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.