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Re: Emacs and Festival

>>>>> "DPÁ" == David Picón Álvarez <david@miradoiro.com> writes:

    >> From: "Tim Cross" <tcross@rapttech.com.au> You are correct that
    >> festival offers more sophisticated speech services, but I
    >> believe one of the biggest criticisms of festival was that it
    >> was not as responsive/fast as other systems, in particular
    >> flite, which is a light weight version.

    DPÁ> That criticism was, and to some extent is, correct. Yet
    DPÁ> computers become ever faster and get more RAM, and festival's
    DPÁ> getting usable about now. 

Although Festival may have more hardware requirements than other TTS
systems, it's in my experience perfectly usable unless your computer is
really old or it doesn't have enough RAM to store voices you use
(together with applications you run, of course).  IIRC, my six years old
PC with 256 MB RAM ran Festival with two languages, Emacs, X, etc. fine.

Nevertheless, applications shouldn't assume a TTS can perform just
anything they decide to ask for.  Common mistake is feeding the Festival
SayText function with a long text and waiting for the resulting sound.
Festival should be asked to synthesize the text in chunks instead
(festival-freebsoft-utils provides means for doing this easily) as it
does in the tts_file function.

The only real performance problems with Festival I've ever met are:

- Festival used to be slow when echoing typed characters.  This can be
  solved easily by caching the synthesized characters (this is what
  Speech Dispatcher does).

- The default utterance chunking mechanism in Festival doesn't cope well
  with wild input, such as a long text without any punctuation
  characters or a complicated short text containing a lot of "strange"
  characters.  The utterance chunking frontend in
  festival-freebsoft-utils deals with most such situations (again, this
  is what Speech Dispatcher uses).

So these problems are easily solvable and nobody needs to be afraid of
Festival. :-)  Actually Festival with its high quality output, nice
features, extensibility, several free voices and support of several
languages should satisfy needs of many users.


Milan Zamazal

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