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IBM ViaVoice and Alsa




you will need to tweak the numbers in the dmix plugin settings --
warning, alsa documentation on that is sparse at best.

The reason things stopped working after the upgrade I suspect is
because newer versions of ALSA utils try to configure the dmix
plugin by default --- the asoundrc file I have is for the setup
where ALSA does not do this.

>>>>> "Tim" == Tim Cross <tcross@rapttech.com.au> writes:
    Tim> I've just had an interesting experience which may help
    Tim> others and answer some of the questions regarding issues
    Tim> which have come up concerning ViaVoice.
    Tim> 
    Tim> I'm running Debian testing and on the weekend did an
    Tim> upgrade which included an upgrade to the Alsa utilities
    Tim> and Debian's sound-core package. There was no kernel
    Tim> upgrade. I'm running kernel 2.6.15
    Tim> 
    Tim> After the upgrade, I found ViaVoice was not operating
    Tim> correctly. In fact, it was now speaking with a distinct
    Tim> stutter and sounded like it was trying to say everything
    Tim> twice.
    Tim> 
    Tim> I removed the .asoundrc file I had (which was pretty
    Tim> much the same as the example Raman provides). This
    Tim> pretty much solved the problem, except at the end of
    Tim> speaking a chunk of text, there was an irritating "blah"
    Tim> sort of sound - like a bit of text being cut off before
    Tim> it could complete speaking.
    Tim> 
    Tim> I then decided to try the OSS version of the driver
    Tim> rather than the alsa version. This doesn't have any
    Tim> stuttering or repeated text and no cut off bit of
    Tim> repeated text at the end of text blocks. However, when
    Tim> typing, it is *a lot more sluggish* than when using the
    Tim> alsa driver.  However, the driver itself is a lot more
    Tim> stable. The current alsa driver dies on me quite a bit,
    Tim> but he OSS version rarely dies - its just sluggish when
    Tim> typing and a bit less responsive with respect to
    Tim> interruption of speech.
    Tim> 
    Tim> I suspect the problem with the alsa version of the
    Tim> driver is that I need to tweak my .asoundrc
    Tim> settings. So, its probably time to go to the alsa web
    Tim> site and start to learn how to use the .asoundrc file. A
    Tim> brief scan of this gives me the impression this could
    Tim> take a bit of learning - it seems to be quite
    Tim> complex/large. Not sure when I will get to it.
    Tim> 
    Tim> If anyone has a good working version of a .asoundrc file
    Tim> for a system running a SoundBlaster Live card, I'd
    Tim> appreciate a copy to see if it works better than the
    Tim> very basic one I have.
    Tim> 
    Tim> At any rate, this would seem to provide some clues as to
    Tim> why some users have reported that ViaVoice is sluggish
    Tim> and doesn't keep up when typing i.e. is likely due to
    Tim> usiing the Alsa OSS emulation layer rather than native
    Tim> Alsa support. Also, it would seem the settings in your
    Tim> .asoundrc file may affect how well the native alsa
    Tim> version works.
    Tim> 
    Tim> Tim
    Tim> 
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-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

      
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