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February 5, 2006

“Lady Macbeth Interpreted by Dame Microsoft Mary”

Posted by David Hunter at 11:13 AM ET.

Here’s something you don’t see every day – “Lady Macbeth Interpreted by Dame Microsoft Mary” Debuts as Lowest Rated Movie on IFC Media Lab:

All filmmakers want their work seen, but when the audience is asked to rate what they watch, the exposure may not be so welcome.

Sondra Lowell’s animated short, “Lady Macbeth Interpreted by Dame Microsoft Mary,” received an initial audience rating of 1 out of a possible 10, tying for the lowest scored film on the IFC Media Lab site with a film about a man harassed by a head in a box.

“My intention was to give worldwide exposure via the Internet to the text-to-speech actors who read our email and word processor files to us,” said Sondra. “After hearing these performers read my own screenplays in script formatting software, I decided they were ready for Shakespeare. Unfortunately, I was wrong. For one thing, they can‘t take direction.”

“Sir Microsoft Michael” also appears in the mercifully short video which has this personal note from the director:

When I heard Microsoft’s TTS voices reading my scripts in screenplay formatting software, I knew I had to share their talents with the world.

I also have an unwholesome affection for Text to Speech gadgetry as evidenced by the TTS generated podcast links from Talkr that I currently have on this site. However, the technology has improved beyond what is built into Windows XP and Windows Vista will include some of it as Microsoft blogger “jaywaltm” points out:

…with Vista you will be getting MS Anna for US English for free – and she’s on par with some of the better voices that are commercially available out there.

He also points to Microsoft’s Blake Handler who has a rundown of Microsoft TTS products and a sample of Vista’s MS Anna.

Filed under OS - Client, Technologies, Text to speech, Windows Vista

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