April 27, 2009

VTML tags in Text to Speech !

VTML (VoiceText Markup Language) – This Powerful hidden gem in Text to Speech helps you control the generated speech by adding pause, changing the pitch etc !

This post on customizing text to speech Pronunciations received many comments requesting a way to control the generated speech with html like tags.

The interesting thing is that this feature is already there in Captivate 4 ! Even more interesting is the fact that it is so simple to use. All you need to do is insert the appropriate tags into the slide notes. You can type in (or copy paste) the tags just like you do any other text.

Just before making this post, I quickly tried few of them:
1. Hello I am here <vtml_pause time=”1000″/> for a break: Introduces a pause of 1 sec in between.
2. <vtml_speed value=”50″> This is my text </vtml_speed>: Helps you control the speed of the text

There are many more similar useful tags. The VTML tags are listed in the Appendix C of the document here. It has a examples as well on the usage.

Posted by Sony Kadavan2:10 PM
  • Steve Howard

    Grrrr – I spent ages looking for something like this a couple of months ago and didn;t find it.THANK YOU – now I can make TTS sound more natural in Captivate :-DSteve

    • Mona

      It’s great that we can modify the VTML; however, when i tested Kate and Paul’s voice with a script, the voice sound computerized. Would modify the VTML (adding breaks and speed) resolve this issue?

  • Lieve Weymeis

    Great revelation, more of that please!

  • Lieve Weymeis

    Great revelation, more of that please!

  • http://www.cepstral.com Craig Campbell

    I think it is a shame that a company like Adobe selected a proprietary control method like vtml??? The industry already has a well established standard… SSML (speech synthesis markup language). Why tie customers to a proprietary non-standards based method? Who are the speech engines that support this besides your Korean partner? Will my high-quality Cepstral voices take advantage of this?Even more vexing…vtml is a copy of SSML. Brilliant – take an open standard and slightly change all the descriptors so they don’t work with other engines. How difficult would it have been to support the proper SSML method that ALL speech engines conform to? I’m going to take a second time-out now.

  • Eric Martineau

    Just a simple question, is it possible to change the encoding quality of the T2S engine from 16khz/16bit to 44khz/16 bits.

  • Kurt Melander

    Leive,I can understand your frustration, but the VTML standard was created by the company that created the particular voices/TS Engine used (their engineers were also involved in the SSML standard, go figure), and I’ve included a link to the US version of the VoiceText User’s Guide. https://ondemand.neospeech.com/vt_eng-Engine-VTML-v3.9.0-3.pdfNeospeech also has a web-based service that DOES accept SSML at http://ws.neospeech.com, but for SSML support you do have to pay – but they DO have a free account for folks that have limited TTS conversion needs.Unfortunately for us, there are not very many good quality TTS voices that are within the range of the average developers pocketbook. Neospeech voices were probably choosen for their willingness to sub-license their voices per application – that’s why it works within captivate only (or so I assume).Personally, Loquendo voices are by far the best I’ve heard, and they also have there own emotion mark-up langauge which makes their voices appear very natural – it’s almost spooky. But, their licensing is also very expensive, and unless you plan on creating a lot of e-learning it’s a bit pricey. They also sub-license their voices to individual applications, such as Character Builder (Flash-based character scripting/animation program) http://www.mediasemantics.com

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  • Susan Wright

    Tried the link for the US version of the VTML but it kept coming back as not being found.
    Sounds great though if I can find it.

  • Susan Wright

    Well the link took me to a VTML for Korean. Is there a different one for US English?

  • Anthony Michael Cooper

    The link has the word neospeech attached to the end of it. You need to cut that off. https://ondemand.neospeech.com/vt_eng-Engine-VTML-v3.9.0-3.pdf

  • Heidi Littenberg

    Is there a VTML command that creates emphasis on a word or phrase? I’m playing with pitch, volume and speed, and not really getting what I’m after.


  • Denise

    I liked Paul and Katie from Captivate 4. I now have Captivate 5. Can I get them back?
    Thanks for your help.

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/ Allen Partridge

      Denise, the Paul and Kate voices are included as NeoSpeech voices on CD 2. You should have 5 voices alltogether. Install both the Loquendo and Neospeech voices.

  • Minerva Real

    I am using just the trial version. I need to convice my boss to buy this for the company. However, if they hear the voice – – – it’s not good. It doesn’t have Paul. Can I install that in the trial version?

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate Shameer Ayyappan

      You can install all TTS voices even in AdobeCaptivate ‘s trial mode. The voices can be downloaded from the Cp trial download page.

  • Jennifer Poore

    I have attempted to use the tag in the slide notes prior to the text but the text to speech agent actually is saying the vtml tag. Am i applying this in the wrong place?

    • Louise Daraiche

      Same for me, anyone test these tags ?

    • collab

      Having the same trouble here. Does anyone from Adobe monitor these messages?

    • Kjones

      The tags worked for me in captivate 5, but since upgrading to 5.5 I am having the same problem. Boo…

  • Sarah

    I have Captivate 5 as a standalone program (not Adobe Elearning Suite). I have the voices installed and didn’t have any problems changing the text to speech to the Kate voice. But it still sounds all wrong…I have no idea how to change the pitch and emphasis on words. The files that might be for that don’t open. ????

  • Su Kim

    We tried with the vmtl tag with great result in speed. Following is example of tag: Click on the Missions link

    • Kuruvilla

      Hey…this tag for speed just does not seem to work, is there any tip that someone can give?

  • Shanon

    I am using Paul Voice. The word Created is not pronouced corectly can some one help with that?

  • Frank Cauley

    I am using Captivate 8 and having the same problem as Jennifer Poore. Agent saying the tag.

  • Marilyn

    I have recorded text-to-speech for each slide.
    I can hear the narrator when I play the slide.
    When I play the project, I cannot hear the narrator.
    Any ideas?

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Hi Marilyn, can you please share the project with us at CaptivateHelp@adobe.com to investigate the issue.

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