success w/ USB headset
jheim at math.wisc.edu
Wed Aug 22 15:39:04 EDT 2007
I bought a plantronics 510 USB headset a couple of weeks ago. I've been
struggling to get a machine with no sound card set up so that it starts
talking when I plug in the headset. I finally got it working.
1. Install speakup patched kernel. I am currently using one from Shane's
space on debian.org.
2. Install espeak. This actually turned out being critical. I could not get
the hotplug system stuff to work with flite or festival. Actually, that may
work with newer version of flite or festival but in debian etch, you get
flite and festival that depend on oss. But etch runs alsa by default. The
alsa-oss module didn't work with the udev subsystem. More on that below.
3. Install speech-dispatcher and speechd-up
4. Add a udev rule to load speech-dispatcher and speechd-up when you connect
your headset. This is the tricky part.
I can't really explain all there is to know about writing udev rules. A good
place to start is here:
A couple of things I discovered though:
1. The alsa-oss module is not available when udev rules are run. In other
words, there/s no /dev/dsp. So starting speech-dispatcher will fail if you
have it configured to use the oss versions of flite or festival. I think you
can recompile flite and festival for alsa. Or you can do what I did and
switch to espeak.
2. I found it difficult to get udev (aka hotplug) to not try to start speech
several times. I ended up writing a script that first checks if
/dev/softsynth exists and exits if it does. If /dev/softsynth does not
exist, it runs speech-dispatcher and speechd-up.
My udev rule:
My script /usr/local/bin/startspeech:
--- Begin ---
if [ -e /dev/softsynth ]; then
-- End ---
jheim at math.wisc.edu / 608-263-4189
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