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November 29, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Fremont, California-based Logitech Inc, best known for its mice, is rapidly diversifying, and has signed an agreement with Berkeley Speech Technologies Inc to include Berkeley’s BeSTspeech ReadOut, a text-to-speech utility, with Logitech’s new version of AudioMan, also announced. BeSTspeech ReadOut has BeSTspeech text-to-speech technology with an unlimited vocabulary as it is not just playback of pre-recorded words. AudioMan is an external audio device with an integrated speaker and microphone. It attaches to the parallel port of any iAPX-86-based personal computer via a cable, enabling users to record and play back audio within a sound-compatible application. The product uses Microsoft’s Object Linking & Embedding, enabling users to integrate a variety of data formats from diverse sources within a single document. AudioMan can record voice, tapes and CDs via the audio input port. The AudioMan bundle is out now at $180. Logitech has also announced SoundMan Wave, a 16-bit stereo board based on wave table synthesis that includes a MIDI interpreter enabling users to hear wave table quality. It uses the Yamaha Co OPL-4 chip for synthesised sound, is SoundBlaster and AdLib compatible and has 16-bit or 8-bit stereo, or mono digital audio; 44KHz sampling; a five-channel mixer and a SCSI CD-ROM interface. SoundMan Wave has no jumpers so users can install the product without having to set on-board options first. The installation software automatically selects the correct settings for the system. Software applications bundled with SoundMan Wave include: MCS MusicRack from Animotion Inc, including a mixing console, a software CD player for CD-ROM drives with audio playback capabilities, a digital recorder for recording and editing, WAV files, and a MIDI player; Recording Session by MidiSoft Corp to record, edit, and play MIDI music and display musical files or performance as standard music notation in real time during recording and playback, and BeSTspeech ReadOut, enabling the user to read back text from the clipboard and any Object Linking & Embedding word processors or electronic mail and numbers from any OLE spreadsheet. System requirements include an AT-alike using 80386SX processor and up, MS-DOS 3.3 or Windows 3.1, and 640Kb memory – 4Mb needed with Windows. A cable kit will be available separately for connecting internal or external CD-ROM drives purchased separately. It will be out in March at $350.

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