Setting Up Azure Cloud Voices
You can configure EDCoPilot to use Azure Text To Speech for its main voice and for the new "Space Chatter" feature. Azure voices are a vast improvement over the local Windows Text To Speech voices.
Azure is my top pick of voice provider as there is a free 12 months service offered, plus is the easiest to set up (between Azure, Google and Amazon)
Setting up an account will require you to provide billing details, and a credit or debit card number. This is used in case you are beyond your 12 month free membership AND exceed a monthly free quota limit of 500,000 characters.
EDCoPilot keeps count of your current quota usage and will warn you at 50%, 75% and 95% used. You can then choose to disable the voice in EDCoPilot for the remainder of the month, or be charged for additional usage beyond the 500,000 characters
EDCoPilot also caches voice files generated from Azure and will reuse them rather than generating the same phrase on Azure. This will help minimize your Azure usage.
Setting Up Azure Text To Speech
First head to this link and sign up for an Azure account. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/cognitive-services/ and pick the Start Free option. Follow the instructions and prompts to set up and validate your account.
Once you have created your account, while still signed-in to Azure follow this link to set up a Speech Service for your account : https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.CognitiveServicesSpeechServices
You should see the page below:
Click the 'Create new' link beneath the Resource group box and enter in any name for your service eg. EDCoPilot-speech
In the 'Region' drop down box, select the Region closest to you.
In the 'Name' box, enter any name eg. EDCoPilot
In the 'Pricing tier' drop down box select the Free entry
Click the 'Review + Create' box at the bottom left
4. On the next screen, review the entries, then click the Create button
You will get a 'Deployment In Progress' message, then will say 'Deployments is complete'
When you get the 'Deployment Is Complete' message, click the 'Go To Resource' button which will take you to the Resource detail screen below:
Note the value of 'Location/Region' : you will select this in EDCoPilot in a subsequent step.
Click the blue folder to the right of the 'KEY 1' box, to copy the key to your Windows clipboard
Open the Notepad app, and paste the key into the document
In Notepad, click the File ... Save As links, and then navigate to your EDCoPilot \ AzureCache folder. Save the file with name AzureSubscriptionKey.txt(notepad will add the .txt by default to the name so only enter AzureSubscriptionKey as the name)
5. In EDCoPilot, navigate to the Settings -> Voice Settings panel and find the Azure Test To Speech section.
Select the Azure Region that you noted in step 4
Turn 'Use Azure Text To Speech' to ON
If required, go to the Space Chatter settings section and set 'Space Chatter on/off' to ON, and set 'Include Azure voices' to on
Now close EDCoPilot, then restart. On restart you should hear your new Azure voice.
Once EDCoPilot has announced "All systems are operational" you can then go back to the Voice Settings panel and change the Azure voice selection settings to pick the language, locale (accent), gender and finally voice name to use for your main EDCoPilot voice.