espeak and pulseaudio

Tim Cross tcross at
Mon Apr 5 04:01:27 BST 2010

I've recently spent time getting espeak working with emacspeak on a Ubuntu
9.10 system with pulseAudio. I initially had problems with the emacspeak
espeak driver truncating speech, dropping words and occasional segmentation

I hought it was a problem with the library used by the emacspeak
espeak driver. However, I was able to reproduce some of the issues with the
espeak program included in the espeak package.

I downloaded the latest version of espeak from the sourceforge page and built
it against the portaudio 19 libraries and experienced the same problems. 

I then re-built the libesepak and espeak programs linked against pulseaudio
rather than portaudio by changing the defines in the espeak Makefile. 

This has resolved all the issues I was encountering and it has improved the
quality of the speech that is generated. Although it took a fair amount of
work to get a good pulseAudio configuration working, I now have a very
functional setup. 

I now plan to get speech-dispatcher running. I have a few questions which I'm
hoping others on this list can help clarify. 

1. Given that ubuntu is moving to pulseAudio based configuration, why is
espeak and libespeak still being built against portaudio rather than
pulseaudio? Is this just to provide more flexibility an enable espeak to run
on both pulseaudio and non-pulseaudio based setups or are there other issues
with linking against pulseaudio that I'm unaware of and which might bite me
further down the track? As it seems there are issues when running espeak built
against portaudio under a pulseAudio configuraiton, is there justification for
having two different packages, one built against portaudio and one built
against pulse? 

2. I've seen some posts regarding patches to speech-dispatcher and other
related work and was wondering if I'm better off running with the ubuntu
Karmic packages, sources from the 'official' speech-dispatcher repository or
some other source? (I seem to remember seeing a reference to a separate
unofficial speech-dispatcher bzr repository on launchpad, but don't have a
specific URI).

3. I've seen lots of reports of people having major issues with running
pulseAudio. While I found numerous issues with getting it to work well on my
system, it now seems to be working really well. Have I just been extremely
lucky or are all the reports maily the result of pulseAudio being a little
complex to get working well or are there real issues I'm not aware of? Are
there issues with using pulseAudio and speech-dispatcher?



More information about the Ubuntu-accessibility mailing list