12.178 emacspeak-sounds

This module provides the interface for generating auditory icons. It also defines sound themes for auditory icons.

12.178.1 Design goal:

12.178.2 Designing Auditory Icons

Here are some notes on what I have learnt while designing and using auditory icons over the years:

  1. Auditory icons should be short — use command soxi or ; in a dired buffer to see duration of a sound file. Use the bundled themes as a guide.
  2. Sounds have many properties, eg: duration, gain, pitch, at the basic level.
  3. Even more important is the nature of the sound and what it sounds like in the context of the overall speech output where that sound is used.
  4. This is why the gain of icons should never be normalized in my view— tuning icons is as complex as picking colors from a color palette.
  5. The included themes have been optimized over years of use and are primarily tuned for using with headphones.

If emacspeak-play-program is set to nil, we serve icons, otherwise play them using a local player.

12.178.3 Emacspeak-Sounds Commands emacspeak-sounds-select-theme

Command: emacspeak-sounds-select-theme (&optional theme)
C-e )
Select theme for auditory icons.

(fn &optional THEME) emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons

Command: emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons (&optional prefix)
C-e C-a
Toggle use of auditory icons.
Optional interactive PREFIX arg toggles global value.

(fn &optional PREFIX)

12.178.4 emacspeak-sounds Options

Variable: User Option emacspeak-play-program
Play program.
Pulse: For systems running Pipewire or Pulseaudio.
sox-play: For systems using SoX as the local player.
None: For systems that rely on the speech server playing the icon.

Default Value: