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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Talkr: My Blog In MP3

In email discussion with someone from another company I was recently pointed towards a service called Talkr. It takes text from blogs and turns it into computer "spoken" MP3 files. There's a $5 per month subscription fee to catch more than 3 blog feeds, but 3 or less is free. It's very easy to use. My blog's feed is the link behind this button:

For a taste of what it sounds like, Talkr's MP3 of my post titled "Google News Adds RSS Feeds" is here.

You can copy the link behind that button, paste it into your RSS reader or podcatcher, and automatically receive an MP3 file of each blog post I write. What more could you ask for, huh? Seriously, though, I do think this will be of interest to some. I know I like to listen to things I didn't get a chance to read, even if it is in a computer voice. And it's a pretty good computer voice. The files are pretty small compared to most podcasts, so they won't take up much space on your MP3 player or take too long to download. I know that there are many blogs I'd like to keep up with, but not enough to read them regularly. If I could just dump the MP3 version into my player every once in a while and listen in between other podcasts when walking the dog - that would be great.

Many things are possible with this. I'll update you when I do more with it, but please do send feedback on how this works for you. The service has some kinks in it: it doesn't play well with Feedburner, it doesn't interact quite like I'd like with Newsgator (feed items don't appear chronologically) and it seems to update the RSS feed far slower than the "hourly" claims it makes. But hey, nobody's perfect. Hopefully those things will change. (Hopefully the folks at Talkr will see this post and it'll help.)

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