130-S - UK English computer voices?

Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
17
TomTom Model(s)
ONE 130-S
For some strange reason I would like my 130S to have a British accent. The only computer voices I see available in HOME are the two US, two French, and two Spanish. Am I hoping for too much to have a UK English computer voice on the 130S? Support said I "should" see Kate and Simon but they seem to be for the other models only.
 
In Home, when in the Computer Voice area, have you selected to show ALL instead of DEFAULT to see what's available?
 
In Home, when in the Computer Voice area, have you selected to show ALL instead of DEFAULT to see what's available?

Yep.

Tom - English (US)
Felix - French
Javier - Spanish
Julie - French
Paulina - Spanish
Samantha - English (US)
 
Well, I'm going to conjecture as to why other computer voices are not available to you:
The memory size of your unit (1gb) may not be enough to handle the size needed for other voices; the ones offered you may be compressed in some way to fit your memory size.

Further, the processor in your unit is less powerful than in the higher end models such as 720, 730, 920 and 930. Computer voices again require a fair amount of processor power.

Those 2 reasons (conjectures, actually) may be why you have only the voices you listed.

For example, on my 720, I use Susan who is Eng_US. I am not even offered Samantha. Perhaps because Samantha is meant for lower end model.

Anyway, just my opinion here........
 
I suspect you are correct. In browsing around I see references to a "LoquendoTTS" directory on the TomTom. Mine doesn't have this -- it has "VocalizerTTS" instead. Different companies providing the voices. The Vocalizer ones are around 30 megs each. So maybe they don't have Vocalizer versions with British accent yet, which was my original suspicion. I was hoping to hear that some unusual combination of language/location settings in HOME or the unit itself would make them available, or alternately that they are working on making them available :) Because really, do UK users want a computer voice with US accent?
 
I suspect you are correct. In browsing around I see references to a "LoquendoTTS" directory on the TomTom. Mine doesn't have this -- it has "VocalizerTTS" instead. Different companies providing the voices. The Vocalizer ones are around 30 megs each. So maybe they don't have Vocalizer versions with British accent yet, which was my original suspicion. I was hoping to hear that some unusual combination of language/location settings in HOME or the unit itself would make them available, or alternately that they are working on making them available :) Because really, do UK users want a computer voice with US accent?

Since it does not show in your user id, I'm curious to know which TT model you have and where and when you acquired it?
 
Since it does not show in your user id, I'm curious to know which TT model you have and where and when you acquired it?

It is a ONE 130-S (not sure what the "real" way it should be written is -- on TomTom's website they use a kind of a dot where I have the hyphen) purchased from 6ave.com around the beginning of October 2008.
 
It is a ONE 130-S (not sure what the "real" way it should be written is -- on TomTom's website they use a kind of a dot where I have the hyphen) purchased from 6ave.com around the beginning of October 2008.

As far as I know, the 130S does not come with Vocalizer tts which was used on old mobile devices. I suspect your 130S has been hacked as TT only uses Loquendo software and voices for their tts for quite a while and Vocalizer is made by Nuance. It can function but you are not getting what TT intended for your model unless proven wrong. There have been a few posts here on how to go about replacing the software. Search for it and replace your software. You should then have a multitude of computer voice languages to suit your needs including British voices.

TT uses Loquendo software of different versions and the choices for languages vary according to the TT models/Loquendo sw version. The Loquendo sw version determines what languages are available. When in Home and ?add computer languages? the default option is ?recommended? but one can also modify this to ?all? and one can then also choose foreign languages.
 
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Hm, well, I don't think it was hacked -- it was in one of those plastic clamshell packages that is near-impossible to open in the first place, let alone re-seal. Also, one of the first things HOME wanted me to do was update the application software, which I did (was 7.502 now 8.010). And, since HOME offers me 6 Vocalizer voices, I think that's really what the unit supports! It may be that there are hacks out there for the older (and bigger) models to support the Vocalizer voices, but from what I can tell, the Loquendo voices would all be too big to fit on the 130S even if I *could* download them and even if it *could* use them!

But here's an interesting tidbit. I looked at the "System Information" for the version number and it says that ttgo.bif has "DeviceName=TomTom ONE P" and "DeviceVersionHW=ONE (v7)". My original backup ttgo.bif has "DeviceName=TomTom ONE" and "DeviceVersionHW=ONE (v8)." So maybe the new software has screwed up what the hardware thinks it is.
 
Hm, well, I don't think it was hacked -- it was in one of those plastic clamshell packages that is near-impossible to open in the first place, let alone re-seal. Also, one of the first things HOME wanted me to do was update the application software, which I did (was 7.502 now 8.010). And, since HOME offers me 6 Vocalizer voices, I think that's really what the unit supports! It may be that there are hacks out there for the older (and bigger) models to support the Vocalizer voices, but from what I can tell, the Loquendo voices would all be too big to fit on the 130S even if I *could* download them and even if it *could* use them!

