The SpeechMark Command Line Utility, Mac Edition

The SpeechMark family of products detects and measures acoustic landmarks —acoustic events that correlate with changes in speech articulation. Landmarks are useful for investigating non-lexical attributes of speech, such as differences in production of the same speech material by the same speaker under different conditions.

The SpeechMark Command Line Utility, Mac Edition is a version of the SpeechMark technology that is callable from an OS X terminal window. The utility is a command line program named spmark, which processes a wave file containing recorded speech, detects acoustic landmarks in the recorded speech, and outputs a text-format “landmark file” with information about the detected landmarks.

The text output of the SpeechMark Command Line Utility can be imported into other programs. This utility is well-suited for batch processing, as no user interaction is required when the program is running. The Utility is designed to be easily integrated by the end user into most third-party speech processing systems.

The SpeechMark Command Line Utility is primarily suited to the following uses:

  • Processing large amount of audio, and/or many audio files, in “batch mode”;
  • Adding landmark detection capabilities to any speech analysis system that is not directly supported by other SpeechMark products.



The SpeechMark Command Line Utility:

  • Analyzes a speech file in order to detect and identify the location of acoustic landmarks (See How are Acoustic Landmarks Detected?)
    • All SpeechMark products generate a landmark file (“.lm”), which is a text file that contains one line of information for each generated landmark. That line contains a timestamp, the label of the landmark, and a numerical “strength” value;
      An example of the first few lines from a .lm file is shown below.



The following figure shows two invocations of spmark:

  1. The first invocation shows how the “-h” option is used to print help describing the program’s command line syntax;
  2. The second invocation highlights the specification of one input filename as a required argument on the command line. The specified file is the .WAV file that contains the speech in which landmarks are to be found.


System Requirements

  • OS X (Lion or Mountain Lion version);
  • the MATLAB Compiler Runtime (MCR) object. This third-party software is installed automatically during the SpeechMark installation process if it is not already present on the user’s system and runnable.



  • Click here to download this SpeechMark product.


Figure 1: The header and first six data lines of a SpeechMark “.lm” file. Among other information, the header includes the name and version number of the landmark product that generated the file; and the identifier of the waveform that was processed. Each data line includes a timestamp, a landmark type code, and a “strength” value.

Figure 2: The first call to spmark shows the /? help option. The second call to spmark shows an example in which spx2.wav is the input speech file and the /g option indicates that the speaker is an adult female.CmdLine-h

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