I recently purchased a set of wireless speakers, which I’ve connected to my ASUS EeeBox PC. They work well but I have encountered a problem that is common to wireless speakers – they go into a standby mode and require a few seconds to initialize. For playing music this isn’t a problem. However, using the speakers for text-to-speech can be a problem as the speakers may not initialize before the computer has finished speaking. In addition, Windows text-to-speech output doesn’t seem to have a signal strong enough to wake up the speakers anyway.

To get around this problem I decided that I needed to play a tone of some kind to wake the speakers up before the speech was output. I toyed with using different programs to play a wav file from the command line since the text-to-speech is generated via a batch file. Of the few programs I tried they all left the audio programs running so the next set of commands in the batch file didn’t execute (they were still waiting for the audio programs to close).

I have no doubt that I could find an audio program that plays a sound file from the command line, closes when finished, and then allows the other commands to execute. I’m not really in the mood to mess around with different programs to do something relatively simple. Instead, I came up with a simple, though not elegant, solution.

I play a series of “beeps” from the batch file, which execute before the text-to-speech command.

The beeps can be added using the following steps (there may be several different ways to do this – this is one method I found in a forum post):

  1. At a command prompt type edit filename.bat
  2. Type @echo
  3. Add a space and then press CTRL+P followed by CTRL+G
  4. Duplicate the line for each beep needed

Here’s an example batch file that will play five beeps and then speak some text using SayStatic.exe:

This is a temporary solution. Sometimes I the hear beeps before the text and other times I don’t hear any tones and it doesn’t pickup the speech until the second sentence. Consider this a first step. I’ll post any improvements or alternative methods to this page.

ASUS, Hardware, Home Automation, mControl, Multi-Media Server (MMS), Projects, Windows
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