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v5.0.1.48 UK Update
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Bazzer
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Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 209
Location: Wirral

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Big Tim

The TTS is not only irritating, it's appalling and amateurish programming. Can anyone justify the claim of 'Text to Speech: Crisp voice instructions give you the exact distance to your next turn, the type of turn and the street name' ? Crisp ?? You are joking ALK ??

While I am now an ex-CoPilot user, I still take an interest in the on-going issues with this product. I am still amazed and angry that such a substandard product can be released. ALK in their arrogance are unwilling to recognise that any of the problems even exist, nevermind fix them.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a fix, as it won't happen.

Like many, I bought CP5 expecting it to do what it claims on the tin, to guide me effectively and efficiently. Now, using an alterntive system, I can say that it makes CoPilot look very poor by comparison.

Avoid at all costs !!

Baz
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iankb
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Joined: May 09, 2005
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Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bazzer wrote:
The TTS is not only irritating, it's appalling and amateurish programming.

I can't believe that you would expect any better from Text-To-Speech conversion. I think that it is totally acceptable and, given that users always have the alternative to use recorded voices, an exceedingly strange complaint. The pronunciation of 'MILEZ' is (no doubt) because they are displaying the text as well as pronouncing it. Where 'MILES' is pronounced correctly within the directions, they are probably requesting it to pronounce 'MYLS', as a hint to correct pronunciation. OK, they should look for such an obvious word in the displayed text and use a thesaurus for the TTS engine that is different to the displayed text, but I find it incredibly naiive that you consider that to be appalling and amateurish programming. It is simply a low priority bug/enhancement that they have overlooked when compared to the more significant routing problems. Obviously, you're not a programmer, or you are incredibly adept at writing Text-To-Speech algorithms. If the latter, please post some examples of your work. I would love to hear them.

If you know how to write a Text-To-Speech convertor that could correctly handle COUGH, BOUGH, and ROUGH from textual content alone, then please let us know.

CoPilot might have some significant problems with routing for some users that they can't get round, but to slag it of for the quality of a feature that users don't have to use, that is very useful for a lot of users, and is not an available option with most packages, I find incredible.

And why do ex-CoPilot users find the need to prowl these forums and routinely slag the product off? One wonders whether they are employed by competitors to dissuade prospective buyers.
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Bazzer
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Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 209
Location: Wirral

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand by my statement concerning the 'CRISP' text to speech of CoPilot5. My Commodore Amiga from 25 years ago had a better TTS generator than CoPilot.

The TTS was one of many frustrations that I had with CP5 until I eventually demanded a refund from my retailer. From the first day I used it, I had great difficulty in understanding the instructions, and that was in an area I was familiar with. If I had been in an unfamiliar area I wouldn't have stood a chance !

I'm not denying that the English Language would provide a severe challenge for any TTS generator, particularly Welsh place names which even I can't pronounce. But, by not getting basic and regulalrly used words & instructions, such as the infamouse MILES (Meelez) pronounced correctly just smacks of an amateur attitude to the programming. ALK should know how their TTS generator works and how to phonetically construct words so that they are pronounced correctly.

If they can't get something so simple correct then what chance is there for the rest of the code being written in a professional manner ?

Yes, even though I no longer use CP5, such was my frustration, I'm still interested whether their broken product has been fixed. I see that nothing has changed ! Why doesn't that surprise me !

I can assure everyone that I have no affilliation with ANY company involved in the Sat Nav industry, and (besides using Garmin handheld GPS's) my only experience with in-car GPS is with CoPilot from March-June this year, and with TomTom from July to present day.

Between the 2, and comparing just the basic function of guiding you accurately and effectively, there is literally no comparison.

Baz
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7andy
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Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw7 wrote:
However, he no longer bothers to warn me of pending speed cameras (the only POI's I have enabled). I'm sitting on 9 points at the moment (3 petty motorway speeding fixed penalties) so it's important that I get this back - what do I need to do ?


Take your foot off the right pedal a little more?? Laughing

Cheers, 7&Y...
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iankb
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Joined: May 09, 2005
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Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bazzer wrote:
... I had great difficulty in understanding the instructions ...

Oddly enough, although my hearing is a little impaired, and I often have trouble understanding spoken text without being able to subconciously lip-read, I have absolutely no problem with the TTS instructions. It sounds like you may have had a hardware problem, or maybe a lack of CPU (TTS would probably require more than wave files). Also, I use an amplified mount in the car, and that makes a considerable difference from trying to hear a PDA speaker at maximum volume. I've used Silver Shield and Seidio mounts, and both have been fine as far as sound quality goes.

