How To Use Text-to-Speech Software to Listen to Blogs While Doing Other Things

March 25, 2009Tagged

Taking a walk. Biking to work. Jogging. Lifting weights. These are all excellent opportunities to educate yourself by listening to audio books or podcasts. But audio books are expensive and not many podcasts are as entertaining as the Get-It-Done Guy's.

Meet Samantha. Samantha is an incredibly realistic-sounding text-to-speech voice from Nuance. Just listen to a demo MP3 and hear for yourself.

Text-to-speech frees you from the requirement of finding recorded material. You can convert any text to audio and listen to it while you do other things. A particularly convenient tool for automating this is NewsAloud from NextUp. Use it to subscribe to your favorite blogs through RSS. Then, whenever you run out of material on your iPod, let NewsAloud have Samantha read a new batch of fresh blog posts to MP3.

With that said, I'll also note that the NewsAloud software could be much improved. Its user interface isn't very polished. It often repeats itself by reading both description and content tags. And you still have to manually copy the MP3 files to your iPod. Nevertheless, NewsAloud is the only text-to-speech tool I've found that lets you subscribe to RSS feeds. Please leave a comment if you know of others.