I have just moved over to TrainerRoad from TrainingPeaks. I am finding the structured workouts REALLY helpful. A big additional advantage is the narrative that runs through them. Feels like I have a real coach in my shed with me.
One problem I find is that sometimes I miss the start of the narration on the screen. I think it would be a great feature to have an audible narration that could be played through my headphones. I would never miss an instruction then.
Not sure if this has been asked for before (couldn’t find it in the forum).
If we could then have a 3D holographic rendering of Chad the “coach in my shed” experience would be complete.
I submitted a request for audio of the instructional text back in 2015. It is mentioned from time to time with nothing mentioned about planned implementation.
An alternative that I suggested is a “text” flow that would look more like a chat screen. Current text would feed at the bottom, with prior text moving up with each new instruction. I suggested this as it would be far easier to implement via TR App changes since it would simply reuse the existing text already available.
Recording, syncing and applying audio to the workouts (maybe 1000 or so with text?) would be a MASSIVE undertaking.
Text to speech technology is exceptionally good these days. No idea how much it cost to license, but I’m pretty sure you could run it straight from the time prompted text files that are used at the moment.
I think using native text to speech on a device (if available) may not require licensing (based on some freeware I’ve used calling native TTS).
I notice that the same text blocks repeat in some workouts. If TR could link a recording to a text blocks, that might reduce recording time spent repeating the same text. Then we could have Coach Chad talking to us during a workout.
Feature added this year is a warning sound before text more than a certain amount of time after the last. I still miss text sometimes because it doesn’t reach the threshold, but less often than before.
I would like to be able to double tap the screen to move the text back and then tap it to move it forward, something like that. Obviously that wouldn’t work on a computer. As I struggle to get through workouts I find myself concentrating on finishing rather than the text. I then sometimes see something like this, …this is key to the workout. I missed the page before, what was key?
Audio would be a brilliant addition, but I do realise it would take a fair amount of work to implement. I guess that actually reading and being aware of whats on the screen might be helping to ensure that I remain focused during the sessions.
Companies such as Lyrebird allow the creation of voice clones. Chad could build a model of his voice and the integration of text-to-speech is straight forward, so you could immediately leverage it for all existing and future workouts without any additional overhead beyond model building and a bit of coding to integrate TTS.
It will still sound a bit artificial, but it would be a cool improvement!
While it might be a nice feature, I’m not sure Audible Narration would really make a difference in the quality of my workout experience. Reading the web description before each workout is usually enough to prepare me for what is to come. With this, I doubt I would use it. Additionally, I’d rather hear my music than some babbling robot. Now, put a sexy admiring human voice behind it…well, that could be inspirational!