Ubuntu's switch to pulseaudio broke accessibility for the blind.

Bug #416101 reported by Darxus on 2009-08-19
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
pulseaudio (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: pulseaudio

The switch to pulseaudio has made screen readers, on which the blind depend, unintelligible.

The recommended workarounds are, in this order:
* aptitude remove pulseaudio
* touch ~/.pulse_a11y_nostart
* Use orca with pulseaudio via speech-dispatcher: http://live.gnome.org/Orca/UbuntuJaunty

The problem appears to revolve around pulseaudio's lack of support for mmap, and libportaudio's dependancy on it:

$ LIBASOUND_DEBUG=1 espeak "This is a test."
ALSA ERROR hw_params: set (ACCESS)
           value = MMAP_INTERLEAVED : Invalid argument

$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 9.04
Release: 9.04

$ apt-cache policy pulseaudio
  Installed: 1:0.9.14-0ubuntu20.2

Removing pulseaudio will break important stuff (like your sound preferences) in Ubuntu 9.10. See: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-media/+bug/400973

Luke Yelavich (themuso) wrote :

This should no longer be a problem from jaunty onwards, at least in terms of portaudio working with pulseaudio. However due to other changes, the sound that gets played in unintelligable. There is a work-around in place to not use pulseaudio when installing from the live CD when accessibility for blind people is enabled.

Changed in pulseaudio (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Darxus (darxus) wrote :

Why did you start that with "This should no longer be a problem" when you went on to say "the sound that gets played back is unintelligible"?

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) on 2010-03-07
Changed in pulseaudio (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
codeslinger (codeslinger) wrote :

this bug is probably fixed now. try 13.04, after a very long wait, the audio system now *finally* works for me.

why was this bug left to sit and rot???? never assigned in 4 years....

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