  • OK... being new to this forum, and to GPS, and not a knowledgable computer person.... how do I back up my 260? Once this is done, how do I modify the voices per this thread? Do I download the files at the start of this? Then what?
    I know I might appear to be a loser in regards to this, but this has piqued my interest and I think it would be quite funny if this said "dumba$$" when I missed a turn!!!
    Help and advice is appreciated. If we need or can do this via email, please let me know. spartanden@comcast.net

    Thanks!
    Denny
  • SpartanDen,

    For the backup thing, you can do a little search around on this forum. You can have better explanations than this: connect the usb on your gps and copy the entire garmin directory to your computer. This may take several minutes to complete.

    For the instructions, I suggest you read the readme.txt file included with the tool. They are not 100% clear, but it may be enough to start you. Basically, you open the VPM voice file you want to change with the tool and change what you see. Then save to a new file name and copy that file back to the gps in the voice directory.

    (sorry, I feel lazy tonight)
  • turboccc....
    understand the feeling lazy tonight bit.... I get the same way!!

    If I understand, I find my 260 on the computer, copy it to a file I set up on my hard drive. Then I can open the readme and read again...get into the file I just saved, make the changes, save as .vpm_ then down load back to the gps unit?

    don't know if I'll get into this tonight...trying to get ready for a bike ride tomorrow (questions regarding the 260, aqua box, ram-mounts and Harleys to follow at later date!!) and my annual fly fishing trip.

    I'll be back!!! And thanks!
  • SpartanDen,

    Hang on! When saving the modified VPM, save it as a .vpm, not .vpm_.

    Let's do this again.

    1- Forget the backup.
    2- Copy the original VPM file to your computer. Let's say English_American_Jill.vpm. Just copy the file to your computer.
    3- Using TTSVoiceEditor V2.40 (see updated link in post #1), to open that file you save on your computer.
    4- Modify the phrases as per instructions. Change also the voice screen name (see instructions) to a new name (for example, "Sexy Jill" without the quotes)
    5- Save the modified file as (for example) English_American_Jill2.vpm
    6- Copy that file in the same directory as you found the original Jill.
    7- After unconnecting the USB cable (and rebooted), go in LAnguages and select the new voice. You should see "Sexy Jill".
  • BeanBag 0 Points
    turboccc - Well, there are a bunch of folks over at POI Factory having a ball!!

    Ah-ha - version 2.40. OK!

    In the mean time, I've opened the jill file with Wordpad (a better hex editor program recommendation would be appreciated) and found 4 screen name entries

    <screen_name>American English-Jill (TTS)</screen_name>
    <med_screen_name>American English-Jill</med_screen_name>
    <sml_screen_name>Amer Engl-Jill</sml_screen_name>
    <tny_screen_name>Jill</tny_screen_name>

    I tried changing all 4 from Jill to Mary and saved the file. But, I think using Wordpad is my problem. The saved file gets named with a double extension - .vpm.txt and the file size increases by over 200KB ?

    I tried removing the extra .txt extension and then opening the file with your program, but I get an error - Run-time error '380' Invalid property value.

    So, I think I need a "real" hex editor and ditch using Wordpad for this purpose. Its messing up the file.

    Also, it does appear that using a comma in a spoken phrase does insert a pause when the voice speaks. I could hear the pause when I changed 'Please drive to highlighted route.' to 'OK, I'm ready to go.' There was a pause after OK.
  • LOL! Wordpad!

    Nope. Wordpad is a word editor, not an hex editor. No chance it will work in a lifetime.

    Just use version 2.40 and it will do it for you. :) See the link in post #1
  • turboccc....

    wow!! did not mean to get you up out of your La-Z-Turbo!!! Thanks for responding back. I did everything you advised and made a couple of changes. Now I have to try it to see if/how it works.

    But..... I saved the new file on my computer. Will it automatically update to the gps? Do I have to "send" it back to the gps? Again...me the dummy doesn't quite understand that.

    If this "automatically" transfers back to the gps...WOW!!!! Thank you for this! This could be fun!!!!
  • Edit - duplicate post
  • SpartanDen,

    You have to copy it yourself manually. Connect the USB cable. A window may appear by itself or open it (Nuvi drive) in MyComputer. Go in the Garmin/Voice directory. Drag the file from your computer to that directory.

    N.B. Not lazy enough to let you go in the wrong direction... LOL!
  • turboccc...

    Thanks! I'll get into this later.... need to hit the rack.
    Thank you for your patience, and the time to help me. This is greatly appreciated! I did drag or send back to the gps. i'll look and try once more then see what happens tomorrow if i drive.

    glad you have a great sense of humor!!

    cheers!
  • BeanBag 0 Points
    Wow, thanks turboccc (emphasis on the turbo). That was fast. I got V2.40 downloaded. But since its getting late, I'll wait until tomorrow to play with it.

    THANKS! :D
  • TurboCCC - Thank you for the great program. You have made a LOT of people very happy.

    I sent you a PM about a possible glitch in version 2.4.
  • turboccc 5 Points
    edited August 2008
    You are right. There is a bug.

    I did not see it because I have also a modified file using the original name. For now, you can only change the name on the language screen if your file has the original name.

    Damn! I hate bugs! I will see if I can do something about it. In the meantime, backup your original and use the original name for your modified file.

    Edit: I cannot fix this for now. I updated v2.41 with a warning about using the same .vpm file name. Nothing else is added.
  • ECM 0 Points
    You Turbo!

    I tested this mod on the ZUMO (previous version 230) and all works fine!
    So you can now add the Zumo to your list next to the Nuvi.

    Btw If you need a hand with the Wiki layout, just let me know

    ECM
  • Turboccc

    The original file did work fine. I will put it back and start over. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I did leave the .sum file there. I saw a thread on this website about some of the 260w coming with 255 software and I think mine is one. It has all the same features as the 255w and 2009 map data. I'll play around some more and let you know how I made out. Thanks for your help. Do you know if there is anyplace to download additional "celebrity" TTS voices, not standard? It probably isn't possible for that to work.
  • turboccc
    I did a change and it worked!! I am somewhat surprised that I did this and made it through without blowing something up!! However I need to make some changes.... I changed from recalculating to still looking dumba$$
    I need to change something.... perhaps take the b out as it pronounces the word incorrectly. But I did it !!
    Thank you!!
  • Kondyke 0 Points
    Turboccc
    Thanks for you quick reply or better yet Turbo reply to my last question, Now I have one more to ask.
    Have you gotten any reports on streetpilot c550 VPM Voice files and the TTSVoiceEditor ? If not has anyone else tried yet with a streetpilot?

    Koni
  • Glad it worked. Thank you for testing.

    Edit:

    Kondyke, I just got a confirmation from dog_poop that it works on the Streetpilot C550.
  • I finally got to edit my voice files and save them on my Nuvi 260w thanks to Turboccc and and his newest version of TTSVoiceEditor (v 2.42). Becase I have the same software as the new 255w (seems like a lot of the newly purchased 260s have been coming through this way) I assume it would function with those too. Keep up the great work Tubo.....
  • Hi!

    I've never owned a handheld GPS before, and just yesterday ordered a Nuvi 750. Will this voice changing program work on that model?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Regards,
    Michelle
  • yes.
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