EBOOK-SPEAKER(1) - Linux man page online | User commands

Read aloud eBooks and other text formats using a software speech-synthesizer.

23 February 2018
eBook-speaker(1) Linux Reference Manual eBook-speaker(1)


eBook-speaker - read aloud eBooks and other text formats using a software speech-synthe‐ sizer


eBook-speaker [eBook_file | URL | -s [-r resolution]] [-o language-code] [-h] [-i] [-d pulsea ↲ udio_sound_device] [-t TTS_command] [-b n | y] [-c]


eBook-speaker reads aloud eBooks and other text formats and even scanned documents using a software speech-synthesizer. By default the tool espeak is used for speech output. eBook- speaker can read from http://, https:// and ftp:// URLs using the tool wget. eBook- speaker also can scan a documant by itself using the scanimage application. A list of items on the eBook will appear. Press <ENTER> to start reading. When reading of an item has finished, eBook-speaker will read the next item and the cursor will automati‐ cally skip to that item, so that an attached braille-terminal will display the name of that item.


eBook_file Give an eBook_file as argument to eBook-speaker. Many eBook formats are supported. eBook-speaker also tries to read scanned documents through Optical Character Recog‐ nition. Supported formats ----------------- AportisDoc AppleSingle encoded Macintosh ASCII mail text ASCII text awk script text Bourne-Again shell script text Broadband eBooks (BBeB) C source text Composite Document File (Microsoft Office Word) DAISY3 DTBook EPUB ebook data GIF image data GNU gettext message catalogue GutenPalm zTXT HTML document ISO-8859 text JPEG image data Microsoft Reader eBook Data Microsoft Windows HtmlHelp Data Microsoft Word 2007+ Mobipocket E-book MS Windows HtmlHelp Data Netpbm PPM data OpenDocument Text Pascal source PDF document PeanutPress PalmOS Perl script text PNG image data POSIX shell script text PostScript document Python script Rich Text Format Tenex C shell script text troff or preprocessor text (e.g. Linux man-pages) UTF-8 Unicode mail text UTF-8 Unicode text WordPerfect XML document text When no input-file is supplied, eBook-speaker will bring up a file-manager. See KEYBOARD COMMANDS IN THE FILEMANAGER. -b n | y Set the initial break_on_EOL. After quitting eBook-speaker. this setting will be saved and used as default for future books. It can be overruled with the 'b'-com‐ mand for each individual book. See the 'b' command. -c eBook-speaker use tesseract for OCR by default. This option forces eBook-speaker to use cuneiform instead. -d pulseaudio_sound_device eBook-speaker will play on this sound device. Default is "0". (The first soundcard) This option overrules the value in the ~/.eBook-speaker.xml config file. Be sure the user is a member of the group audio. -h Print this usage message. -i Ignore reading of the bookmark. -l Deprecated. eBook-speaker now determines the file-type using the libmagic library. -o language-code The language code for OCR to use. (typically an ISO 639-1 two-letter code. See <>). If this option not is specified, the language is determined according to the current locale. -r resolution By default the option "-s" will scan at a resolution of 400 DPI. With this option one can force another resolution. -s Scan a document using a hardware scanner and OCR it with either tesseract or cuneiform. -t TTS-command Be sure that the TTS reads from the file eBook-speaker.txt and that it writes to the file eBook-speaker.wav. Examples: · eBook-speaker some.epub -t "espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v nl" · eBook-speaker some.epub -t "flite eBook-speaker.txt eBook-speaker.wav" · eBook-speaker some.epub -t "text2wave eBook-speaker.txt -o eBook-speaker.wav"


The name and version of this program and the name of the author is displayed left aligned at the top of the screen. The name of the current loaded book is displayed right aligned. The second row of the screen displays the number of pages of the current loaded book (if any), the current selected level and the total number of levels, the total number of phrases and the current displayed screen and the total number of screens. The spoken phrase will be displayed on the bottom-line of the screen, so one can follow along on a braille-terminal what he/she hears. The next rows displays the title of the item, the first page of the item within brackets (if there are pages) and the total number of phrases in this item. Items in higher levels are indented. (Three spaces each level.) When "just reading this item" is active, a "J" is viewed at the first column of that item.


