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Current status of speech servers, and ideas wanted



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I've been trying to get Emacspeak going again with an acceptable
level of performance for the past few days, without much luck.
Here's a summary of my findings on the current state of the various
speech servers that I have access to, and a request for ideas for
improving the situation:

espeak: The server is very unresponsive, and reads "capital" before
every uppercase word unless dtk-split-caps is off.
Sometimes, while moving quickly through a document, it will randomly
say various punctuation characters at the beginning of the line. I
think these are from the previous line.

software dectalk: I managed to get both 4.64 and 5.0 working, though
they did crash a few times in the few minutes I played with them.
They seem very responsive though, although software-dtk uses oss and
not alsa, and I don't think you can buy it anymore - the purchase
page just hangs.

outloud: the server can speak, but silencing speech doesn't work. I
don't know why.

Multispeech: I managed to get this to work after running sed -i
- -e's/Russian-spelling/russian-spelling/' multispeech-voices.el.
Freephone/mbrola still workks, and espeak does too. I think an
interaction between portaudio and my alsa is causing it to drop the
last few ms of whatever it says, though.

Eflite: This works, including the alsa binary available at
http://homepage.hispeed.ch/loehrer/flite_alsa.html
The alsa binary has an echo problem - if another sound is playing
such as an mp3, the currently playing chunk of audio doesn't silence
very fast. This works on multispeech, so I'm not sure why it doesn't
work here.

What can be done to improve this situation? I could most likely
write a quick hack that spawned a new process for everything it
wanted to say, and it would work better than some of these servers.

If anyone else is interested, I think we should just focus on one
synth, and make a good, responsive server. I vote for espeak, since
it seems to be the only thing that's still under active development
and is easy to install. We could also do a bridge between emacspeak
and speech-dispatcher. Thoughts?

- --
Tyler Spivey - PGP Key ID: 0xae742aaf
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