Voxin was: Re: Switching to Linux

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Fri May 10 10:59:06 EDT 2013

As someone who uses voxin 8 to 10 hours a day, my opinion is that the 
problems you mention below are minor compared to the clarity and 
responsiveness of voxin.

It only costs six bucks. If you have to listen to your workstation for 8 
to 10 hours a day, it's well worth it.

n 05/09/13 17:57, Kyle wrote:
> According to Brandon McGinty-Carroll:
> # As I recall, voxen requires /dev/dsp or somesuch ancient sound API.
> As far as I know, this is correct, but it's a lot worse than that. Not
> only does Voxin require an ancient sound API, but it also requires
> ancient C libraries in order to function. The source code is either lost
> or is otherwise unavailable even to those who would maintain it, so it
> can't even be rebuilt against the latest C libraries or even get any of
> its numerous bugs fixed. It still crashes on words like c a e s u r e,
> which according to Google is a bitcoin client written in Python, and is
> also a rather common username on some non-blindness related forums. It
> also crashes on a rather common OCR error when recognizing the word
> Wednesday. I googled that one as well, and turns out it is a very common
> OCR scanning error, especially when scanning newspapers. I was
> especially seeing it in scanned newspaper archives from the late 1800's
> and early 1900's. There are also reports of random crashes that cause
> Voxin and other speech synthesis engines with the exact same codebase
> but different names to randomly kill the screen reader, and there is
> nothing anyone can do about it, because the source code is not available
> or is lost. Worse still is the fact that many companies are actually
> making a profit from licensing something so outdated, broken and
> unstable, but I guess that's no different from what Microsoft has been
> doing for years <smile>. It may fall on deaf ears for some reason, but
> my recommendation is to avoid Voxin and all the other voices like it.
> Use eSpeak, because it ships with most distros and just works. If you
> don't like the way eSpeak sounds, you can still get festival working,
> and Festival is capable of running some amazing free voices. There's
> also Pico, which is now supported natively in speech-dispatcher. All
> these voices sound better and work better than Voxin, which literally
> makes my head hurt.
> ~Kyle
> http://kyle.tk/

John G. Heim, 608-263-4189, jheim at math.wisc.edu

More information about the Speakup mailing list