Thursday, November 02, 2006


Online text-to-speech apps are helping to blur the lines between blogging and podcasting. One such app is Feed2Podcast which uses text-to-speech conversion to instantly turn any RSS feed into a podcast. No need to register, just paste a compatible feed into the dialog box on the homepage. Admittedly there's only one choice of voice which is the classic Stephen Hawking style speech synthesizer. It also doesn't always cope well with punctuation.

Talkr offers a similar service, although you must register in order to generate a podcast and it got my postings back-to-front so the most recent blog entry appears last in the audio feed. On the plus side, the female voice synthesizer is a fraction easier on the ear and it makes a better fist of trying to interpret images and other metadata associated with the post. It also pronounced Flickr correctly whereas Feed2Podcast has to spell it out.

It's interesting to note that some traditional print brands are already exploiting this strange convergence of technologies. The International Herald Tribune's recently launched AudioNews service uses ReadSpeaker software to convert its articles into MP3s which can then be added to a custom podcast.

You can listen to a podcast of this blog (created using Feed2Podcast) here or subscribe to it using iTunes on either your Mac or PC.

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