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Re: Sometimes bad responsiveness with outloud and alsa 1.0.16



Hi Lukas,

I've been playing around with my .asoundrc file and while things are not
perfect, I have been able to improve the situation. 

As you said, its really hard to get a reproducible test case. However, I do
think the changes I've made have improved the situation. 

here is what I have done -

1. I've made a pcm alias called viavoice and changed the default device in
the atcleci.cpp file to use 'viavoice' rather than default. I mainly did
this because I found that when I have a good .asoundrc file for using
viavoice, it tended to degrade sound quality for other sound
apps. Therefore, I didn't want my definition to be the default. 

2. I added both a bindings and a slowptr TRUE argument to my .asoundrc
setting. The slowptr argument really seems to have improved stability -
outloud is not crashing anywhere near as often as it was and it also seems
to be more responsive. 

I also removed everything except the format, channels and rate settings
from the dmix definition. 

While not perfect, I find it usable now. Prior to doing this, character
echo and repeated words were making the system almost unusable. 

I still think something is amiss with the dmix plugin, but can't repeat the
problem at will. I've seen other posts on other lists where people are also
experiencing some problems. To be honest, I still don't really understand
why I have to have viavoice run through dmix - if I don't, the quality is
just unusable, yet other programs which appear to use a similar/same
approach work just fine.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know what I'd managed to work out. 

Tim
 

Lukas Loehrer writes:
 > 
 > Tim,
 > 
 > I am pretty sure this is a regression in libasound 1.0.16. Or at
 > least, the blocking semantics of some api functions must have changed
 > in a way not expected by the outloud speech server. I doubt it will be
 > fixable by duning the .asoundrc file. The problem is that I still
 > cannot produce a useful small test case to reproduce and document the
 > problem. 
 > 
 > For now, I would stick with libasound 1.0.15 on machines that are
 > needed to get work done.
 > 
 > Best regards, Lukas
 > 
 > Tim Cross writes ("Re:Sometimes bad responsiveness with outloud and alsa 1.0.16"):
 > > 
 > > Just a followup on this. I have had one box with an Audigy 4 card that is
 > > really playing up. I get really slow character echo and often words spoken
 > > twice. I've spent hours trying to get a better asoundrc file, but with no
 > > luck. 
 > > 
 > > On another box, running an older SB Live card, I was also getting som
 > > eproblems, but nowwhere  as bad. 
 > > 
 > > I've found that under both Debian testing and unstable, I still need a
 > > .asoundrc file. Without one, I get unusable output from outloud. 
 > > 
 > > I've also noticed I'm getting segmentation faults from outloud on both
 > > systems. Not sure why yet. 
 > > 
 > > I removed all the sound stuff I didn't need, such as jackd, pulseaudio,
 > > portaudio and other sundry packages installed as dependencies for various
 > > other programs I've tried out. This appears to have fixed the problem on
 > > one box. I've yet to try it on the other. 
 > > 
 > > The better performance now is on the Debian unstable box with the SB Live
 > > card. The Debian testing box running with an Audigy 4 card is nearly
 > > unusable because character echo is really slow (other spects of the speech
 > > are fine). 
 > > 
 > > Tim
 > > 
 > > Lukas Loehrer writes:
 > >  > 
 > >  > On Debian sid with libasound2-1.0.16-2, I am getting very bad
 > >  > responsiveness with the outloud speech server in some situations. The
 > >  > problem goes away after downgrading to libasound2 1.0.15-3.
 > >  > 
 > >  > Responsiveness is not generally bad, but only in some situations. The
 > >  > problem is easier to see with low speech-rates. The problem is for
 > >  > example reproducible in in an info buffer when cycling from links to
 > >  > links with the tab key. Voice locking must be enabled.
 > >  > 
 > >  > 1. Hit tab to jump to a link
 > >  > 2. wait a bit until emacspeak is in the middle of reading the actual link text
 > >  > 3. Hit tab again to get to the next link
 > >  > 
 > >  > What should happen: speech should stop imediately and the next link should be read.
 > >  > What happens with libasound 1.0.16-2: The text of the first link is read to the end and then the text of the second link is read.
 > >  > 
 > >  > Similar effects can be observed when moving through code line by line
 > >  > and some font-locking is present. 
 > >  > 
 > >  > I have not yet been able to nail down the problem to a specific alsa
 > >  > api call, but it is probably either snd_pcm_writei() or snd_pcm_drop()
 > >  > whose behavior must have  changed in a subtle way in 1.0.16. I cannot produce
 > >  > a short test case that reproduces the problem, so reporting the bug to
 > >  > either Debian or Alsa is difficult. Can anyone reproduce the described
 > >  > behavior?
 > >  > 
 > >  > Best regards, Lukas
 > >  > 
 > >  > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 > >  > To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
 > >  > emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with a
 > >  > subject of "unsubscribe" or "help"
 > >  > 
 > > 
 > > -- 
 > > Tim Cross
 > > tcross@rapttech.com.au
 > > 
 > > There are two types of people in IT - those who do not manage what they 
 > > understand and those who do not understand what they manage.
 > > 
 > 
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 > To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
 > emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with a
 > subject of "unsubscribe" or "help"
 > 

-- 
Tim Cross
tcross@rapttech.com.au

There are two types of people in IT - those who do not manage what they 
understand and those who do not understand what they manage.

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