International Herald Tribune Intros Custom Robo-Podcasts

Jul 16th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Podcasting Services

The New York Times Company’s International Herald Tribune (IHT) is beta-testing a service that lets users select articles to receive and have them automatically translated into a custom podcast.

The service uses text-to-speech technology to convert news items into a podcast.

“Articles are read by the latest text-to-speech technologies using professional readers whose recordings are converted into language dictionaries,” according to IHT. “Some lesser-known words and names may be mispronounced. This service is in beta, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to make improvements to the voice quality.”

While the automated service may not equal the realism of having dedicated podcasters, the service does offer some advantages. Users can customize the content that they want in their podcast. For IHT, the approach also offers the ability to scale up the service to meet demand.Users can select any news section, create custom filters or add individual articles to a podcast. The service provides a custom URL that can be added to standard podcast clients, such as iTunes.More information is available at the IHT AudioNews site.
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