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Weird Voice Navigation Prompts in Streets & Trips 2013?
SpadesFlush
I am asking the Forum this question because I am not inclined to download the 2013 trial due to its too-short trial period. And I don't want to buy it because I need three installations (PC, laptop, and UMPC) and I don't feel like buying two licenses or cheating. Particularly with the 8-bit b&w icons.

My question is: has MSFT ironed-out some of the weirder readings of navigation prompts?

For instance, I still am not used to the silly reading of "US 50", as in a federally-designated route, as "You-South Fifty". Has that been fixed? And can't common appreviations such as "Rd" be read as "Road" versus "Arr-Dee"?
Dutchie
Quote:
Particularly with the 8-bit b&w icons.
The icons are really not that bad. They change color when you hoover over them. And the color stays highlighted when that icon is clicked.
SpadesFlush
They do? What color do they change to?
Dutchie
To a Golden-Orange. Also if you click on a route stop in the directions pane it highlights that line. The directions pane has a cleaner feel since they did away with the horizontal grid lines.

I normally do not use the spoken directions so I can not answer the rest of your question. But I will turn them on for tomorrow's trip and see what I can hear.
t923347
Yes, the icons do change to Orange when hovered over or clicked.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
For instance, I still am not used to the silly reading of "US 50", as in a federally-designated route, as "You-South Fifty". Has that been fixed? And can't common appreviations such as "Rd" be read as "Road" versus "Arr-Dee"?
That is pretty annoying, considering that none of the other Nav systems or software I'm familiar with have this problem, and especially considering how long S&T has had this problem (for about 5 years now isn't it?). BUT, there's a silver lining in this cloud: from what I can tell, what S&T also does is do a better job of correctly pronouncing street names than just about any other software. Based on my recent test drives, S&T is certainly better than CoPilot (which can't even pronounce its OWN name correctly if you use the only voice that will speak street names), and even better than google Nav, which is far more impressive in terms of at announcing driving directions in complete correct sentences, but still manages to goof up the street names more than S&T.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
That is pretty annoying, considering that none of the other Nav systems or software I'm familiar with have this problem, ...
You obviously haven't tried anything from Garmin, then. In Garmin's City Navigator maps the default designation for most Canadian highways is "HWY ##" .. The pound signs being the highway number, e.g. HWY 10, etc.

All of Garmin's text-to-speech voices pronounce this as "aitch" "double-u" "wye" "ten".

Range Road 21 is usually in the map data as "RR21", which will be pronounced "are" "are" "twenty" "one".

My wife and I get a real chuckle out of the way it mangles all non-English street names, too. I would have to say that out of any 50 voice guidance turns you can plan on Garmin's text-to-speech mispronouncing at least a quarter of them, at least in western Canada where I do most of my driving.

The start of the problem is, of course, the way the data appears in the map data. "HWY" instead of "Highway". Or, worse, "St" for both "street" AND "saint". Etc.

This forces the text-to-speech algorithm to do the best it can to guess what the map creators really meant.

...ken...
GoneNomad
I saw a youtube video comparing TomTom to Garmin, and one point the reviewer commented how the TomTom voice annunciations were better, and you could hear the difference too.

