How to Create Your Own Tomtom Voice

Written by andrew cockerham
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Many newer Global Positioning System (GPS) navigational devices can download extra computer voices and celebrity voices to tell you where to go. You can even have Homer Simpson tell you to turn left at the next street, followed by his trademark "Woohoo!" If you can't find the right voice for you (or if you just like the sound of your own voice), many Tomtom GPS devices now also allow you to record your own voice prompts. This is less complicated than you might think, but it will take some concentration.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tomtom GPS
  • Computer with microphone
  • USB connector (included with your GPS)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plug your GPS into your computer. If you've never plugged it in before, install the latest driver and software from Tomtom.com.

  2. 2

    Open your web browser and go to Audacity.sourceforge.net. Click "Download Audacity." This is an audio recording program, and while there are others that will work just as well, this one is free and allows you to record directly to the proper format. When the download finishes, install and open Audacity.

  3. 3

    Click "Project Rate" in the lower lefthand corner of the program window and select "22050." Open your web browser and go to: Create.tomtom.com/manuals/create-your-own-content/index.html?voice_commands.htm.

  4. 4

    Record the first command in the list ("Take the second left"), leaving about a half second pause at the end of the recording. Click "File>Export as OGG Vorbis." Create a new folder for your Tomtom voice, then save your first command as "2ndLeft".

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 for each of the remaining 58 commands, saving each one as a .ogg file with the filename on the list. Save all of the files in one folder.

  6. 6

    Open the folder and test each sound file. If one isn't working, delete it and record a new one.

  1. 1

    Download Viftool from Ghostwheel.de/viftool/ and extract the files to the folder containing your voice commands. Open the Command Prompt by clicking "Start>All Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt."

  2. 2

    Type "C:" or replace "C" with the drive letter of your hard drive if it's different. Press "Enter." Type "cd", then the directory you saved your voice files in. For example, "cd Program Files\TomTom\Voices". Press "Enter."

  3. 3

    Open your "Voices" folder in your "TomTom" directory and select a number not being used by any of your currently installed voices. Type "viftool join <number> <name> data<number>.vif", replacing "<number>" with the unused number you selected and "<name>" with the name you want to give your voice (eight characters maximum). Press "Enter." Viftool will create a .chk and .vif file in the folder you saved your voice commands in.

  4. 4

    Open Windows Notepad by clicking "Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad." Open the .vif file in Notepad. You should see two or three lines. The first or third will have the name of the voice, while the second will have the number you selected in Step 3. Move the cursor to the third line and press "Enter." On the 4th line, type "0" for a young voice, "1" for an adult female voice or "2" for an adult male voice. Press "Enter." On the 5th line type "2" for US English (or pick the number that corresponds to your language). Press Enter. On the 6th line, type "114" for the US flag (or pick the number that corresponds to your national flag). Press "Enter." On the 7th line, enter "1" if this is your first version of this voice. Save your file.

  5. 5

    Check your .chk and .vif files. They should have the same file names, just with different three-letter extension. You can also create a 160x160 .bmp image file to go along with your voice. Just create and save a .bmp file with the same name (but different extension) as your two other files. Copy all three files into the "voices" folder on your TomTom GPS.

Tips and warnings

  • If you record something other than the standard script, make sure that you won't get annoyed hearing the command over and over again. For example, hearing a funny voice for the "Ahead, turn left" command will probably not be so amusing the 500th time you hear it.

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