Hate your GPS's voice? Garmin lets you record your own

Garmin's free Voice Studio software lets you record your own voice directions for use on your portable GPS device.

Imagine a GPS device that makes fun of you when you miss a turn. Or one speaks to you with pet names -- names that only those close to you know. Or a GPS that laces innuendo into its instructions. Garmin's Voice Studio software makes it all possible.

The free download (for PC only) lets users record their own voice directions and load them onto compatible Garmin nüvi devices (Here's the list; all but the nüvi 300 and 600 series are supported.) Garmin says the process of recording directions and loading onto a device takes roughly 30 minutes.

Voice commands can be recorded for any of Garmin's standard instructions, such as "Enter Roundabout" and "Make a U-turn." Users can also share customized voices with each other, which I bet would make for some great pranks -- "Turn left! No, wait, turn right! Actually, you'd better just turn around. I'm lost. Sigh."

While Garmin's Voice Studio sounds like fun, I have trouble seeing it as anything more than a gimmick. As far as gimmicks go, it's a good one, though.

For more up-to-the-minute blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PC World's complete coverage of CES 2010.

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Jared Newman

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