Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Follow-Up: Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

Follow-Up: Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Nearly a year ago, I blogged here about Soundscapes on the emacspeak
Audio Desktop. That article ended with this following paragraph:


I implemented package soundscape to create a platform that would let me experiment
with different tools that aid in concentration. After using Soundscapes for about a week,
I have also found that it reduces some of the fatigue that results from having to listen
to synthetic text-to-speech for extended periods. The true value (if any) of this package
will be a function of how heavily I find myself using it six months from now --- as a
metric, complete success might mean that in mid-2016, I still have automatic soundscapes
turned on.


2 And Nearly A Year Later …

I have not found the need to turn off Soundscapes in Emacspeak. As
conjectured, it has definitely increased my productivity, specifically
in terms of staying focused on a given task at hand. Over the year,
I've also augmented the emacspeak Audio Desktop with support for
binaural audio — see module sox-gen — which provides a collection of
binaural themes for use during different times of the day. Binaural
themes generated by that module overlay Emacspeak Soundscapes to
provide an ideal auditory environment for use over headphones.


3 Soundscape Enhancements

Since the publication of the original article, Emacspeak Soundscapes
have been enhanced with additional sounds from
Freesound.org. Emacspeak Soundscapes have been updated to take
advantage of Boodler's limited abilities in the areas of spatial
positioning. I typically use Soundscapes with one of several virtual
ALSA devices that have been configured to apply different Ladspa
effects such as reverb or crossfeed depending on the ambient
environment where I am working — this significantly improves the
spatialization of soundscapes being played — see file
ladspa-asoundrc. Finally, the mapping of Soundscapes to various Emacs
modes has also been tuned. — see table below.



Soundscape (Mood) List Of Major Modes
BirdSongs shell term
BlopEchoes elfeed-search
Bonfire calendar diary
BuddhaLoop comint
Cavern prog
ChangingLoops special
ChangingLoopsPitches lisp-interaction
Drip message gnus-summary gnus-article gnus-group mspools vm-presentation vm mail twittering jabber-roster jabber-chat erc
LoopStew emacspeak-m-player
NoStormYet fundamental
RainForever Info help Man Custom messages-buffer
RainSounds magit vc
Still text view
SurfWaves w3 eww
TonkSpace tabulated-list
WaterFlow dired


4 Summary

As outlined in a previous article, sound on Linux provides unending
possibilities with respect to innovation, here's looking forward to
better things to come.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) Unleashed!

Emacspeak 45.0—IdealDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (Nov 21, 2016)


Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of (Real)Intelligent Computing
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak — announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) — a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of Nov 2016 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into
the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A
rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled
access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

  • Speech-enabled tide for typescript development. 🌊
  • Speech-enabled jade for Javascript WebApp development. ⺩
  • Improved slime support for Lisp programming. Λ
  • Support for rst-mode for editting ReST files.🖹
  • Version control info in modeline.⎔
  • Speech-enabled elisp-refs to aid in refactoring. ※
  • GPG integration including pinentry support. 🔐
  • ElScreen support for window-layout management. 🆜
  • Updated Librivox client for audio books. 🔊🕮
  • Updated sound themes. 🔉
  • Support for Emacs' visual-line-mode. 🎁
  • Speech-enabled Threes game. 🎮
  • Updated Google News support. 📰
  • Binaural audio support including several predefined binaural themes. ℗
    • Updated multilingual support for ESpeak. 󠀁
  • Script etc/bootstrap.sh for bootstrapping into Emacspeak on a well-configured Linux system. 👢
  • And a lot more than wil fit this margin. … 🗞


4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to these features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that these results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you cant but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Emacspeak 44.0 (SteadyDog) Unleashed


Emacspeak 44.0—SteadyDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (May 1, 2016)
Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of (Real)Intelligent Computing
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net– announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 44.0 (SteadyDog) –a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of May 2016 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into
the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A
rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled
access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

  • Enable playing multiple media streams using mplayer. 🔊
  • Smart Ladspa effects in mplayer, including panning. 🕪
  • Sound theme chimes has been spatialized to create theme pan-chimes. 🕭-
  • Package elpy has been speech-enabled. 🐍
  • Emacspeak now implements automatic soundscapes. 🏙
  • Speech-enables package helm.𝍎
  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 🕷
  • Updated Info manual 🕮
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • And a lot more than wil fit this margin. …

4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to these features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that these results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you cant but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, - Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Augmented Headphone Listening On Linux For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

Augmented Headphone Listening On Linux For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

A combination of ALSA, Ladspa and OpenAL can provide an enhanced
headphone listening experience on Linux — this article summarizes
various tools and techniques for leveraging these affordances on the
Emacspeak Audio Desktop.


