Voxin was: Re: Switching to Linux

Mike Ray mike at raspberryvi.org
Fri May 10 11:30:35 EDT 2013

I listen to espeak for twelve or more hours a day and most of that time 
I'm concentrating on what I'm doing, not on how fluffy and cute the 
voice sounds.


On 10/05/2013 15:59, John G. Heim wrote:
> 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 making a profit from licensing something so outdated, broken and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/

Michael A. Ray
Witley, Surrey, South-east UK

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