Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Have SIRI's voice on your Mac, and have her saying Disneyland announcements !

Here is something a bit techno for the week-end but pretty cool and fun to do. But it will work only for those of you who have a Mac. Even if your computer is not a Mac don't go away because you're going to like that (unfortunately!), you'll see why. Now, whether you own a Mac or a PC you may have an iPhone and even if you don't you very probably know the voice of SIRI, the vocal assistant on the iPhone 4S. SIRI is tremendously popular and many wish they could have SIRI as vocal assistant also on their computer. Well, guess what, if you have a Mac with OSX Lion SIRI is ALREADY "inside" your Mac!

Actually, it's SIRI's voice which is and she's called Samantha. It's not the "full" SIRI experience and she will not answer to your questions or do any kind of search but OS X Lion provides several new voice options in system preferences for the System Voice and what you don't know is that the downloadable “Samantha” voice for OSX Lion is the same as Siri’s "american" english voice! Don't believe me? Have a look at this short video first and then i will tell you how to install AND how to have "SIRI/Samantha" doing Disneyland-like announcements on your Mac!

So, convinced? Then, here is how to do to download SIRI/Samantha's voice as you need to:
Open System Preferences> Speech> Text to Speech>System Voice> Customize> and select “Samantha” from the list. Apple will ask you to confirm the 469MB install, of course you say yes, and in 5 minutes you'll have SIRI/Samantha's voice ready to speak in your Mac.

From now you can choose to have SIRI/Samantha's voice reading a text for you, announcing the time or, among others options, to have her doing an announcement when there is an application alert message. And here comes the best part: as i will show you in the video below you can actually CHANGE the words of the pre-written text that SIRI will say when you'll have an alert message. Right now you probably have words like "Attention", "Sorry", etc... BUT you can change them and put instead some cool typical "Disneyland" phrases like "Ladies and gentlemen, Boys and girls, Your attention please!" or, for an alert message to notify you that an application has quit: "You are now leaving Tomorrowland transit authority...". That's the one i've choose, just for the fun, but you can choose any kind of typical Disneyland announcement, even if it don't fit with what will be really happening on your Mac, that's not the problem. For instance, one of the phrases i've included is: "Welcome aboard space travellers, prepare for blast off !" which was the famous DLP Space Mountain Mission One announcement, just before the launch. Of course don't expect SIRI's voice to sound like the Disneyland announcement voices simply because, hey, it's SIRI! But it's easy to do, it'll take you just five minutes and if you want to hear how it sounds have a look at my video below. Have fun!

Video: copyright Disney and more

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