Sometimes I think that voice directions withOUT the street names could actually be better, since in some cases (typically urban driving) there has to be compromises in the timing to allow enough time to finish a longer direction with a long street name. Sometimes it might be better to just get the basics working really well. But a feature that works really well doesn't show up as an extra feature for sales purposes. I do like way my old Magellan 1412 chimes when you are actually right at the turn, and it consistently chimes at just about the right time, not too early, not too late. A lot of others don't have that, including CoPilot (closest setting is 50 yards).
SpadesFlush
This is kinda important to me because I really rely on the voice directions when driving my Jeep Wrangler. As I avoid nearly at all costs putting the top and side-curtains on, I am operating in a bright and noisy environment that makes the voice directions through ear-buds my primary way of navigating. So, I would rather not be engaged in trying to figure out just what is was that Microsoft Sam was trying to tell me. I am usually operating in full-screen mode and with two taps on the screen (if the second one is well-aimed), I can get a fresh up-dated prompt on how far to the next direction and what it will be. Useful without distracting my attention from the road and other sights!
Larry
If you search this forum there is a S&T registry hack that will add a "turn beep". Also, S&T voice prompts have Street names on by default but there is a setting to turn them off and return to just "in 500 yards, turn right".
GoneNomad
IMO, the actual street names are something S&T pronounces better than most alternatives. It's the other silly stuff (like "YOO-SOUTH") that should have been fixed long ago. And FWIW, we shouldn't have to use S&T keys or the registry hack to get a chime very close to, but just before, the turn. But a bandaid is better than no fix at all, so...
Ken in Regina
The thing about all nav systems with text-to-speech I have used so far - personal nav devices, laptop/tablet, smartphone - is that all of them have the choice of using equally "listenable" voices that do not do text-to-speech. So anyone who prefers just the basic voice guidance instruction can always get it by simply switching voices.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
You obviously haven't tried anything from Garmin, then. In Garmin's City Navigator maps the default designation for most Canadian highways is "HWY ##" .. The pound signs being the highway number, e.g. HWY 10, etc.

All of Garmin's text-to-speech voices pronounce this as "aitch" "double-u" "wye" "ten".

Range Road 21 is usually in the map data as "RR21", which will be pronounced "are" "are" "twenty" "one".

My wife and I get a real chuckle out of the way it mangles all non-English street names, too. I would have to say that out of any 50 voice guidance turns you can plan on Garmin's text-to-speech mispronouncing at least a quarter of them, at least in western Canada where I do most of my driving.

The start of the problem is, of course, the way the data appears in the map data. "HWY" instead of "Highway". Or, worse, "St" for both "street" AND "saint". Etc.

This forces the text-to-speech algorithm to do the best it can to guess what the map creators really meant.

...ken...
Watch this and see what you think...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAdYtnQK3-I
Ken in Regina
Thanks for the link but I don't think very much of it. The very first thing he says is completely misleading. He says that StreetPilot requires a connection for the maps.

What he should have said was that he chose not to get the version that stores the maps on the device (StreetPilot OnBoard).

After that it was rather difficult to take his word for anything else.

First he compares a version of Garmin's app that is not a direct equivalent to the TomTom app and doesn't tell us that.

But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he simply didn't bother to do his homework and was just ignorant of the equivalent version of StreetPilot.

Next he asks us to believe that although there are audible differences between the Magellan and TomTom units this has no effect on the quality of the voice guidance prompts. But he never switches units so we can hear for ourselves. Then he sets the demo up so that the units are talking over each other when they are following the same route. Or they are trying to follow different routes so the guidance isn't comparable.

Probably the worst part is that he does not describe the setup of the two units.

Did he try different voices on each unit to make sure he was using a voice on each unit that was optimal for the cradle unit it was in and the road noise environment?

He says he used routes that he is familiar with but never bothers to explain why the two units take different routes to get to the selected destinations. Did he have avoidances set up differently? Did he have one unit set to "fastest" and the other to "shortest"? Were there map differences? Did he even check?

It even looked like he had different map views selected.

The only thing I got from the video was that he created more questions than he answered. I have never used either app and I would make no decision based on the video.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Well, that video is a year-and-a-half old (Jan 29, 2011), so I don't know if Garmin had the "StreetPilot OnBoard" version like they do now. The guy who posted the video says in a comment from two months ago that "Garmin has a version that doesn't require data."

That notwithstanding, regardless of what he did, I thought the video was a good demonstration of the voice annunciations of the two apps, both of which seem to be better than CoPilot, S&T or google nav (though I guess they'd all need to be test-driven on the same roads to know for sure). Though the two units do anniunce simultaneously forcing a replay while focusing on one voice or the other, IMO that video shows the TomTom app to have superior voice guidance. For example, it correctly pronounced the name "Bogota" (in New Jersey) which the Garmin app pronounced like the city in Columbia.
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