One of the things that annoys me a little about this forum is the assumption that because one user has a problem, everybody else must be having it as well, and therefore CoPilot is a 'load of cr*p'. In practice, nothing is that black or white, and most users are experiencing different shades of grey. Obviously, I found your criticism of TTS a little peculiar since, apart from the minor annoyance of MILEZ, I consider to be as good as you could get on a PDA, and 100% usable.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iankb wrote:
If you know how to write a Text-To-Speech convertor that could correctly handle COUGH, BOUGH, and ROUGH from textual content alone, then please let us know.


Why would anyone write one? This was invented years ago and you will find that most people just licence some code that has already been written. It's not rocket science either, I had an Apple Macintosh 10 years ago which came with Text To Speech and it worked quite well. Try typing your words into this web page - I think it pronounces them OK.

http://www.research.att.com/projects/tts/demo.html

iankb wrote:
And why do ex-CoPilot users find the need to prowl these forums and routinely slag the product off?


Because ALK have steadfastly refused to do anything about the problems. If the Text To Speech engine they use mispronounces some names then that's one thing, but if it can't pronounce a word like "Miles" correctly then they should change the word "Miles" to something else phonetic that the TTS engine CAN pronounce correctly. This could probably be fixed by changing one line of code. Have they done it? No.

iankb wrote:
One wonders whether they are employed by competitors to dissuade prospective buyers.


As opposed to Dave Burrows who wrote the review of CoPilot on this website and later resigned as editor to take a job at ALK? Supreme Angel
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neil01
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Joined: May 06, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It amazes me how people can get so worked up about a little incorrect pronounciation. Yes I would agree that there is little excuse for the standard words such as miles to be incorrect, but with place/street names I would suggest that there is no perfect solution.

While I accept that there is little excuse for totally incorrect pronounciation of regular language, since the vocabulary is so limited, it should presumably be quite easy to do something to ensure that the 'non place' word are in a version of English which at least someone speaks!

Place names do not really follow a standard set of rules.

Some would say that the 'ideal' situation would be where ALL places are pronounced correctly. But, when some places have more than one common pronounciation - which do you use?

So far, I have heard the most rediculous pronounciations generated by CoPilot - I have to admit that, rather than being annoyed - I have found them rather amusing, but (so far) in every single case it has not affected my ability to navigate.

On a recent trip to Wales, I knew that many of the pronounciations were so wrong - some may say that it was an insult to the Welsh - I am not going to dispute that - but at least I found my way around. However, if the 'correct' pronounciations had been used (as demonstrated by the people I was visiting) I would never managed to match some of the spoken names with how they were written!

A good English example was a place I grew up as a kid knowing only as Sloughitt (ou as in plough), but only found out several years later that it was spelt Slaithwaite.

I just wonder how much extra room TTS would need if it were to be 'totally correct', but then, would it be more like the true voice which I presume takes up so much room/resources, that only a subset of the spoken comments can be delivered?
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xda
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Joined: Mar 11, 2004
Posts: 1199
Location: Park Gate

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iankb wrote:
And why do ex-CoPilot users find the need to prowl these forums and routinely slag the product off? One wonders whether they are employed by competitors to dissuade prospective buyers.

ALK's ability to ignore problems and provide support is their own worse enemy, they don't need help from the competitors. Some of us follow the discussions in the hope that ALK might just accept their product is seriously flawed and do something about it. Just because my preferred software is from another manufacturer I still have a legally purchased copy of CoPilot V5 running on the desktop PC and installed on my old XDA.
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GrimBeard
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Joined: Mar 27, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst quietly ignoring yet another post slagging off ALk, I think you will find that, should you make the choice of implementing the 'enhancement' I described in a previous post, Voices, you will get a perfectly pronounced 'Miles' from the perfectly clear Marvin.

Frankly I'm past caring whether you think this is a fix, or something ALK should be ashamed of, if you don't like the software, get rid, move on and leave the forum to those who wish to help each other.

GB
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bo Peep and I are soon going back to Jersey for a holiday. The last time that we were in Jersey, we used CoPilot 5.0.1.3 on a Pocket PC, in fact we even wrote a review that can be seen here. The major problems that we had with CoPilot 5.0.1.3 were:

1. If you took the wrong turn it would direct you back to the point where you deviated from its route, as opposed to the way that TomTom recalculates a new route from your current position.

2. CoPilot would often freeze and need a soft reset of the PocketPC.

3. CoPilot has a nasty habit of loosing favourites you have recorded and as no custom POIs could be saved to the storage card this is very frustrating.

I see on the ALK website that there is a patch for CoPilot 5 which is 5.0.1.48. Now the questions are:

1. Is it worth upgrading CoPilot 5.0.1.3 to 5.0.1.48?

2. Will the 5.0.1.48 version address all of the issues of 5.0.1.3, especially the above ones that we experienced last time?

3. Will we get any new issues?

Regards,
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