2 Glossary

ALSA
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. This is my prefered means of controlling audio, and I entirely avoid Pulseaudio on all my machines.
Ladspa
Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Enables the injection of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) when playing media. It is a layer that sits above ALSA. Ladspa filters can be used by user-space applications like MPlayer and SoX when playing media. They can also be used within the user's ASoundRC to define virtual audio devices that inject DSP plugins into the media stream.
OpenAL
OpenAL is an API for enabling cross-platform 3D audio. User-space applications like MPlayer can use OpenAL as the audio output driver — note that OpenAL on Linux writes to ALSA under the covers.

3 Playing Media Using MPlayer

  1. With Ladspa and its associated plugins installed — at the minimum
    I would recommend installing tap-plugins, module
    emacspeak-m-player provides a number of affordances for
    interactively applying Ladspa filters. See commands
    emacspeak-m-player-apply-reverb-preset_(bound to _P in M-Player)
    and command emacspeak-m-player-add-filter (bound to f in
    M-Player).
  2. Command emacspeak-m-player-apply-reverb-preset lets you pick
    among a total of 42 reverb presets defined by Ladspa module tap_reverb.
  3. Command emacspeak-m-player-add-filter lets you add some of the
    more commonly used Ladspa effects with smart minibuffer
    prompts. Use tab completion to discover some of the predefined
    filters — these are just convenience shortcuts — and you can
    add any filters you use commonly to this list.
  4. Note that mplayer also has its own
    HRTF filter, but that filter requires that the stream being played is
    a 48K stream.
  5. Command emacspeak-m-player-using-openal bound by default to
    Hyper ; launches mplayer with OpenAL as the audio output
    driver — adding the following line

to your _~/.alsoftrc~ file will apply a suitable HRTF filter for
augmented headphone listening.

hrtf=true

4 Defining Virtual Audio Devices For Use With Soundscapes

I use soundscapes to provide a pleasant auditory background as I work
— see earlier blog article that describes Soundscapes On The
Emacspeak Audio Desktop
. Defining virtual ALSA devices that inject
Ladspa plugins into the output processing chain is an elegant means
for enhancing the auditory experience provided by these
soundscapes. In this instance, I apply one of the predefined reverb
effects (Ambiance) from Ladspa module tap-plugins and pass the
results through a BS2B (Bauer Stereo To Binaural) filter — see file
scapes/ladspa-asoundrc in the emacspeak Github Repo. Notice that that
file defines a number of virtual audio devices and can serve as a
template for injecting any installed Ladspa plugins — you can first
experiment with filters using Emacspeak's Laudible module to find
settings that work for you before applying them via a virtual device
defined in your asoundrc file. Finally, you can customize option
soundscape-manager-options to add –device <devicename> to have
the soundscapes use the desired virtual device.



5 Summary

Laptops today have plenty of processing power and some really nice
audio hardware. Linux has a powerful audio processing stack in ALSA,
Ladspa and OpenAL. Connecting the dots can be fun and provide an
enhanced auditory environment.

Date: <2016-02-25 Thu>

Author: raman

Created: 2016-02-25 Thu 17:47

Validate

Friday, December 18, 2015

Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Emacspeak module soundscape adds the ability to automatically switch
Soundscapes based on the current buffer. A Soundscape can be any
continuously playing stream of audio; in practice, using nature sounds
that repeat softly in a pseudo-random manner appears to be
effective. Soundscapes are activated based on the currently active
Emacs Major Mode and as a consequence directly mirror the user's
current activity. The present implementation uses Python package
Boodler to generate soundscapes.


2 Usage

Note that package soundscape.el does not have any Emacspeak
dependencies. See the package documentation for details on installing
and configuring Boodler.


