Talker WordPress Plugin settings

The Talker WordPress Plugin has over 300 voices available in 70+ languages and variants, the Talker Plugin uses cutting-edge speech synthesis techniques, including Neural, to produce high-quality audio output. One of the key features of the Talker Plugin is its support for the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) standard. This allows users to customize the speech output for each page or article on their website, including the ability to pause, add intonation, and read out numbers and phone numbers in a human-like format. 

To start setting up the Text-to-Speech plugin open the Talker settings in your WordPress Dashboard sidebar menu.

Talker in WordPress admin pane

There are multiple tabs responsible for various groups of plugin settings.

Voice Settings

The voice tab includes the basic plugin settings like API key setup, voice and language selection, and voice settings management.

API Key

When you first run the plugin, you need to paste your own Key. Read more about How to get Microsoft Azure Text-to-Speech API key.

Region

Select the region that you specified when creating your API key.

Start using

Once all the key settings are entered press Save to get the language and voice settings.

Language

Select the required language for reading from the list and the available voice in the table. After selecting a language, you can filter the table by voice type and gender.

Languages list

To select and activate a voice, click on the row in the table. The selected voice will be highlighted in blue.

Advanced voice settings

The toggle enables advanced voice and audio file settings. For experienced users.

PITCH units

Indicates the baseline pitch for the text. Pitch changes can be applied at the sentence level. The pitch changes should be within 0.5 to 1.5 times the original audio.

Expressed as a number and followed “st” that specifies an amount to change the pitch. For example:  <prosody pitch="-2st">some text</prosody> The “st” indicates the change unit is semitone, which is half of a tone (a half step) on the standard diatonic scale.

Rate units

Indicates the speaking rate of the text. Speaking rate can be applied at the word or sentence level. The rate changes should be within 0.5 to 2 times the original audio. There are available two rate units:

Expressed as a number that acts as a multiplier of the default. For example, a value of 1 results in no change in the original rate. A value of 0.5 results in a halving of the original rate. A value of 2 results in twice the original rate.

Volume units

Indicates the volume level of the speaking voice. Volume changes can be applied at the sentence level. There are available two volume units:

Expressed as a number preceded by “+” or “-” that specifies an amount to change the volume. Examples are +10 or -5.5.

Custom lexicon

You can define how single entities (such as company, a medical term, or an emoji) are read in SSML by using the phoneme and sub elements. To define how multiple entities are read, create an XML structured custom lexicon file. Then you upload the custom lexicon XML file and paste the link in the Custom Lexicon URL field.

Custom lexicon file URL

The file must be in XML format and comply with the Azure requirements. 

The Custom lexicon option applies the lexicon file to the entire site, but you can use lexicon only for certain pages using the shortcode [talker-lexicon url=""].

The example below

[talker-lexicon url="https://yourstorage/talker/lexicon.xml"]

Post Types

Select the post types, including custom post types to work with the Talker. The available types are in the drop-down list. Once new post types are added to your site, they will be displayed in the list.

Post Types list of the Talker
Post Types list of the Talker

The Talker can only work with public posts. There are various reasons for this:

  • the plugin is GDPR-compliant, which means it can’t use private information.
  • the audio of a post/page is generated based on the current page markup available publicly.

If you use password-protected post types that are available only for certain users or a group of users, the Talker will not work with them.

Design

The design tab contains settings related to the design of the Player and its surrounding elements.

Player position

You can select one of the available player positions: Before Content, After Content, Top Fixed, Bottom Fixed, Before Title, After Title, Shortcode [talker]

IMPORTANT

Some themes may have problems displaying the player in Before Title and After Title positions. Switch the player to another position in such cases.

You can easily add the Talker WordPress Plugin player anywhere on the page using the shortcode [talker]. You can also show the player with an audio recording of another post using the shortcode [talker id=PAGEID] where PAGEID is the id of the page of the audio version which you want to use in the player.

Speaker WordPress Plugin
Page ID

You can find out the page ID in the address bar during editing or from the page code.

Player Style

The plugin has six predefined player styles that you can use on the website pages. You can also customize any of the presented player templates with CSS.

ROUND PLAYER

Core WordPress player with round edges:

Round Talker Audio Player
Round Talker Audio Player
ROUNDED PLAYER

Core WordPress player with rounded corners:

Rounded Talker Audio Player
Rounded Talker Audio Player
SQUARED PLAYER

Core WordPress player with right angles and straight edges:

Squared Talker Audio Player
Squared Talker Audio Player
WORDPRESS DEFAULT PLAYER

Regular WordPress audio player:

WordPress Default Audio Player
WordPress Default Audio Player
CHROME STYLE PLAYER
BROWSER DEFAULT PLAYER

Default browser player without any styles and scripts. The appearance of the player is different in different browsers:

Chrome & Opera Audio Player

The Chrome & Opera Audio Player have a link to download the audio file even when the Download Link is hidden in the plugin settings.

Safari Audio Player
FireFox Audio Player

Please note that when choosing a Browser Default Player, a standard WordPress player will be disabled on your site. This will have an effect for all players on all pages of your site.

