The Text-to-Speech API on windows is working completely and I have submitted the patch for the review.
I have not added the support for concurrent speech however and it will be taken care of at a later stage.
Here is the web page, where you can test all the functionalities of the API. Each word is highlighted as it is spoken. You can try out the new patch from here
I will soon be uploading a video, where you can see the API in action, without trying out the patch.
Regarding the further work, I have already started on Mac and the good news is that, I have the speak() and getVoices() methodsworking on it.
Next steps would be,
> to get the patch for windows reviewed and landed, as soon as possible.
> to add more functions to the Mac API.
P.S. A very happy Independence day to all fellow Indians :)
Adding the support to change properties of the speech such as Pitch, Rate and Volume.
And then, after testing each functionality thoroughly, submit the patch for reviewing.
This week is also the mid term week. I am running a bit behind my schedule, but I have almost completed the Speech Adapter for windows, that was aimed for the mid term evaluation. The delay has been due to the time invested in learning the windows api.
And.., Mount Fuji awaits this weekend. Will update more in the next post.
P.S. Tokyo has awesome weather.
Yes, I am in Tokyo currently and will be staying till July. This is a place where you can get Beer from the vending machines on the streets :D I have been between places for the past few days, so have not been regular in posting the updates on my project. But I promise I will be regular from now.
Coming to the project, after spending hours on it, I have finally managed to make significant progress now. It has been quite challenging to dive simultaneously into the completely new windows
APIs and the Mozilla codebase and then, integrating the two of them. But
the support of this awesome community is what drives me to get through
every hurdle I get.
I have a very basic version of Sapi Synthesis Service running on my system :D .
The current status of the service is that it supports speak() and getVoices() (details about each voice) methods (and some other minor methods also) The speak() method right now, works only for the first time, as I haven't implemented nsISpeechTask and nsISpeechTaskCallBack interfaces right now.
That would be the first to do in the coming week.
I have also committed all the functionalities of speech api to my Sapi Git repository here , for the reference.
Next to do's would be:
-> completely working speak() function
-> handling the pitch, rate etc. qualities
-> adding the tts events.
Also, I would be soon be writing about the my experience in writing the code till now and the difficulties that I have been facing, so that it serves as a good reference to others.
After going through the Pico Service, the previous week had two major tasks :
> Testing the pico on my Linux Machine > Setting up SAPI on the windows
Regarding the first part, I have tested Pico on my linux. Here are the steps if anyone wants to try : Install Pico on your linux. It's a simple one-liner. After that 1. Set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to wherever your libttspico.so
2. Set the PICO_LANG_PATH environment variable to wherever the language
files are. 3. Add "ac_add_options --enable-synth-pico" to your .mozconfig, in the root directory.
4. Build the firefox again and then, set "media.webspeech.synth.enabled" to true in about:config. This preference is present by default in the firefox and you have to create it. I have created Bug 1007834 so that the preference is present by default, and it will soon be included. So, these are the steps that you need to follow. After that, you can test the api here. You can also test this page with other browsers who have tts, and file bugs if they have any. The second part was to get started with SAPI, Microsoft Speech API. The API provides a high-level interface between the application and
speech engines. It implements all the low-level details needed to control and
manage the real-time operations of various speech engines. So, I began with setting up Sapi on my Windows 8 and have started with some basic programs to get familiar with sapi, which I'll be updating here : MS-SAPI-demo. I haven't done any windows programming till now so it will take some extra effort and time to get familiar with COM (Component Object Model) and Win32 API, which is needed to get the most out of this api.
That's it for this week, and btw ! I got myself a new Mac :D
The current status is that, we already have the Pico Speech Synthesis Service on Gonk, i.e. the Firefox OS devices already have the synthesis via the pico engine.
After discussing with my mentor, Eitan Isaacson, my first step in the project, was to study the implementation of Pico service, to get inspiration for the future work.
After spending some time on the service, I have understood the basic workflow of the process. In this post, I would be explaining, or rather documenting the same, so that it helps in the future. For any OS, Desktop support should be implemented as nsISpeechService and nsISpeechTaskCalback. When speak() is called on that interface, it is provided with a nsISpeechTask object that has methods for doing all the things that we would want to do. Following are the Pico specific classes:
nsPicoService:> our main service, subclasses nsISpeechService. PicoCallbackRunnable :> a runnable class that subclasses nsISpeechTaskCallback.
Helper Classes : PicoApi :> acts as a wrapper for us and directly interacts with the pico library. PicoVoice :> handles the voices
PicoSynthDataRunnable :> a runnable class that is used to send the synthesized data back to the browser.
The functions of the all the classes are defined in the following workflow:
The browser calls the speak method of the nsPicoService, with a reference to the nsISpeechTask object, along with four other parameters : text to utter, a unique voice identifier, rate to speak voice and the pitch. The service then instantiates a new PicoCallbackRunnable object by pasing all these parameters, along with itself, and obtains a reference to that object.
Then, the PicoCallbackRunnable is executed on a new worker thread. In this process, all the text is fed to the engine in buffers of specified size and the output data from the engine is received in chunks. These chunks are then sent to the DispatchSynthDataRunnable method. This method implements PicoSynthDataRunnable class.
This runnable is then executed on the main thread again, and it sends the synthesized data back to browser, using the functions of the nsISpeechTask object, passed to it. The nsPicoService is also used for other utility functions, such as, to initialize the PicoApi class, to register the voices and to load/unload the pico engine(this is done via PicoApi class ofcourse).
This is it for this week. Next week, my aim would be to test the Pico service and with that, start with the windows.