I’ve updated a work mackbook to the new Lion OS and thought I’d post about a couple of interesting things. I posted them to google+1 as a wee experiment and am repeating them here.

Fiona A Scottish Voice in Lion

You can download extra voices from the speech system preference pane. Fiona is a Scots one and quite nice. The speech seems pretty nice to me. Even without upgrading to lion you can select text and send it to itunes as synthetic speech using the service menu. You can also, as I did for the e use applescript to save an aiff file of synthetic speech. I’d I’ve not used this in teaching, but could think of a few way that it might be useful…

Dictionary Access

I frequently access the dictionary on mac os by holding command-control-d over a work, it pops up a wee box showing the dictionary definition. In Lion you double click with 3 fingers and the box is a bit nicer:

QuickTime Pro in Lion

After installing Lion I was disappointed to find the QT pro had vanished from my Utilities folder (Where it was moved by Snow Leopard). Tried to download and install from Apple but got the wrong installer. This is the right one. After the install QT picked up my pro registration key.

The New version of QuickTime X has improved over its Snow Leopard version but still lacks some of Quicktime 7’s features. I was very relieved to find out you could install the old one again. QT 7 can be used for quick & dirty editing and does some things 2 that I can’t do any other way (without buying & learning some other piece of software).

1. I’ve been playing with google+ for a bout a week. Simple and straightforward to use, the main dislike is the difficulty of getting information out of it at the moment. No RSS. I was hoping just to be able to pull the 3 lion post in here, or at least embed the video, but I needed to re-upload them to vimeo.

2.For example you can have a movie with more than one picture in picture movie added to it. You can’t do this from iMovie which is limited to 1 but you can do it quite quickly with QT 7 pro. for example the end of this movie. QT7 also is very applescriptable, many of the features are missing fro QT X’s AppleScript dictionary. I’ve made a few quick scripts that have really sped this up.

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