Have you ever wanted to make phone calls on the net using a synthetic computer generated voice? If you're an AAC user, then this is a great way to communicate with people remotely. This article will show you how to set up Wiretap Anywhere to send your speech voice to Skype's internet phone system. Almost the same method will also work with other voice chat programs like iChat, Gizmo, and iSoftPhone.
You'll need the Wiretap Anywhere and Skype software to start with. The default service that comes with free Skype software only allows computer to computer connections so if you want to call cellphones and landlines you will have to fund an account with Skype. Skype calls these funds SkypeOut - you can see the SkypeOut panel by clicking on the "€" symbol on the top right hand side of the Skype window:
Here's what happens when you click on it:
Now you can visit the account page to put funds into your SkypeOut account if you want to make calls to regular phones.
Configuring the Wiretap Anywhere software to pick up your system audio is absurdly simple. Open the "System Preferences" panel from the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen:
Now click on the "Wiretap Anywhere" logo to open that preference pane:
You want to create a new device, so press the handy "plus" button at the lower left of the pane:
Your new device will be called "Untitled 1". You can rename it if you want - I've called mine "AAC Telephone" here:
You should immediately see audio levels on the Wiretap Anywhere indicators
showing any audio activity in your computer, such as iTunes playing or system/third party voices speaking.
Now go into Skype and open the Preferences via the "Skype" menu. Click on the speaker icon at the top of the pane - where the top red circle is in this picture - and then select your Wiretap device as the "Audio Input" device - that's the lower red circle:
Your first call should be to Skype's built in "test call" service to confirm that skype is receiving your synthetic voice audio. The Skype name to call is "echo123" and it gives you a chance to talk and then plays back to you what it heard.
That's all! You're now ready to make phone calls on the net using a synthetic computer generated voice. Congratulations!
- Ricky Buchanan and NewJack Rasputin