Read about and download SpeakDropbox
What is this thing anyway?
SpeakDropbox is a lightweight application that runs on the system tray and looks for a
in said tray. If found, it watches the tray tip text for that icon and can automatically read it out loud or play sounds when there is a change to said tool tip text. As a result, SpeakDropbox is able to announce out loud or produce alert noises when the Dropbox app is up to something like downloading a file, uploading a file, indexing, connecting, downloading file list, etc. Additionally, it allows for manual checking of said tray tip from anywhere with a configurable keystroke (especially useful when using sounds only and wanting to find out what Dropbox is up to when you hear one of the sounds), and a double press provides an easy way to open the Dropbox menu from anywhere without the need of using "system tray listing" functionality in your screen reader or simulating a click on the Dropbox tray icon. SpeakDropbox will probably be most useful for people who are blind or visually impaired and using a Screen Reader like NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access), as it uses the Screen Reader to provide the speech output. however, it will speak via the Microsoft Speech API 5 or later using the computer's built in voice if there is no Screen Reader that it supports present. In other words, if you're not blind, or visually impaired, or if you have a screen reader that SpeakDropbox does not support, you may still have use for this application.
- Same as Dropbox for windows itself
- Dropbox, of course click here to visit their web site
- if using with screen reader, SpeakDropbox supports the following
The reason I'm not totally sure about how far back these go is I didn't write the code I use to access the screen readers and the documentation for that doesn't tell me. If you're using something ancient and you wonder, try it and see if it works.
- JAWS, not sure how far back, 10 at least
- Window-Eyes, no clue how far back, I'm guessing earlier than 7.0
- System Access, to my knowledge it's not really possible to be running an old system access so how far back is not applicable
- Dolphin Supernova and Hal, no clue what version, most likely it'll work though is my guess
- Cobra (apparently, I have not tested)
Run the installer. It will want administrator privileges, so if you have user account control turned on, the UAC prompt will come up. Follow the installation wizard to choose where to install it and where to put the start menu shortcuts and whether you want SpeakDropbox to start automatically each time your computer is started.
the installer will give you a chance to check all the settings made. If all is well, hit install. Installation should take about 10 seconds. On the last page there is the opportunity to choose whether to start SpeakDropbox immediately, view documentation and view the change log to see what's new.
how it works
SpeakDropbox will hang out in your system tray and look for a Dropbox icon. if it can find one, it will watch for that icon to change it's tray tip. When SpeakDropbox detects a change to the Dropbox icon, it will automatically read out what the tray tip now says, after stripping some of the information away so as not to be rattling on about transfer rates and the like as that every time the speed changes which, for most people, is pretty much continuously. It can also play a non obtrusive sound to alert you when something is happening, either in addition to or alternatively to the spoken output. These can both be disabled, enabling for use of SpeakDropbox to have quick read outs of the Dropbox icon only when desired, by pressing the keyboard shortcut, and having the ability to open the Dropbox menu and Dropbox folder but not having to put up with continuous Dropbox status updates. If it can't find a Dropbox tray icon, it will announce "No Dropbox Icon found". It should be able to pick up the icon automatically if you start Dropbox after already having SpeakDropbox running. Also it should be able to pick it up again if you have to exit and restart Dropbox and you leave SpeakDropbox running. You can click or press space or enter on the SpeakDropbox icon in the tray to bring up a menu of options that will allow you to make SpeakDropbox:
Note that you can use the keyboard shortcut (shift+alt+win+m) to bring up the SpeakDropbox configuration dialogue where ever you happen to be.
- launch the configuration dialogue where you can adjust settings, like whether to Automatically speak or play sounds for Dropbox status changes
- test the speech output
- view the documentation
- view the current SpeakDropbox version and perform a manual check for updates
- exit SpeakDropbox
Additionally, a configurable keyboard command is provided to allow to make SpeakDropbox announce what the Dropbox Icon says in the tray tip at any time, anywhere. Said key command also provides the ability to open the Dropbox menu or the Dropbox folder with multiple quick presses. The desired key combination for this can be modified via a combo box in the configuration dialogue.
My web host shut down my account because of a very high percentage of false positive reports from Anti Malware apps. I was previously compiling the SpeakDropbox executable without UPX compression, which is supposed to be the best way to help prevent false positives, but I was still getting around 22 out of 55 saying it was malware at Virus total, so I enabled UPX compression and according to the same site, there are only two coming back Positive. Avast! and another one I've never heard of. My web host thinks I have been hacked, but I downloaded speakDropbox from my account at the same directory my host was telling me was bad, and installed it on my own machine. It is exactly the same one I compiled and packed into the installer. The file size was the same right down to the last byte and it behaves exactly like it did before I published it. This is really stupid, and to be honest, using UPX compression ought to have no affect on it. In any case, SpeakDropbox is not malware, its written in Autoit, which, being the scripting language that it is, has this problem where any application that is actually malware and gets added into the detection by an anti malware app will cause my app, if written in the same version of autoit usually, to also become detected as that same piece of malware. The long of this is that I'm removing all previous installers including 9, so if any of you need an older version of speakDropbox email me and I'll see if I can send it back in an attachment.
Some old versions may be provided in case there is a need to support some older version of Dropbox or for what ever reason.
