Hi everyone, I just thought I’d share my initial experiences with Mycroft and hopefully get some up-to-date answers while I’m at it.
I bought a Pi 4B, a Blue Snowball mic and some Creative Pebble 2 speakers. Installing/imaging Picroft was easy with Etcher. Booted up, HDMI output didn’t work so checked my router for the DHCP-allocated IP address and SSH’d in. No problems so far other than having to wait a while until initial boot had finished (before I could connect) with no way of knowing (I’ve since installed the Finished Booting skill).
The first thing I did was change the robotic British male voice to the much better American male voice. I’m British so I would have preferred a Brit but the difference in quality made this a no-brainer (and I understand the local vs cloud processing reasons). But here’s my first question. I read that my subscribing to Mycroft you get better voices using Mimic2, but my American voice says it’s already using that. Another post says enable American male beta while it’s still free. What’s the state of play with this as of right now? Are there actually more/better paid-for voices?
Then I followed the instructions to set up a wireless connection and rebooted. All fine, but I feel like maybe the wireless credentials could be added on Mycroft Home for people less comfortable with the linux command line.
I added/configured my Home Assistant server and said “Hey Mycroft, turn on the hot water”. Boom. Hot water turned on. What a great start. Then I realised that was about all I could do with Home Assistant (unless I’m missing something), I couldn’t use its existing connections to my Sonos speakers, heating/climate controls, alarm system, cameras etc.
I wasn’t expecting to be able to say “Hey Mycroft, play me some Elvis on Sonos in the sitting room” right away, but that was certainly a goal. “Hey Mycroft, boost the heating” was another.
So next step, hook up a music service. I generally use Youtube Music (forced “upgrade” from Google Play Music), but that didn’t seem to be available, which is ok - I have Spotify Premium as well. That skill seems to have OAuth problems and can’t authorise to Spotify. I saw the thread about a workaround which I will try later, but right now I just wanted some music playing. I have Amazon Prime too so I tried the Amzn music skill but again, that doesn’t work anymore. I was running out of options. I managed to link it to my local Emby server (I had to force using a password on the local network or it wouldn’t authorise but at least it worked) and finally got some music playing. That’s fine if I want to listen to any one of thousands of my mp3s from the 1990s but the availability of streaming means that my local song collection is hideously out-of-date.
I feel a basic step like linking a music service should be easier than this!
I’d be happy to contribute to skills but my python is practically non-existent. If they were written in PHP I’d have churned out a bunch of pull-requests by now. Guess I’d better start learning python…
One final question - the whole process of answering questions or commands seems quite slow. I see the text output of the response and then a few seconds later it’s synthesised into speech. Is that a normal delay? Would something stronger than a Pi 4B make a difference or is that because I’m using a voice that’s coming from the Mycroft servers? Can I replicate that system locally for a faster spoken response?
Thanks for building a great tool though, I don’t mean to be critical I was just quite surprised that to get things to work you have to be pretty technical and have time to fiddle (I am/have both) but of course that’s what happens with free/open-source/community-driven software. Keep up the good work and I will start swotting up on python!