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Re: Changing auditory icons

Although the quality of the sounds you get will depend on the quality
of the original sound file, one of the advantages of using sox is that
you can convert au files to wav files and play them through /dev/dsp
rather than /dev/audio. This seems to give better quality than just
playing au files through /dev/audio. The play script which comes with
sox plays all sounds on a linux system through /dev/dsp regardless of
the file type (converting if necessary to ossdsp format). 

While it is true this adds processing to the playing of sound files,
most of these files are small and the processing is minimal. On my
200Mhtz system, I noticed no difference or lag in the time it took to
play sounds between cating .au files to /dev/audio and converting with
sox and playing via /dev/dsp. The sox utility has a lot of options and
is very flexible. Even on a system with good support for au files such
as a sun sparc etc, you may be able to tweak the sox options to
achieve better quality from the sound. 

I would also recommend looking at the emacspeak-sound.el
file. Emacspeak creates a table which maps symbolic names for auditory
icons to sound file names. If you just wanted to replace the au files
with wav files, probably the best way would be to redefine the sound
file associated with each auditory icon name. See the
emacspeak-define-sound function and how it is used in the
emacspeak-sounds.el file for some clues on how to do this. 

Nolan Darilek writes:
> Hmm, I don't understand how, exactly, sox would help in this case. I
> suspected that, since this is an SBLive, and since these speakers are
> very high-quality, that the problem was caused by the fact that these
> are 8-bit sounds. I thought that this would be analogous to watching
> an old black-and-white movie on a large-screen TV. sox could probably
> convert the bitrate and make the sounds 16-bit, but that would require
> processing time. Plus, when I'm working, my desktop sounds like a
> cartoon on acid. :) I'd like to be able to add in WAV's of different
> effects, if possible.
> Oh, BTW, I've experimented with both bplay and the default play script
> with the same results.

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