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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9 Replies to “Listen to me. How to convert your blog post into a podcast.”

  1. Hey Robin, thanks for check­ing in!

    That link seems to require poten­tial listen­ers already have (or sign up for) a Pod­Nova account. The links I used don’t, and I’d like to expose read­ers / listen­ers to the ser­vice without put­ting a bar­ri­er in their way right off the top.

    But I have anoth­er ques­tion now. Pod­Nova allows me to ‘claim’ con­tent streams. Is it pos­sible for me to claim the Talkr and Odiogo stream? I don’t have access to actu­al pages to embed the required codes, but would like to identi­fy myself with those streams pro­duced by those ser­vices.

    Is it pos­sible?

  2. Sure you could claim those feeds, no prob­lem. You have access to the con­tent pub­lished in them, so if you just paste in the veri­fic­a­tion code there, and you con­tin­ue the pro­cess as described on the claim-page you should be able to claim it.

  3. Cool. I am going to have check those out. I am not good at multi task­ing though, so I might be bet­ter off read­ing the post and not try­ing to listen to them while I am doing oth­er things.

    PS. I just stumbled and book­marked this…

  4. Thanks for using Odiogo. A few com­ments:
    — It is pos­sible to instruct Odiogo to skip parts of a post through spe­cial tags. See http://blog.odiogo.com/index.php/2007/07/02/instructing-odiogo-to-skip-parts-of-a-post/ for more details.
    — We have developed a Listen But­ton plu­gin that allows to listen dir­ectly to a post. Plu­gin info for Word­Press can be found http://blog.odiogo.com/index.php/2007/05/12/wordpress-odiogo-listenbutton-plug-in-instructions/.
    — Finally, we also pub­lish a .m3u file for those who want to stream the art­icles of a spe­cif­ic feed. The url for your blog is http://podcasts.odiogo.com/blog-bradgrier/podcasts-m3u.php.

    Of course, should you have any ques­tion, feel free to con­tact us.

    Bob

  5. @Robin: Thanks! I’m going give that a try.

    @George: Thanks for find­ing, book­mark­ing and Stum­bling here! It’s appre­ci­ated.

    @Bob: Thanks for those links! I’m think­ing the ‘skip parts of post’ tags and the Pod­Nova ‘claim’ tag will work swim­mingly togeth­er. And I love the concept of stream­ing the *entire* feed.

    I did try the Word­Press but­ton plu­gin for a bit, but wasn’t pleased at the size of it in my lay­out. I will likely revis­it that in the near future.

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