Old C Extension module

This project used to be in the form of a Python module written in C (i.e. a Python C extension). The reason for this is that the CMU Pocket Sphinx and sphinxbase libraries are both written in C and I developed sphinxwrapper to abstract some of functionality provided by the pocketsphinx_continuous program so I could use it in my Pocket Sphinx dragonfly engine.

The sphinxwrapper package now interacts with CMU Pocket Sphinx via the pocketsphinx-python package instead, so compiling isn’t necessary any more.

The C extension version still exists in the repository’s extension folder for historical reasons. It is not recommended that you use this version for various reasons.

The API is similar to the current version with some differences:

  • It uses the platform’s sphinxbase audio device implementation for reading data from the microphone and cannot be used with pyaudio without some hacking.
  • Some functions and properties behave differently or just don’t exist.
  • Most of the classes, functions and methods provided by the pocketsphinx-python package are not present.

Writing the C extension was mostly a learning experience for me. Python modules written in C are dreadfully difficult to write and maintain, plus the CMU Sphinx libraries used already have very good Python compatibility through Swig.

Like the current version of sphinxwrapper, the C extension should work correctly with Python versions 2.7.x and 3.x.

I might update it at some point to use the same API as the current version.

Compiling & Installing

To compile this version of sphinxwrapper, you need to have the following dependencies installed:

You can install the dependencies using the following commands on Debian GNU/Linux. They might also work on Debian-derived systems such as Ubuntu and will be similar on other systems.

I’ve tested this with pocketsphinx and sphinxbase versions 0.8+5prealpha-3.

# Install the required library headers
sudo apt install libpocketsphinx-dev libpocketsphinx3 libsphinxbase-dev libsphinxbase3

# Install the Python headers for your version of Python
sudo apt install python-dev
sudo apt install python3-dev

You can compile and install the required CMU Sphinx libraries from source instead. Have a look at the project for information

You probably also want to install the pocketsphinx-en-us package for the default models and dictionary, unless you specify the -hmm, -dict and other arguments (e.g. -lm) yourself.

You will also need the C/C++ compiler that your version of Python was compiled with. Normally this is GCC on Linux or Clang on Mac OS/*BSD. You can identify the required compiler by starting an interpreter. For example, my Debian 9 machine has Python 2.7.13 comiled with GCC v6.3.0:

Python 2.7.13 (default, Sep 26 2018, 18:42:22)
[GCC 6.3.0 20170516] on linux2

You should be able to compile and install it by running the following in the repository’s extension folder:

cd extension
python setup.py install

I will probably not distribute this version of sphinxwrapper on PyPI.

Microsoft Windows

I would not recommend using this version of sphinxwrapper on Windows because compiling Python C/C++ extensions on that platform is not easy. It should work using python setup.py install, but you’ll probably need to download and install a few things first. The Python wiki page on Windows Compilers should help.

Please note that you will likely have no luck getting this working on Cygwin because libsphinxbasead won’t compile in that environment, at least it didn’t the last time I tried. You’re better off using a virtual machine with a Linux distribution if you’re really determined to use this on Windows.

Usage example

As mentioned above, there are a few differences with this version of the package. The below usage example should work. It is similar to the pocketsphinx_continuous program.

import os
import time

from sphinxwrapper import PocketSphinx, AudioDevice

def speech_start_callback():
    print("Speech started.")

def hyp_callback(s):
    print("Hypothesis: %s" % s)

# Initialise a decoder with the default configuration.
# ps = PocketSphinx()

# The decoder optionally accepts an command-line argument list for
# decoder configuration. The following will suppress log output.
ps = PocketSphinx(["-logfn", os.devnull])

# Set up callback functions.
ps.speech_start_callback = speech_start_callback
ps.hypothesis_callback = hyp_callback

# Recognise from the mic in a loop.
ad = AudioDevice()
while True:
    audio = ad.read_audio()