Listen to me. How to convert your blog post into a podcast.

Lately I’ve been explor­ing a few pod­cast and text-to-speech ser­vices. I’ve found an inter­est­ing com­bin­a­tion of ser­vices that let me make my posts listen-able and down­load­able — even set them up to be part of your reg­u­lar pod­cast scrape.

This is a great way to review your favor­ite blog­ger, when you’re not able to have your com­puter with you (on the morn­ing com­mute, bus, walking..etc), or you need to con­vert writ­ten posts into spoken ones for people with visu­al impair­ments or oth­er access­ib­il­ity issues.

First, sign up for accounts either at Odiogo.com or talkr.com. Both take RSS feeds of your blog and cre­ate mp3 / pod­cast files with your blog con­tent being read by an arti­fi­cially gen­er­ated voice. Your qual­ity and accur­acy may vary, depend­ing on the type of writ­ing you do. Highly tech­nic­al words may be com­pletely mas­sacred, but by hav­ing both ser­vices avail­able, you’ll increase the chance that your post will be read prop­erly, by at least one of the ser­vices.

Then, sign up for an account at PodNova.com. Pod­Nova is an online pod­cast aggreg­a­tion ser­vice, which allows you to release your pod­cast sub­scrip­tions from any single com­puter and keep it access­ible on any com­puter with Inter­net access.

It also man­ages your pod­cast mas­ter sub­scrip­tion list, so you really only have to sub­scribe to the Pod­Nova feed, and all your pod­casts will be down­loaded by your pod­catch­er of choice (Juice, iTunes..etc).

You can also listen to indi­vidu­al pod­casts through the Pod­Nova sub­scrip­tions page. That’s the option I’m using to provide audio to my blog.

What I’ve done is use Pod­Nova to sub­scribe to both Talkr and Odiogo feeds, and link to the feed pages here:

Now, using those links, you can access my recent blog posts and listen to them at your work­sta­tion, or through your media play­er of choice.

I’ve also added but­tons to my side­bar, though, weirdly, talkr does­n’t have an html page that dis­plays all the the posts in my feed; they assume you’re going to use an RSS read­er only. Either I can­’t find it or they’re miss­ing the boat on that one, so in my side­bar but­tons, I’m link­ing back to the Pod­Nova Talkr page for my posts. Klunky but it works.

Now, this does­n’t work well for every post. I have a couple of link lists that would just be silly when they’re con­ver­ted to audio, but for longer, text based posts (like this one), mak­ing the audio avail­able simply means that the post could be read, and now heard, by more people.

So, have you listened to any of my posts? What do you think? How’s the qual­ity and pro­nun­ci­ation? Does it fit with your reg­u­lar pod­cast listen­ing routine?

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Published by Brad Grier

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