[orca-list] speech-dispatcher vs gnome speech services vs othervoices?
- From: "Michael Whapples" <mwhapples aim com>
- To: <orca-list gnome org>
- Subject: [orca-list] speech-dispatcher vs gnome speech services vs othervoices?
- Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 17:39:54 +0100
To put it simply, you may wish to use either gnome-speech or
speech-dispatcher, this is one of the things with Linux, the freedom of
choice. To save you some of the time of testing both and finding out which
are more suitable for you, here is a short summary of the advantages of
Gnome-speech is a gnome based system, normally used by gnome (GUI) apps.
It has a espeak specific driver built-in the stable versions, and it seems
to work well. Gnome-speech and espeak seem to work well, and as there is
the espeak specific driver in gnome-speech it provides a full list of the
espeak voices. In the past gnome-speech was the most direct way to get
speech output from orca, but now there is a speech-dispatcher back-end for
orca this advantage is no more as speech-dispatcher can be used more
On the other hand speech-dispatcher is not a gnome-specific system, it may
be used by other apps, eg. speakup, emacs, etc. While it supports a good
number of synths, some are done through a generic module which issues bash
shell commands, so those drivers are less advanced. This was the state
with espeak and speech-dispatcher until this latest beta, but what I have
tried with the new speech-dispatcher beta it seems good with the espeak
specific driver. The main advantage to speech-dispatcher is the
compatibility issue, it can use alsa drivers for most synths (ALSA is the
sound system which is currently the main one used in the kernel, and
offers software sound mixing, and loads of advanced features), and as
speech-dispatcher isn't gnome specific then it manages speech synthesis
for both gnome and command line apps without conflicts. It is possible to
get gnome-speech to use alsa for audio, but it is a bit of a hack.
So I would suggest speech-dispatcher, particularly with the latest beta
and the orca speech-dispatcher back-end, although it does mean compiling
speech-dispatcher from source if you want that beta version.
I haven't up to now compared festival, espeak, flite, etc as those are
synthesisers and speech-dispatcher and gnome-speech are common access
systems (like sapi is on windows). I will now quickly discuss
synthesisers, eg. festival, espeak, flite, etc.
Festival is a fairly widely known synthesiser supporting many features.
Many people complain that it is too big and too slow, and that considering
that the voice isn't great. You may wish to consider another.
Flite is a lighter version of festival, only having one speaker it is
slightly limited and it isn't great on the performance.
Espeak is my favourite, its light weight, responsive, and supports the
main features you want and many languages. Also it is an open source
Now I will move on to none free synths.
There is a software dectalk for Linux. Gnome-speech has a driver for it
(but it may require gnome-speech being compiled from source depending on
the distro you use), and speech-dispatcher has a generic module for
There is the IBMtts, sometimes known as viavoice, I believe the same as
eloquence, both gnome-speech and speech-dispatcher have specific drivers
for it (but it may require compiling either gnome-speech or
speech-dispatcher depending on distro).
There are other synths, like cepstral, epos, freetts, etc but these are
too many to say here, refer to gnome-speech and speech-dispatcher
documentation to see what they support.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin Mann" <w9fyi cox net>
To: <orca-list gnome org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 1:46 PM
Subject: [orca-list] speech-dispatcher vs gnome speech services vs
I am quite a newbie to using orca with unix, and some of the concepts
that go along with compiling from source, but there appears to be
soemthing that i am not getting here. What is the difference in using
speech-dispatcher vs festival verses gnome speech services?
As of rigth now I find both festival and the e-speak gnome driver to
sound the same whether i am using either speech-dispatcher or just the
traditional gnome speech driver. What am I missing here?
Finaly, am Ii expecting too much at this point to be able to use gnome
with orca, and have all my computing needs met? I apologize for what
may appear to be rather obvious statements, but I need some help...
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