To fine-tune the design of the player, use the CSS class .mdp-talker-box

Background color

This setting allows setting the background color of the player. This is possible for all modes except WordPress Default Player and Browser Default Player

The setting determines how to display the download link. You can choose one of these options:

  • Do not show
  • Backend Only
  • Frontend Only
  • Backend and Frontend
Speaker WordPress Plugin Download link
Download link on the Frontend
Speaker WordPress Plugin Download link
Download link on the Backend

Speed controls

The option allows you to enable the control panel for the speed of audio playback. When the option is enabled, two additional settings are available:

  • Speeds section title – enter the title that will be displayed before the speed settings panel.
  • Available speeds – a field allows you to enter speed values that will be available to the user. The speed values must be separated by commas. Use period for decimal numbers, for example, 1.2, 1.5, 1.75.
Backend Speed settings
Audio speed control on frontend

Audio Preload

The preload attribute specifies if and how the audio file should be loaded when the page loads.

The audio preload options
  • None – the browser should NOT load the audio file when the page loads.
  • Metadata – the browser should load only metadata when the page loads.
  • Auto – the browser should load the entire audio file when the page loads.
  • Backend – the browser should NOT load the audio file but the plugin requests information about the file on the backend and saves its duration in HTML.

Description before

The toggle enables the enter field for adding a text, image or HTML markup before the audio player.

The toggle to display content before the player

Description after

The toggle enables the enter field for adding a text, image or HTML markup before the audio player.

Autoplay

The option allows playing audio after the page loads. Some browsers do not allow autoplay for any audio or video according to their policy, so this feature may not work for certain browsers.

ChromeFireFoxOperaSafariEdge
WordPress default playerNoNoYesNoYes
Browser default playerNoNoYesYesYes

The table with listed browsers that support the autoplay feature

Loop

The option allows looping the audio playback.

Speakable Markup

The toggle to enable/disable the Speakable markup option for the post/page selected in the Talker>Post Types.

The speakable schema.org property identifies sections within an article or webpage that are best suited for audio playback using text-to-speech (TTS). Adding markup allows search engines and other applications to identify content to read aloud on Google Assistant-enabled devices using TTS. Web pages with speakable structured data can use the Google Assistant to distribute the content through new channels and reach a wider base of users.

The additional options are available when the Speakable Markup toggle is On.

  • Markup all posts – an option to enable the markup even for posts without an audio file generated.
  • JSON+LD Markup – a field modify JSON+LD markup in regards to the Speakable Markup Guide. The default markup version also works correctly.
Speakable markup settings

Audio Content

Before Audio

In this text field, you can add text that will be added at the beginning of the audio file. For example, you can add an invitation or copyrights.

After Audio

In this setting, you can add text that will be added to the end of the audio file. For example, you can add farewell or copyrights.

Read the Title

The option allows you to voice the Title of the current post/page when generating audio.

Read the Image Caption

The option allows you to voice the Image caption of the current post/page when generating audio.

RegEx replacements

With this option, you can replace any group of characters when voicing by using Regular Expressions

RegEx replacements settings

Enter the regular expression to be replaced and on a new line write the term or SSML tag to be replaced. You can also use the WordPress filter talker_after_content_regex_replace to manipulate content for voicing

An example of replacing a number from 1 to 9 with the letter “a”

The shortcodes can not be used in the regex rules. You should use SSML tags.

Storage

The section includes the following Storage settings:

Custom fields

The toggle to enable/disable the feature of saving data about the generated audio file in meta fields has been added. Read more in the guide.

Visible in the Media Library

The toggle to make the audio file visible and available in the Media Library.

Note: The files that were generated before the option was enabled will not be displayed.

Storage

Select storage location for generated audio files.

  • Media Library – the default option where audio files will be saved in the Upload folder of the current site.
  • Microsoft Azure Storage – the option allows you to save audio files remotely using Azure Storage. How to get Microsoft Azure Storage key.
  • Microsoft Azure Storage + Library – the option allows saving the audio files remotely and locally.

Podcasts

An option that allows you to create an RSS podcast feed for any podcast service based on audio generated on your site.

Create RSS feed podcasts following the RSS feed guidelines for Google Podcasts,or Apple Podcaster’s Guide to RSSSpotify Podcast Delivery Specification or other podcast services.

There are available Header and Item fields of the template when the RSS option is enabled.

Podcasts feed settings

Once all the configuration is done the feed will be available at the link https://yoursitelink?feed=talker-podcast

To get a feed only with posts of a certain category, use the link

https://yoursitelink?cat=7,8&feed=talker-podcast

Where cat = "category ID"

To get a feed only with posts of a certain tag, use the link

https://yoursitelink?tag=tag1,tag2&feed=talker-podcast

Where tag="tag slug"

Save Changes

Do not forget to click Save Changes after changing plugin settings. After clicking this button, the settings will be saved and applied to all pages of the website.

Now you can proceed to use the plugin on the pages of your WordPress website. Please read the article Converting WordPress page to speech and Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) in the Talker WordPress plugin.

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