speech-dispatcher 0.6.4 issue

Chuck Hallenbeck chuckh at ftml.net
Fri Aug 31 14:48:52 EDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

Hynek, thanks for the response.

On Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 10:50:28AM -0700, Hynek Hanke wrote:
> You might have flite configured to use OSS instead of ALSA.
> Please look at /usr/local/etc/speech-dispatcher/modules/flite.conf
> for FliteAudioOutputMethod . It should be set to "alsa".
My speech-dispatcher was installed as a Debian package, so the
configuration is in /etc/speech-dispatcher. Here is the line from

FliteAudioOutputMethod "alsa"

> In case you are using "alsa", then the reason can be that you
> are loading either another output module which uses OSS.
> Be sure to keep only the AddModule line for flite in speechd.conf,
> others comment out with hash.

Here are my AddModule lines from speechd.conf:

AddModule "flite"        "sd_flite"     "flite.conf"  "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/flite.log"
#AddModule "festival"     "sd_festival"  "festival.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/festival.log"
#AddModule "espeak-generic" "sd_generic" "espeak-generic.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/espeak-generic.log"
#AddModule "espeak"       "sd_espeak"   "espeak.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/espeak.log"
#AddModule "epos-generic" "sd_generic"   "epos-generic.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/epos.log"
#AddModule "dtk-generic"  "sd_generic"   "dtk-generic.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/dtk-generic.log"
#AddModule "ibmtts"       "sd_ibmtts"    "ibmtts.conf" "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/ibmtts.log"
#AddModule "cicero"        "sd_cicero"     "cicero.conf"  "/var/log/speech-dispatcher/cicero.log"

> If neither of these is true, you are using ALSA, but it blocks
> itself, and cannot emulate /dev/dsp properly. This was long
> a bug of ALSA, that a system user playing sound through ALSA
> will block all other system users from connecting to ALSA.
> Since Speech Dispatcher is running as root and you want to
> play sounds as a regular user, this might be a problem. Upgrade
> to more recent versions of ALSA should solve the problem

My kernel is 2.6.21, and cat /proc/asound/version shows this:

Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.14rc3 (Wed Mar 14 07:25:50 2007 UTC).

> (to test whether this is the reason, try running speechd as root
> and aplay some sound as root -- if it works, ALSA blocks other
> users than root, as described...)

Speech-dispatcher is started during system startup in
/etc/init.d/speech-dispatcher, and if it is running, then the madplay
program finds /dev/dsp blocked, but the play command has no problem.
Stopping speech-dispatcher allows madplay to use the /dev/dsp device,
and of course play can do so as well.

Other applications that find /dev/dsp blocked include festival and

I have been using speech-dispatcher 0.6.2 from the Debian package along
with espeak 1.26, also from the Debian package, for quite some time
without these problems. 

Any more information I can offer, please let me know. 

- -- 
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