ReadSpeaker PodCaster - listen to 456 Berea Street
I’ve never been a huge fan of podcasts, partly because I rarely carry my iPod with me, partly because I think most podcasts are pretty pointless and not very fact-filled. But recently I was given the opportunity to try out a technology that, at least in my opinion, makes podcasts much more interesting and definitely much easier to create. So now there is a 456 Berea Street podcast!
The good thing is that I don’t need any recording equipment. I also do not need to create and upload audio files. It is all taken care of automatically. All I have to do is type, and ReadSpeaker PodCaster does the rest. ReadSpeaker PodCaster is a service that takes a news feed and automatically converts it to speech. And not your general computer-voice speech either - this is good.
Of course a service like this increases accessibility and is very beneficial for several groups of people, like people who are visually impaired and people who suffer from low literacy or dyslexia. It will also make more feeds available to people who are on the move and like to use their portable media players to listen to information instead of reading it on their computer screens.
Go ahead and try it out: 456 Berea Street, Podcast Edition. (No, that is not my voice ;-).) I’ll be changing to a full feed for the podcast since that makes a lot more sense than excerpts. I’m also looking into the possibility of adding a link to the mp3 file that is compatible with all feed readers. NetNewsWire Lite, my feed reader of choice, does not understand the enclosure that is used to link to the podcast files. Safari does though.
Currently ReadSpeaker PodCaster is a commercial service. I don’t know if there will be some kind of personal edition available for bloggers, but I’m sure letting ReadSpeaker know if you’re interested can’t hurt.
I think this opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. What’s your opinion?
Update: The podcast now contains full articles instead of just excerpts.
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