Let uPerform Speak to Your Users – Wherever They Are!

We have found lately that many of your end users are relying on mobile devices like iPads to access content placed on your company web servers.  ANCILE began offering support for viewing courses and simulations on iPads in uPerform version 4.4.  (We’ll be offering support for Android 4.2 tablets beginning with uPerform 5.2 – coming soon!)

Many of you have inquired on how to properly incorporate audio into your developed content since mobile devices have smaller screens and audio voice overs will allow your users to listen to the content and steps needed to perform certain tasks rather than try to read the small text on the screen. Starting in version 5.0, uPerform authoring has been greatly enhanced with the ability to add Text-To-Speech (TTS) to recordings and courses. This eliminates the need for voice over actors, and can be especially helpful when adding audio in multiple languages!

More on using Text to Speech functionality can be found on ANCILE Intelligence Hub (log in required):

Using Text to Speech (TTS) Functionality in uPerform

The steps outlined in the above article are very clear but we’d like to take this opportunity to provide some additional tips and best practices.

Required Installation on Author Machine and Server

1.    ANCILE uPerform 5.0 or later

2.    Microsoft Speech Platform Runtime (32-bit)

Make sure to install the 32-bit (x86), NOT the 64-bit version of the Speech Runtime Platform. The 64-bit will not work since uPerform is 32-Bit.

         

3.    Voices

Correct installation file for Voices contain “TTS” in the file name.

Do not select installation files that contain “TELE” in the file name because these are for Speech-To-Text.

Note: Additional voices from other parties other than Microsoft may also be used.

Examples: Cepstral & Nuance

4.    LAME

LAME installation is required in order to generate MP3 audio which is the playable audio element on iPads.  Flash is required for the use of .wav files, and Flash is not supported on iPads.

The LAME directory will contain the two files LAME.EXE and LAME_ENC.DLL which must be copied into the Author machine and into the server in the specified folders below.

A.      Author machine – C:Program Files (x86)ANCILE uPerformClientbin

B.      Server – [X:]VignetteCollaborationuPerformms

(X is the letter drive in which the uPerform Application server is installed)

Example of third-party download source for LAME: RareWares

Please see complete instructions in the Installing LAME section of the Editing and Formatting: Courses chapter in the Creating Content with ANCILE uPerform manual available on the Intelligence Hub (log in required).

Required Setting on Server to Allow MP3

The Server must allow MP3 audio. The Server may block certain files types by default. Perform the following steps to ensure MP3 is allowed:

1.  Access the uPerform Application server as an Administrator.

2.  Open IIS Manager (Start > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager).

3.  Under Sites, click on the uPerform Collaboration website.

4.  Under IIS, open MIME Types.

5.  Check to see if .mp3 is listed as a file extension. If not, add .mp3 as a new MIME type.

6.  Restart the uPerform Collaboration website.

Common Issues With Text-To-Speech (TTS)

Issue: No audio when viewed on iPad.

Resolution: Ensure LAME plug-in files are installed and MP3 audio format is an allowed file type in the server.  If LAME plug-in files were not installed, the content will need to be republished after installing them.

Issue: Stuck in loading or blank page when viewing the content in a web browser on a local machine during authoring/previewing.

Resolution: Ensure “Always Allow” is selected in Adobe Flash Player Global Security Settings Panel in the browser.

Issue: Speech flow is not good.

Resolution: Use pause lengths for better flow of words

Issue: Acronyms are not being pronounced correctly.

Resolution: When using acronyms, add spaces between each letter. For example:  TTS should be entered as T T S so that each letter will be spoken individually.

For More Information