- Version 22, released on 11/8/2021
Fixed a remaining instance of the "no dropbox icon found" message which could occur if Dropbox showed no status other than its version number for more than 5 seconds. I released version 21 a little too quickly it seems.
- Version 21, released on 11/8/2021
Improve file count filtering to reduce number of spoken and sounded events, fixed "No Dropbox Icon found" message given when Dropbox icon was showing no status other than its version number.
- Version 20, released on 10/1/2021
added Windows 11 support, added checkbox to toggle the speaking of "Dropbox" before status change messages.
- Version 19, released on 8/24/2018
Fixed bug allowing auto version update checking even if configured not to, stopped auto version update check from saying "checking for update", added ability to hide speakDropbox from the tray notification area.
- Version 18, released on 5/2/2017
Attempted to stop periodically speaking and sounding Dropbox syncing, Dropbox up to date messages, Fixed bug preventing SAPI config dialogue from being opened more than once until restarting speakDropbox.
- Version 17, released on 2/10/2017
Settings are now made using a dialogue-like window instead of in the tray menu, automatic updating of speakDropbox is enabled, fixed bug when reassigning the Speak Dropbox Icon hotkey.
- Version 16, released on 8/11/2016
Changed the alt+win+m open speakDropbox menu keystroke to shift+alt+win+m to get it to work in Windows 10, improved the internal window so that it stays hidden more affectively, fixed the inability to find the system tray on Windows 10 Anniversary update bug. If they'd stop changing things around we might be able to catch up here.
- Version 15, released on 8/5/2015
Attempted to fix issue with Windows 10 where the tray icons could not be found, and fixed a problem where the sound to be played when Dropbox is upgrading itself was not played.
- Version 14, released on 5/26/2015
Softened the sound heard when saving settings, added option to use specific sounds for different status events to distinguish them, added speech notification for when the Dropbox icon is found, SpeakDropbox menu (alt+win+m) opens faster, and search every two and a half seconds for Dropbox icon when not found instead of five as before.
- Version 13, released on 1/8/2015
Minor update, no feature changes. I switched UPX compression for the main SpeakDropbox executable on and that has decreased the amount of False Positives from anti malware applications, according to Virus Total, so I'm putting this version up and removing all the other installers to try and please my host and get them to bring my site back online.
- Version 12, released on 11/9/2014
Minor update to get the help menu item added into the speakDropbox menu for real this time
- Version 11, released on 11/6/2014
Now supports JAWS 16 via auto detect properly without having to have an option to use regardless of detection, new ability to prefer SAPI speech regardless of screen reader detection, new configuration dialogue allowing to configure SAPI to non default settings, new link to help (documentation) added to the SpeakDropbox tray menu.
- Version 10, released on 9/15/2014
Possible fix to increase the reliability that alt+win+m will successfully open the speakDropbox menu, new setting allowing a temporary way to continue getting speech output via JAWS 16, which has a bug where by it is not detected as running, and removed extra bit of navigational effort that used to be required to open the dropbox menu completely. Note that if using a version of dropbox older than 2.11.x (you can find out by finding the dropbox icon in the tray and just reading what the version is that way), it might be better to stick with speakDropbox 9 until you upgrade to Dropbox 2.11 or later. If you upgraded speakDropbox and want to downgrade back to 9, the link to download is still available below. Just install it over top of what ever version is currently installed, such as 10, and all should be fine.
- Version 9, released on 2/15/2014
The speak Dropbox icon keyboard combination is now configurable, allowing to choose which out of four choices will be the key combination. The selection remains Alt+win+d by default.
- Version 8, released on 2/7/2014
Alt+win+m keystroke added to quickly access the SpeakDropbox menu from anywhere, improved sounds SpeakDropbox plays for launching and closing, made SpeakDropbox more reliable about finding the whole tray itself if completely lost, for instance if windows explorer is restarted.
- Version 7, released on 12/27/2013
Added some more sounds to help get an idea of what Dropbox and SpeakDropbox are up to, fixed a bug where the wrong icon would be clicked if pressing the keyboard shortcut two or three times quickly to click on the Dropbox tray icon when there was no such icon to be found, can now turn off speaking of "downloading file list" messages to reduce verbiage...
- Version 6, released on 12/24/2013
SpeakDropbox is now officially under non-license, or as I call it "lack of a license". This is displayed during the installation process. Also fixed another problem with SpeakDropbox showing up on the Taskbar.
- Version 5, released on 12/20/2013
Stability improvements, ability to have SpeakDropbox play a sound when Dropbox's status changes, ability to launch SpeakDropbox automatically every time the computer starts now available during installation, added the shortcut to the start menu folder like it was supposed to be.
- Version 4, released on 12/18/2013
made it possible to disable auto speaking of Dropbox status, making it possible to use it just for manually checking Dropbox status or easily launching Dropbox's accessible menu to get to it's preferences and the like. A few Reliability improvements.
- Version 3, released on 12/17/2013
Added documentation and change log, plus hopefully fixed problems with it auto reading the exact same Dropbox status multiple times in a row.
- Version 2, released on 12/16/2013
Added support for updating to new versions of SpeakDropbox
- Version 1, released on 12/15/2013