espeakup and sound cards?

Steve Holmes steve at
Fri Mar 4 19:35:17 EST 2011

David, you're right.  The more people have to geek around just so they
can use a computer on something other than Windows + Jaws or
Window-Eyes, all the more likely they will just give up and go back to
that proprietary junk.  This stuff is starting to get more complicated
than simple.  UDEV and hotplugging has made linux easier to use in
genenral when it comes to USB devices and automounting and all that
but this audio support stuff is an ugly mess! I tried to give
pulseaudio an open mind last weekend and gave it a try.  I fought and
fought with it all weekend long, trying to stabilize volume and get
rid of excessive static and distortion with poor results at best I
installed some pulseaudio support for gnome and that part seems to
work well enough but speech dispatcher was a mess with it.  I had so
much trouble with it that I switched speech dispatcher back to ALSA
AudioOutputMethod, changed mplayer to go back to alsa as its output
method and my system is much better again.  I never go around to doing
anything with espeakup or any of that.  At least I always had speech
at the console for what I was doing and I sure didn't wanna lose
speech and then have to fiddle with pulse even more to straiten it

So my experience with pulse audio is bad enough, I still don't wanna
mess with it for a very long time.  I'm greatful that Arch Linux
doesn't force pulse on us yet.  I don't know how long it will stay
that way so yeah, we need to straiten this stuff out.  When I posed
questions on the speech dispatcher list concerning pulse audio support
lately, I hardly got any answers to my questions so if support is that
lacking, then all the more reason to avoid it for now.

On Fri, Mar 04, 2011 at 03:58:37PM -0800, David Csercsics wrote:
> I think that you should remove the direct alsa option since that
> should remove the libasound and just link to portaudio or pulseaudio
> or whatever. Since people insist on using pulseaudio it'd be worth
> figuring out why espeak's direct pulseaudio support isn't working with
> espeakup. I don't like the extra complexity of pulseaudio but it's not
> going away so we should probably try to make it work. Especially since
> the gnome people and the speech dispatcher people insist on using it and
> we have to use software speech with espeakup or something similar. I'd
> be willing to help debug this. It'd be nice if we could sort out the
> audio and accessibility mess that we have. I'm seeing quite a few apps
> default to pulseaudio for sound and new users are not necessarily going
> to want to mess around with sound systems and driver quirks and  other
> odd stuff just so they can get speech.
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