etextRead activity and espeak

James Simmons jim.simmons at
Mon Feb 16 11:06:33 EST 2009


I have some good news on TTS with Read Etexts.  It turns out that 
speech-dispatcher is available through yum update, and it does work on 
the XO.  If you follow the instructions at you should be 
able to get Read Etexts to do TTS with working highlighting.

Now the bad news:

1).  You're going to have to adjust the Rate using the Speech toolbar 
tab down so that highlighting can keep up with speech.
2).  Read Etexts does not pause between paragraphs and may not pause 
between sentences.  I *really* need to fix this.
3).  My test environment for developing Read Etexts does not have TTS 
working properly yet.  It worked when I was using Xubuntu, but I cleared 
that off and replaced it with Fedora 10, which unlike the XO uses pulse 
audio.  You can configure speech-dispatcher to use pulse-audio, and it 
will seem to work, but not for long.  That's been my experience so far, 
anyway.  Without a robust TTS test environment I'm not going to be able 
to improve on what I have for awhile.  I haven't given up yet.
4).  You need to start the speech-dispatcher service using the Terminal 
before you can use TTS.  I know damned well that there is a way to start 
this when the XO boots up, but I don't know how to do it.  Perhaps one 
of the others on the mailing list can suggest something.

My wife is impressed that kids in Nepal might be using an Activity I 
wrote, and after seeing my demo of it she agreed the kids deserved 
better.  So she may tolerate more hours of basement hacking than she 
normally does.

I hope you'll try out Read Etexts with speech-dispatcher installed and 
let me know what you think.


James Simmons

Tony Anderson wrote:
> Hi,
> The educational team at OLENepal would like a 'karaoke-style' text 
> reader above all other activities on the XO. This is primarily for 
> English. Looking at the activity code, it looks like the speech code 
> is there but disabled.
> Would it be possible to release a version that supports espeak without 
> the Speech-Dispatcher pending its implementation in Sugar? This would 
> give us a chance to experiment with creating 'read-aloud' stories.
> Tony
> > Thanks for your response.  I never questioned that there was still
> > interest in TTS on the XO.  What I was wondering is if there was any
> > progress made by Hemant Goyal or anyone else in getting the
> > Speech-Dispatcher software included with the Sugar distribution, if the
> > newer version of Python that resolved the power management issue was
> > included, etc.  I've sent a couple of emails to Hemant and haven't 
> heard
> > back from him.  I was wondering if he was still working on these 
> things,
> > or if someone else had taken over his work, etc.  He was making RPMs 
> for
> > Fedora for installing speech-dispatcher.
> >
> > James Simmons

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