Hello there! The current release version of Self-Loading Cargo is "1.6, The Interactivity Update"!
Be sure to check out the changelog to see what's new and the development roadmap for information on future releases!

😊 RELEASE UPDATE - 1st July 2024, 1800z - Please ensure you are running the latest 1.6.4.2 release update. See changelog for release info!

Self-Loading Cargo v1.6.4.0 Released

Posted on Sunday 23 June 2024 at 21:30 by Steve W into Latest News


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This release marks a much-requested addition - integration with online AI voice providers for fully dynamic captain and cabin crew announcements.

Greetings pilots, welcome to the v1.6.4.0 update of Self-Loading Cargo

In this release I am excited to announce one of the most-requested features for the application - integration with AI voice providers for a much richer and more varied experience.

Dynamic Captain and Cabin Crew Announcements using AI Voice Providers

Since Self-Loading Cargo released, it has always supported dynamic announcements using the Windows built-in Text To Speech system as an alternative to the more traditional voicepack system made up of MP3 and WAV sound files. However, as anyone who has tried it will know, the Windows Text to Speech voices aren't exactly brilliant and there aren't many of them to choose from.

In this version of the application I'm delighted to announce that we built upon the dynamic announcement capabilities by allowing you to connect Self-Loading Cargo to your accounts with both ElevenLabs.IO and Play.HT, giving you around 200 extra voices to play with, and a framework that supports future integration with more and more providers.

Each announcement made incorporates dynamic variables from your flight (such as flight numbers, destination airport names, flight information etc) to add a massive amount of variation to the immersive communications system you've come to enjoy with Self-Loading Cargo.

Does it require a subscription?

I lean against the idea of subscriptions for applications where possible and wanted to avoid this requirement but unfortunately if you want to use the best technologies then it usually comes with a cost. 

However, a lot of people already use for ElevenLabs (and other providers) with their own subscriptions - so why can't we use those?

It turns out we can - so, Self-Loading Cargo does NOT require a subscription to use these additional voice providers. Instead, it will use any subscriptions to the voice platforms that you already have in place - you simply add your API keys to Self-Loading Cargo and it will do the rest. We make no money from your subscription, and it costs us nothing to enable the facility. Manage your own subscriptions to your own services with your own accounts and turn them off whenever you like.

What's more, both ElevenLabs.IO and Play.HT have FREE plans with 10,000 and 12,500 characters respectively per month absolutely free. You can choose to upgrade your account with them if you wish using one of their extra-character plans - but you'll always be able to use the free plans if they're available.

How many characters does Self-Loading Cargo need?

During testing, Self-Loading Cargo used between 2000 and 7000 characters per "person", depending on what happens during the flight and how many announcements were made. However the great news is that whenever a phrase is generated it is cached for future use ... meaning that subsequent flights will only generate phrases that they've never generated before (perhaps your flight number). This makes a lot of sense - why would you want to generate (and pay) for the same characters you've already paid for to have your purser say "Hello, Captain"?

Hopefully this ensures that you get the maximum amount of value out of each service.

What about latency?

Because Self-Loading Cargo communicates with a web service, there is a small amount of latency involved at times depending on the service server load, your internet connection and the amount of text you're trying to convert from text to speech - but because it is cached, any subsequent times the sound plays there is zero lag since the file is already on your hard drive. 

What this means is the more you use Self-Loading Cargo the less and less characters on your plan you use (as long as you use the same voice) and the less latency there is.

Am I required to use the dynamic voices?

Absolutely not - this is an addition to functionality that already exists, and you will always be able to use existing voicepacks like you always have. However, given the variation and dynamic announcements available from these integrations I encourage you to at least try it out - simply create an account, add your API keys into Self-Loading Cargo settings and away you go.

Here's a quick start guide on "How to use the Dynamic Voice API Announcements with Self-Loading Cargo" to help you get started.

What else is in the update?

Of course, the AI voice integration is only one of a number of changes made to the application as it reaches v1.6.4.0 - I encourage you to view the changelog to see exactly what is new.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you as always for your kind support with Self-Loading Cargo - I look forward to hearing your experiences with the new voice integration and as always, feel free to join the Discord server if you have any ideas for future releases.

See you in the skies!

How to update

Download the update from your account area and install over the top of your existing installation. 

You can view the full release notes for more information.

Thank you!


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