Simultaneous playback

The festival text-to-speech synthesizer seems to use normal ALSA playback instead of PulseAudio. This leads to it failing when there's already something playing. E.g. if you're listening to music with Rhythmbox, festival fails with this message:

Linux: can't open /dev/dsp

To make it use PulseAudio, we can re-route the audio through the pacat utility as proposed on this bugreport. Just add these few lines to your /usr/share/festival/init.scm:

(Parameter.set 'Audio_Command "pacat --channels=1 --rate=$SR $FILE")
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Method 'Audio_Command)
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Required_Format 'raw)

Note: I had to use raw as the required format since the snd from the bugreport gave me loud noise instead of speech. raw works fine.

Announcing system errors

On fedorabook.com I found this little script which will read every new line from /var/log/messages:

{% highlight bash %}

!/bin/bash

tail -0f /var/log/messages | sed "s/^[^:]:[^:]:[^:]*: //" | while read LINE

tail -0f /var/log/syslog | sed "s/^[^:]:[^:]:[^:]*: //" | while read LINE

tail -0f /var/log/auth.log | sed "s/^[^:]:[^:]:[^:]*: //" | while read LINE

tail -0f /var/log/user.log | sed "s/^[^:]:[^:]:[^:]*: //" | while read LINE

do echo $LINE echo $LINE | festival --tts sleep 0.75 done

{% endhighlight %}