dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

Posted on
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:31 pm
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dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

I appreciate this plugin is focused on the generation, rather than playing, of complex announcements (but the two are interrelated - so here's my query in case anyone can illuminate me).

There is a lot of old discussion on TTS and indigo in across the forums and much of it is conflicting or outdated, so its hard to identify the 'gold standard' implementation if there is one. In addition to the native Indigo capability there are at least 3 plugins (sonos, announcements, announcer) that address it to a greater or lesser degree . There's also conflicting advice on pointing speakers to the Indigo server process; system; and the Play Sounds app as the source of audio (all seem to work actually?).

In my experience with using Indigo for simple TTS announcements, it has always been problematic because whilst testing works perfectly in the real world announcements are often delayed - I think related to when Indigo mac's screen is asleep, though not consistently?? So confusingly announcements may be heard hours after they were meant to be. I'm using a Mac mini running hIgh Sierra for Indigo. Ideally I would want to point the announcements to a HomePod using airfoil, in addition to the internal speaker.

Does this plugin address this delay issue (or does anyone have a workaround for this?).

Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:31 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

Hello and thanks for the question.

This plugin would have likely no effect on the delay issue. Its purpose is to generate "complex" announcement strings and have them ready to be played when desired. I would recommend not using it in such a way as to generate a new announcement string on demand--that is, generating a new announcement when there is a call for speech. Rather, I'd suggest having the announcement "pre-generated" so it's ready to go at a moment's notice. That would likely minimize the potential for delay as it's related to the plugin.

We don't use speech in our setup, so I don't have real-world experience with regard to what you're describing, but the plugin doesn't appear to have much of a delay when generating announcements in a test environment.

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Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:41 am
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

thanks for that - as I feared LOL!

I'm increasingly intrigued how anyone is actually using any Indigo for any 'background ' audio. I'd love to find out it is really possible.. As I have mentioned in the DoorBird topic, I bought the DoorBird IP chime as a result of lack of success in this endeavour. it works well but I'd love to be able to use an announcement to provide more information than a chime.

Having a 'alarm was armed' sound randomly hours after arriving home isn't welcome though (quite the opposite obviously)

Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:11 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

There is definitely something else going on if the announcements are taking hours to arrive. It seems like your Indigo server may be sleeping too soundly, but that's just a guess.

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Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:59 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

I stopped using TTS when I moved into our new house, but I can tell you for sure that for 8 years in our previous house we used TTS fairly regularly and never had a delay of hours. In fact, we never noticed any delay (more than several seconds). I suspect there's something systemic going on with your setup that's causing this delay, but I wouldn't know where specifically to look.

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Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:45 pm
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

....ok, so at least that means its worth persevering!
I have no inappropriate lag on anything else indigo-related. While I have an ongoing fight with my second (MacBook Air) installation sleeping against my will (solution is to never close the lid); this one has no apparent system sleep or event backlogs impacting anything else.
back to the drawing board, I'd love to get this working.

Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:42 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

I'm increasingly intrigued how anyone is actually using any Indigo for any 'background ' audio.

I'm thinking about setting up a project to have Indigo play announcements on my Google Home devices throughout the house. I haven't experienced quite the level of delays that others are posting here using the TTS, but definitely seen some lag up to a good 8-10 seconds, which makes a difference when it is "Someone is at the door" and other similarly time sensitive scenarios. Those delays are currently playing through the whole-house sound system which in itself is a bit iffy since someone may be using it or have it on a different source.

Posted on
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:27 pm
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

that is pretty much what I saw using the SONOS plugin (often just a couple of seconds, fine for a good morning weather report or something but still enough longer delays to be impractical or annoying for real-time information alerts.

my hunch is there's something else going on when Mac OS is being asked to generate the TTS locally which is adding to my woes.

Posted on
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:10 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

This is obvious, but I thought I'd point it out nonetheless. I would be best if you can remove the cloud from the equation.

The delays involved in the round trip are necessary for some, manageable for many, but for TTS it would be annoyingly slow. There are some ways to get around these kinds of delays by pre-loading WAV files and so on for things like the weather forecast, and using already-prepared WAV files for messages that wouldn't change like, "There is someone at the front door."

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Posted on
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:05 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

DaveL17 wrote:
The delays involved in the round trip are necessary for some, manageable for many, but for TTS it would be annoyingly slow. There are some ways to get around these kinds of delays by pre-loading WAV files and so on for things like the weather forecast, and using already-prepared WAV files for messages that wouldn't change like, "There is someone at the front door."


+1 (though, Dave, using macOS's TTS it doesn't go through the cloud)

This would, at the very least, help to identify if the TTS is where the slowness is or if it's something else (Airplay hiccups, network issues, etc.)

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Posted on
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:14 am
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

jay (support) wrote:
though, Dave, using macOS's TTS it doesn't go through the cloud

Yep--though some TTS services like Polly (Ivona, etc.) and whatnot would require it.

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Posted on
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:50 pm
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Re: dealing with delays in generation ofTTS announcements

DaveL17 wrote:
jay (support) wrote:
though, Dave, using macOS's TTS it doesn't go through the cloud

Yep--though some TTS services like Polly (Ivona, etc.) and whatnot would require it.



yes - thats actually the conundrum I was trying to draw - that inexplicable delays occur despite using Mac OS' local TTS and therefor not involving any cloud interaction. Whilst I can't consistently replicate this (I will invest some more time), activating the screen will sometimes unleash a backlog of announcements. Needless to say, the Mac running indigo will generally have the screen off, but the Mac itself is definitely not sleeping. It isn't airplay because same symptoms when only the internal speaker is the target.

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