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Problems setting up emacspeak with espeak (or eflite)


I'm trying to get emacspeak set up on Gentoo, and I'm hoping to use
either eflite or espeak as the synthesizer.  Unfortunately, I've run
into problems with both of them.

eflite is the better-behaved of the two.  It properly plays audio
icons, but doesn't support voice locking, which is quite useful for
editing source code.  (Both myself and the friend I am looking at
emacspeak for are computer science majors)..  The major problem is
that, when scrolling quickly, eflite occasionally starts speaking
really slowly, as if the sound card or audio interface got confused
and switched sample rates.

espeak is my favorite of the two, simply because I prefer the quality
(although not the choppiness) of the voice.  Unfortunately, it doesn't
support audio icons (as far as I can tell -- it doesn't play them when
eflite would), even though the espeak API supports playing audio
files.  Worse, it seems to take about half a second to stop playing,
and it tends to get a bunch of speech queued up, play a little snippet
of each phrase, and then sometimes skip the last one.  I've dug into
the Tcl and C++ source code, and I have a couple guesses as to where
the last problem might be, but I'm rather stumped.

Has anyone encountered any of these problems, and found a satisfactory
solution?  I think emacspeak is one of the most amazing pieces of
software ever written, but having a flaky speech synthesizer setup is
sort of like having a video driver that doesn't render things right --
it's possible to get around it, but still irritating.

(I'm running Gentoo Linux unstable for amd64, emacs 22.3.1, emacspeak
28.0 revision 672674, espeak 1.40, flite 1.3, and eflite 0.3.9.)


Thomas Tuttle

Thomas Tuttle

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