But here's an interesting tidbit. I looked at the "System Information" for the version number and it says that ttgo.bif has "DeviceName=TomTom ONE P" and "DeviceVersionHW=ONE (v7)". My original backup ttgo.bif has "DeviceName=TomTom ONE" and "DeviceVersionHW=ONE (v8)." So maybe the new software has screwed up what the hardware thinks it is.

I guess I now stand corrected. With TT having so many different ONE models with varying hw and sw, it's a difficult task to keep up. I even heard of ONE models with 512MB of internal memory with only the small Australian map that would only be sold over there at a rock bottom price. I guess the 130S is limited in TT's world distribution to countries where the available languages are predominant.

Although Nuance is a known name to me since I was once interested in voice recognition and tts, I am not very familiar with their current products.

One of the first thing I did on my XL-S, when I got it, was taking a complete backup and removing the Guam map as I found it crammed with limited available memory. Within a week I had ordered a 4GB SDHC card since I was still uneasy about having such a small percentage of available memory...
 
One of the first thing I did on my XL-S, when I got it, was taking a complete backup and removing the Guam map as I found it crammed with limited available memory. Within a week I had ordered a 4GB SDHC card since I was still uneasy about having such a small percentage of available memory...

Some of the little details about these devices I've only really found out about since owning mine. There are so many variations it's hard to do good research. Most of what I read concerned things like ease of use and the like, not these geeky details that I am so interested in. Even having found forums like this one, details on the 130 and 130-S are still scant.

I am feeling a little bad about some of the limitations of the 130-S (the memory is REALLY tight with the newest available USA/Canada map), but ultimately it will do what I really need, and with the small amount of traveling I really will be doing with it, I can't justify one of the higher-end models. I half-considered a refurb XL-S, but it seems to me that a refurbished GPS is asking for trouble (I know, I know, 90% of refurbs had nothing wrong in the first place!).

So, back to my original topic... it seems that the 130 and 130-S are not available in the UK market. It also seems to me that if TomTom DOES want to introduce them to that market, they'll need the UK computer voices because that's what the customers are going to prefer. And when that happens, I hope they'll be available to everybody. But for now, I'm stuck with Samantha or non-TTS voices.

TomTom support is still stumped -- they don't seem to realize the 130 and 130-S use a different TTS system either -- but I suspect they'll eventually figure that out and tell me that what I see is what I get.
 
Some of the little details about these devices I've only really found out about since owning mine. There are so many variations it's hard to do good research. Most of what I read concerned things like ease of use and the like, not these geeky details that I am so interested in. Even having found forums like this one, details on the 130 and 130-S are still scant.

I am feeling a little bad about some of the limitations of the 130-S (the memory is REALLY tight with the newest available USA/Canada map), but ultimately it will do what I really need, and with the small amount of traveling I really will be doing with it, I can't justify one of the higher-end models. I half-considered a refurb XL-S, but it seems to me that a refurbished GPS is asking for trouble (I know, I know, 90% of refurbs had nothing wrong in the first place!).

So, back to my original topic... it seems that the 130 and 130-S are not available in the UK market. It also seems to me that if TomTom DOES want to introduce them to that market, they'll need the UK computer voices because that's what the customers are going to prefer. And when that happens, I hope they'll be available to everybody. But for now, I'm stuck with Samantha or non-TTS voices.

TomTom support is still stumped -- they don't seem to realize the 130 and 130-S use a different TTS system either -- but I suspect they'll eventually figure that out and tell me that what I see is what I get.

1- I also am the type of person most interested in geeky details and agree they are few and far between. When it comes to the electronics field, I've always been wary of the lowest end models. Not that I necessarily believe the highest end models are much better but, knowing manufacturing philosophy, know the lowest end products often have obsolete components the manufacturer wants to get rid of or components I would not be really satisfied with. When I was evaluating TT models, I thought the higher end models had features I would not use such as cell phone and multimedia as I don't have a cell phone, don't expect to get one within the next couple of years and already have a cheap portable DVD player with FM transmitter. I did not know about the integrated Samsung chipset common to ONE models and its ancient USB standard and the limitation to the either internal memory or SD card. I did not know the GO models had different maps than ONE models.

2- I assume you are a Jeep owner. The gps that would come with your car would be the RB1 or something very similar commonly sold for 500 to 600$ used on eBay etc. I know the RB's old map is quite incomplete and fairly sure the newest is not as complete as the TT's latest. The map upgrade cost is very expensive from Chrysler and yearly into frequency but often longer into coming as ther last one was 1,5 year late. If my TT unit was stolen, I'd go for a refurbished 720 costing around 190$ (at Radio Shack) which can be turned into a 730 feature wise.