eBook-speaker recognizes the following keyboard-commands: cursor down,2 Move cursor to the next item. cursor up,8 Move cursor to the previous item. cursor right,6 Skip to next phrase. cursor left,4 Skip to previous phrase. page-down,3 View next screen. page-up,9 View previous screen. enter Start reading. space,0 Pause/resume reading. home,* Read on normal speed. / Search for a label. A Store current item to disk in ASCII-format. b Set a phrase-break at the end of a line?. When set to 'y'es, eBook-speaker will start a new phrase after each New-Line character. When set to 'n'o, each New-Line character will be seen as a space, so that two or more lines are concatenated to one phrase. B Move cursor to the last item. d Store current item to disk in WAV-format. D,- Decrease reading speed. f Find the currently reading item and place the cursor there. g Go to phrase in current item. G Go to page number. (if there are pages) h,? Give this help. j,5 Just read current item and place a "J" at the first column. l Switch to next level. L Switch to previous level. n Search forewards. N Search backwards. o Select an output sound device. p Place a bookmark. q Quit eBook-speaker. The reading-point is saved as bookmark. r Rotate the scanned document. If the document is accidentally placed upside-down on the scanner, it can not be OCR'ed correctly. This command will rotate the scanned document 90 degrees. s Stop reading. t Select a TTS. T Move cursor to the first item. U,+ Increase reading speed. V,7 Increase playback volume. (beware of Clipping) v,1 Decrease playback volume. x Go to the file-manager.


enter,cursor right,6 Start eBook-speaker with current file as input. cursor left,4 Select previous directory and open it. cursor down,2 Move cursor to the next file. cursor up,8 Move cursor to the previous file. page-down,3 View next page. page-up,9 View previous page. / Search for a file. end,B Move cursor to the last file. h,? Give this help. H,0 Toggle hidden files displaying on or off. n Search next. N Search previous. q Quit eBook-speaker. home,T Move cursor to the first file.


When pressing the 't'-command, the TTS-selector appears. A few TTS-applications are defined by default. The first TTS in the TTS-selector will be espeak with option -v set according to the current locale. · Choose one by moving the cursor with the cursor-keys and select it by pressing the ENTER-key. · To delete a TTS-command press the DEL-key. · A new TTS-command can be provided by adding the TTS-command to the TTS-line. · To edit an existing TTS-command one has to edit the ~/.eBook-speaker.xml file by hand. Be sure that the new TTS reads its information from the file eBook-speaker.txt and that it writes to the file eBook-speaker.wav.


Here are some examples to insert into the TTS-selector: espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v mb-en1 espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v de espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v pt espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v nl espeak -f eBook-speaker.txt -w eBook-speaker.wav -v mb-nl2 flite eBook-speaker.txt eBook-speaker.wav swift -n Lawrence -f eBook-speaker.txt -o eBook-speaker.wav text2wave eBook-speaker.txt -o eBook-speaker.wav text2wave -eval '(voice_en1_mbrola)' eBook-speaker.txt -o eBook-speaker.wav pico2wave -w eBook-speaker.wav "`cat eBook-speaker.txt`"


On some soundcards (especially onboard cards) the alsa driver only can play one file at a time. eBook-speaker crashes sometimes on these cards. From this version on the pulseaudio sound-driver will be used instead. The pulseaudio sound system has no problems with these cards. I don't know how to play with pulseaudio in the C function sox_open_write (). For now, the external command sox will be used instead.


Daniel Veillard <> for the XML2 library. Chris Bagwell <> for sox.


~/.eBook-speaker/ This directory contains the bookmarks in XML-format. Each file has the name of the book and contains the name of the current item, the start-phrase of that item, the current level, the desired TTS and the desired reading speed. ~/.eBook-speaker.xml This file, in XML-format, contains the name of the desired audio device, the desired OCR language and the TTS's to use. (See TTS EXAMPLES) /tmp/eBook-speaker.XXXXXX eBook-speaker makes use of a temporary directory. It is removed after quitting.


ebook-convert(1), pandoc(1), calibre(1), iconv(1), lowriter(1), tesseract(1), cunei‐ form(1), espeak(1), flite(1), text2wave(1), mbrola(1), pico2wave(1), scanimage(1), pnm‐ flip(1), gif2png(1), man2html(1), unar(1), swift(1), unrtf(1), wget(1), sox(1), magic(5), locale(7)


Jos Lemmens <>
Copyright (C)2011-2018 Jos Lemmens <> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either ver‐ sion 2, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program (see the file COPYING); if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA
ebook-speaker-5.0 23 February 2018 eBook-speaker(1)
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eBook-speaker(1) referred by
refer to calibre(1) | ebook-convert(1) | espeak(1) | flip(1) | flite(1) | form(1) | gif2png(1) | iconv(1) | locale(7) | lowriter(1) | magic(5) | man2html(1) | mbrola(1) | pandoc(1) | pico2wave(1) | scanimage(1) | sox(1) | tesseract(1) | text2wave(1) | unar(1)
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