You can experiment with installed Boodler agents using command
soundscape and soundscape-stop. You can enable and disable
automatic soundscapes using command soundscape-toggle. The
currently active default Soundscape theme can be inspected via command
soundscape-display — this produces a buffer that lists the
currently defined /major-mode -> Soundscape mapping.


Package soundscape.el considers the inheritance relationship among
Emacs major-modes when computing the set of soundscapes to
activate.As an example, eww-mode inherits from special-mode — as
a consequence, two soundscapes (LightWind and BackgroundWaves)
become active when reading Web content.


3 Default Major-Mode->Soundscape (Mood) Mapping:

Here is a table showing the mapping of major-mmodes to Soundscape
moods at the time of writing. For readability, I have stripped out the
package-name for these soundscapes.



Soundscape (Mood) List Of Major Modes
BuddhaLoop fundamental
LightStorm special
RainForever Info help Man Custom messages-buffer
LightWind comint elfeed-search
TonkSpace tabulated-list
Cavern prog
Drip message gnus-summary gnus-article gnus-group mspools vm-presentation vm mail twittering jabber-roster jabber-chat erc
Still text
Water dired
Steady calendar diary
BackgroundWaves w3 eww

4 Soundscape Research

I implemented package soundscape.el to create a platform that would
let me experiment with different tools that aid in
concentration. After using Soundscapes for about a week, I have also
found that it reduces some of the fatigue that results from having to
listen to synthetic text-to-speech for extended periods.
The true value (if any) of this package will be a function of how heavily
I find myself using it six months from now — as a metric, complete
success
might mean that in mid-2016, I still have automatic
soundscapes turned on.
As I type this article in Emacs org-mode, I hear the sound of
water-drops falling softly in the background, and I take note
that I have not switched tasks for the entire time I have spent
writing this article.


Other success metrics — harder to measure — might include how
effective Soundscapes are in helping the user stay focused on a
given activity for extended periods of time. In an ever-connected
world buzzing with a constant stream of distractions ranging from
incoming email and instant-messages to a flood of twitter updates,
this is likely the most relevant metric.

Friday, December 04, 2015

A Ladspa Work-Bench For The Emacspeak Desktop

A Ladspa Work-Bench For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Module ladspa.el in the Emacspeak GitHub repository implements a
high-level interface for experimenting with Ladspa Plugins using
MPlayer and SoX.


2 Module ladspa.el

This module implements the following functionality:


  1. Builds up a table of installed Ladspa plugins along with their
    associated metadata.
  2. Command M-x ladspa displays installed Ladspa Plugins in a
    special *Ladspa* buffer.
  3. Plugins can be instantiated by pressing RET.
  4. Instantiating a plugin prompts for its arguments and displays the
    instantiated plugin in a new buffer.
  5. This plugin can then be applied to a running MPlayer media
    stream by pressing a.
  6. The effect can be deleted by pressing d.
  7. Plugin parameters can be edited by pressing e with point on
    the parameter to edit.

3 Interfacing With SoX

Module sox.el implements an Audio Workbench using SoX. Module
ladspa.el integrates with that module by allowing the addition of
ladspa as a supported SoX effect. Adding a ladspa effect results
in a completion interface for picking one of the available Ladspa
plugin; once selected, that plugin then prompts for its parameters as
needed.

Date: <2015-12-04 Fri>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-12-04 Fri 20:03

Validate


Monday, November 30, 2015

Generating Spatialized Auditory Icons Using MPlayer And Ladspa

Generating Spatialized Auditory Icons Using MPlayer And Ladspa

1 Executive Summary

The Emacspeak GitHub repository now includes a new auditory icon theme
pan-chimes — these are the result of spatializing theme chimes.


2 Fun With Ladspa, MPlayer and Library tap-plugins

Here is the result of some fun with MPlayer and Ladspa over the
Thanksgiving weekend. Package tap-plugins provides a number of
interesting Ladspa plugins; one of these, tap_reverb is used in
module emacspeak-m-player to provide a variety of predefined
effects.


Library tap-plugins also includes Ladspa filter tap_autopan that
pans the input audio signal — see that plugin's documentation for
details.


The Linux media player mplayer allows the injection of ladspa
plugins
in its processing chain.
Combining these, I have created theme pan-chimes that provides a
spatialized version of sound-theme chimes.



See script apply-pan.sh in the Github repository to see how this new
theme was generated.