Some Windows 10 programs, such as Apple’s iTunes application, rely on the Windows 10 default system voice when applying voice accessibility to older iPod Nanos. You can change the voice that iTunes and apps like it use in Windows 10 by following the procedure below. As with prior Windows versions, text to speech translation ability is built into the operating system, and so, is free to the Windows user; that is, you pay nothing more for it specifically. The biggest differences between this procedure in Windows 10 as compared with Windows 8, are the following:
- Accessing the Control Panel from the start button no longer requires clicking the Settings item first, as Microsoft now provides direct access to Control Panel right on the Start button context menu.
- The Hazel voice has disappeared from the Speech Properties dialog box.
Otherwise, the Windows 10 and Windows 8 procedures are essentially the same. In this document, we’ll run through the Windows 10 version of how to change the default system voice below.
Go to the Windows 10 Task Bar. Ours is located vertically at the left edge of the screen. However, you can choose the location of your task bar as well as whether it’s always on the screen, or only appears when you mouse over the screen’s edge. So yours may be oriented differently.
Right click the Start button on the Task Bar, to reveal the Start Button Context Menu.
Locate the Control Panel item, on the Start Button Context Menu.
The Windows 10 Control Panel window opens as shown next.
Left Click on the Ease of Access Center option in the Control Panel window, as highlighted by the pink arrow in the previous picture. Picking this option produces the Ease of Access Center dialog box, shown next.
Go to the “Use the Computer without a display” option, described as “Optimize for Blindness.” The “Use the Computer Without a Display” window results, as follows.
Go to the Setup Text To Speech option, as circled in pink in the previous picture. The Speech Properties window appears with the following arrangement. We’ve circled the “Voice Selection” area in pink, in the next picture.
Pick the Default System Voice from the Voice Selection pull-down menu, circled in the previous picture. There are two voices listed in our particular installation (David, and Zira). We picked the Zira voice, as illustrated below.
Note that upon clicking the voice you want in the list, and if you have your computer speakers turned on and up, you’ll hear a sample of that voice played through them. You can sample each voice in the list by selecting it as described.
Press the Apply button. You have now changed your computer’s default system voice. iPods that utilize iTunes et al that rely on this voice in generating their voice menus while syncing will now speak with this voice after you’ve resynced them.
Close the Speech Properties Window. Press the Okay button to do that.
Close the Ease of Access Center window.
You’re done. Enjoy text-to-speeching with your iPod.
- Setting Speech Options in Windows from Microsoft. Note that this URL currently describes how to do this in Windows 7. There are some differences in Windows 10, and the procedure given above accounts for these.
- 2015-11-10: Added more appropriate tags.
- 2015-10-01: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-08-21: Originally published.