3- Good luck into not having to wait too long before getting a UK voice.
 
For totally different reasons, i have been using Kate UK computer voice here in sunny California (please send some rain...), as she does not fracture Spanish city and street names as much as Susan US computer voice does.

Apparently the folks at TomTom did not think of that when they set up computer voices. Probably would do OK in Spanish, but I would not follow the rest....
 
For totally different reasons, i have been using Kate UK computer voice here in sunny California (please send some rain...), as she does not fracture Spanish city and street names as much as Susan US computer voice does.

Apparently the folks at TomTom did not think of that when they set up computer voices. Probably would do OK in Spanish, but I would not follow the rest....

When I went to the Loquendo web site, I've read on their map tts capability and they mention maps have to have a phonetic field for proper pronounciation. In my experience, that may be so but I also believe not all street names have it as the pronounciation is incorrect in many cases. I have searched for where this field could be in the various files in the map folder but, after a couple of hours searching, I could not find it. Then there is the aspect that map files are compressed by TT and the fact those files are Linux based which I am unfamiliar with. There is also the .lex file extension in the Loquendo folder that contains pronounciation directives but have yet to tinker with that. It would be nice if we could modify the pronounciation field to our requirements...
 
I've encountered an odd pronunciation inconsistency with Samantha myself. There is a road on my way to work - Koehler Rd. Rhymes with "roller" as far as I know although I guess it could equally as well be pronounced more like "mailer".

In my travels, Samantha pronounces it like "keller". So I noticed in MapShare I can note an incorrect pronunciation. When I go to do that, it pronounces it for me first... and it says it correctly!

Don't know why it won't say it correctly while driving :)

My desire for a British accent is just a silly preference. I've read that people, even (or mostly) in the US, feel better when machines speak to them with British accents than American ones. Perhaps that's because we don't notice the little inconsistencies of machine pronunciation when the accent is a little foreign anyway. My wife's favorite ATM used to have a British voice. We were both disappointed when they changed it to American.

By the way I heard back from TomTom support that indeed, there is no British computer voice available because the 130S is not available in the UK.
 
I've encountered an odd pronunciation inconsistency with Samantha myself. There is a road on my way to work - Koehler Rd. Rhymes with "roller" as far as I know although I guess it could equally as well be pronounced more like "mailer".

In my travels, Samantha pronounces it like "keller". So I noticed in MapShare I can note an incorrect pronunciation. When I go to do that, it pronounces it for me first... and it says it correctly!

Don't know why it won't say it correctly while driving :)

My desire for a British accent is just a silly preference. I've read that people, even (or mostly) in the US, feel better when machines speak to them with British accents than American ones. Perhaps that's because we don't notice the little inconsistencies of machine pronunciation when the accent is a little foreign anyway. My wife's favorite ATM used to have a British voice. We were both disappointed when they changed it to American.

By the way I heard back from TomTom support that indeed, there is no British computer voice available because the 130S is not available in the UK.

I also have a preference for the British accent since my mother tongue is French. On my TT, I have Juliette as the computer voice and sometimes have problems with the flow which is an important aspect in understanding. I can remember working with a collegue who was British and I had asked him what he had done the preceding weekend. He said: ?We went with the kids to the Grand Beezoo.? (Bisou is a colloquial name for kiss) I did not make sense of what he said and asked him where? He responded the same, I asked where is that? He seemed surprised by my question but responded: Granby in the Eastern Township. I then understood he meant the Granby zoo, Since I had not heard any pause between Granby and zoo, his answer did not make sense to me...
 
If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for the 130-S? I keep seeing 130-S's at crazy prices in many places for no good reason. You could always go for the 720 for $169.99 at either Staples or Radio Shack. The staples one even includes a free friction mount, and both stores offer free shipping. They are refurbished though which you don't seem to like. Just thought I'd throw the idea at you since you most likely still are within your return/refund period.

And after hearing examples of "Susan" talking, I could not STAND her mispronunciations!

Here you can listen to examples of computer voices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBLBycqf574&fmt=18

I seem to like Kate and Simon the most. I also like their accents alot more than US accents.
 
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It was about $180 (with 10% off promotion).

In general I am not opposed to refurbs but there are a few things I just think are too finicky to take the chance. It's not worth returning what I have which works well enough for what I need (just doesn't have some things that would be nice).
 
Hi -

I just bought a 130-S earlier today. I'm very pleased with it so far! I, too, would love to have a British female voice giving directions with street names, but that doesn't seem to be available. Looking through this thread, it seems pretty clear that I'm not only one having issues with this. Does anyone know if anything has changed since the last post?

Thanks!

-- Allan in Chicago
 

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